We’re down to the wire on this first season of The X Factor, and there’s one burning question still yet to be answered:

How is it that Marcus Canty is still in the competition?

Don’t get me wrong. I like the guy. A lot. He’s super sweet and he is talented (as he’s proven several times with his “save me” song). But every week he gives these corny performances, complete with slithering, scantily clad women – and this from the guy who stresses his Christian faith? I don’t get it.

Now that we’re down to the final four, the differences in talent are glaring. Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik are far above Marcus Canty. And while Chris Rene may not live up to Melanie and Josh vocally, he’s definitely a contender when it comes to talent.

Tonight the contestants sang two song; the first was the Pepsi Challenge song chosen by fans, and the second was their own choice. Let’s just say that the fans picked better songs than the mentors have over the last few weeks.

Marcus’s fan choice song was “I’ll Make Love To You”; his second song was “Careless Whispers.” Seriously. The first was complete with a corny rose for a fan in the audience moment and some very strange dancer in red satin behind him on stage. His second performance had him surrounded by slinky dancers. Oh yeah, and he sang, although not as well as last week. But you’ve got to give the guy props for being a super all around great guy. Simon called Marcus’ second performance “horrific” and said it was “like being in a Vegas show in 1980”, adding that it was “a  joke.” Harsh words, but speaking just the performances? I think Simon’s right.

Chris Rene’s first song was “Fly”, and it had a street dance feel. Fun, happy, upbeat. His second song, though, was fantastic. He started out at the piano – I think Chris Rene is way more talented than we’ve had the chance to see in this competition. Midway through the song, he got up to sing. In his pre-performance clip, Chris talked about wanting to make his late father proud, and Simon told him that he delivered big time, that his dad would be proud not just of the performance but of who Chris has become, and ended by calling him the dark horse in the finals.

The fans picked “Hero” for Melanie Amaro, and as expected she knocked it out of the park. Although LA called her predictable, he said it wasn’t her fault because the fans picked the song. In other words, the fans were stupid, not Simon. Her second song was “A New Day” and she knocked it out of the park. It was sassy and powerful and she hit notes we haven’t heard her hit yet. Loved it. Even LA said she killed it.

And last, Josh Krajcik’s fan choice song was “Come Together,” which he delivered with typical class and spot on rock vocals. This time, he was on the stage with a band; no cheesy back up choreography, thank goodness. His second song was “Hallelujah”, which he sang at the piano. I thought it started a wee bit weak, but as usual he pulled out a stellar performance.

Tomorrow, one contestant goes home. No judges vote, no save me songs. Whoever gets the lowest votes gets the boot. If I was the kind of gal to make predictions, I’d predict that Marcus goes home, and that next week Melanie and Chris Rene end up as the last two standing. But at this point, it’s really a toss up, since it’s all up to the fans. And since Marcus has been in the bottom two for three weeks and managed to stay alive, who knows. Maybe he could win the whole thing.

Wouldn’t that be interesting?

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