It's not just Elimination Wednesday on "The X Factor."
It's DOUBLE Elimination Wednesday.
Time to let the craziness ensue after the break...
8:01 p.m. ET. No time to dilly-dally tonight! We're kicking things off with Kelly Clarkson's Daria-esque animated laser presentation of "Stronger." Kelly's a good enough performer that I suspect that people on my Twitter feed won't find much to discuss beyond the impressive tightness of her dress. Grow up, kids!
8:03 p.m. "Oh, Bravo, Kelly Clarkson. What a set of pipes! Extraordinary," says the always impressed Steve Jones.
8:04 p.m. The judges are already seated. We aren't going to waste time introducing them. Instead, we're going right into the recap of last night's show, which should give me time to get this recap posted!
8:08 p.m. "That was last night. And what a night it was," Steve Jones raves. But we're a while from results. First, Bruno Mars and our Pepsi Choice Something-or-Other. And? Commercials!
8:13 p.m. Oh God. Tonight's Group Lip-Synch is YOUR fault America. The circus theme? Your fault. The revolving turntable? YOUR FAULT. The hip-hop background dancers? YOUR FAULT! Drew's red wig and her tiny black hat? YOUR FAULT. Rachel Crow's yellow jacket and pink highlights? That's probably her fault, but dressing Melanie Amaro as rough-trade police constable? Yeah. Totally YOUR FAULT.
8:16 p.m. "Nicely done, America," Steve Jones says contemptuously. [He didn't actually say it contemptuously. But I wish he did.]
8:17 p.m. Steve gets to results business by calling Lakoda Rayne and Drew to the center stage. Yikes. One of these acts got the fewest votes and is heading straight home. If it's Drew, you and I are gonna have issues, America. If it's Lakoda Rayne? We're cool.
8:18 p.m. The act who got the lowest number of votes last night is... LONG PAUSE. It's Lakoda Rayne. "I'm happy... I love you guys," Drew tells Lakoda Rayne. The FrankenGroup promises that we'll see them in concert EVERYWHERE. Threat or promise, ladies?
8:20 p.m. So that's it for all of Paula's Groups. Does that mean she gets to pack for Hawaii? Or does she just get to get hammered each week and tear into the other judges' acts without any fear of reprisals? Let's all root for the latter.
8:25 p.m. Steve Jones is getting VERY close to Howie Mandel in the audience. Was he not warned? Howie Mandel is currently the most uncomfortable man in America and Steve Jones has no clue. Oh, Steve...
8:26 p.m. Bruno Mars time, yo. I like Bruno more when he's tapping into the retro vibe he mines so expertly. This song isn't bad, but it could be sung by any number of talented contemporary vocalists. The breaking heart behind him is very sad. He closes with a humble, "Thank you."
8:29 p.m. "No, Bruno Mars. Thank you," Steve Jones says obsequiously.
8:30 p.m. All of the finalists who aren't Drew and The Late Lakoda Rayne return to the stage accompanied, once again, by "Carmina Burana." Just because. [I hope some website uses a "Down the Drayne" headline. I won't, because I don't like spoilers in my recap headlines. But that one's free for anybody out there who wants to use it.]
8:31 p.m. The second act voted through is... Chris Rene. The third act through is... Rachel Crow, who squeals loudly into Simon's mic. Through next? Burrito Josh. And now? Commercial!
8:36 p.m. More results! We're still going in no particular order and the fifth act through is... Melanie Amaro. My using her picture with this recap totally saved her. And all of Simon's Girls are safe. That leaves Marcus Canty, LeRoy Bell and Astro. This may or may not end up being intriguing. So which act is safe? It's... Astro. [Yeah, "No particular order" my butt.] This pretty much confirms the theory I posited last night that the total number of Astro voters offended by Astro's behavior last week was... ZERO. Lots of people who didn't like Astro anyway were a little peeved, but they don't count.
8:38 p.m. "I'm feelin' kinda funny," Marcus says. LeRoy describes himself as "scared."
8:42 p.m. So it's Marcus vs. LeRoy. This is gonna be an interesting choice for the judges... I hope they make Paula the deciding vote. Every week from now on, it should all be on Paula.
8:43 p.m. Marcus is first to sing for his life. He wasn't very good last night, but the judges were so wrapped up in how much he loved his mother that they couldn't bring themselves to tell him. He's much less emotional on this performance of "You Lost Me." And, as a direct result, he's much better. I think the judges will be looking for an excuse to keep the far more commercial Marcus and I think he probably gave them enough.
8:46 p.m. Mr. LeRoy Bell is next. He's singing "Don't Let Me Down," which is a pretty good clearance for a secondary performance. If it's just about vocals and absolutely nothing else, I'd give LeRoy the advantage over Marcus any day of the week. Michael Bolton/Bryan Adams/Bob Seger affectations aside, he's just got a great voice. But I know why the judges are probably going to reference that whole $5 million contract thing in saying that a 20-something R&B vocalist is a better commercial bet than a 60-year-old adult contemporary crooner.
8:53 p.m. OK. Let's make Paula cry.
8:53 p.m. L.A. Reid is up first. You know he's sticking with his guy. But he's still gonna waste time. WHAT? L.A. Reid says that if it were based on "sizzle," it would be LeRoy, but if it were "consistency," it would be Marcus. That's EXACTLY backwards. L.A. Reid makes his plea on Marcus' behalf and finally says it pains him to send LeRoy home. Nicole's up next. And she's gonna stand by her guy. Why do we have to waste our time on this format? Who's going to vote against their people? She sends Marcus home.
8:56 p.m. Paula thinks they're both going to go on to have major record deals and sell lots of albums. She's wrong. But based on tonight's performances, Paula votes to send Marcus home. Interesting. That means it's up to Simon to either send Marcus home or send this to America's vote. "I'm gonna let the public decide tonight," Simon says. WEENIE! So it's 2-2.
8:57 p.m. So how did America vote? The act with the lowest number of votes was... LeRoy Bell. That's disappointing, but not surprising. "I'm actually feeling OK," LeRoy says, calling it "a great ride" and "an incredible journey."
8:58 p.m. Really, three cheers for LeRoy Bell, who may have the best genetic makeup in human history. We should all be LeRoy Bells when we get to be his age. Or even 10 or 15 or 20 years younger.
What do you think, readers? Did the right two acts go home?
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