One of America's "X Factor" Bottom Two picks last week was a no-brainer and one was a tiny bit strange.
That means it's still too early to be entirely confident in predicting which acts America is going to shun and which performers viewers will embrace.
And that means that there could be some drama in Thursday (November 10) night's results show.
8:00 p.m. ET Making predictions particularly hard is the sad reality that the judges have decided to concentrate on judging each other, rather than judging the contestants.
8:02 p.m. It's my guess that the only judge who doesn't need to worry at all is Simon. Drew, Melanie Amaro and Rachel Crow are all almost certain to take places in the Top 10.
8:02 p.m. Lip-Synched Group Sing Time! Last week was pretty obviously lip-synched, but tonight's medley sounds brutal, a poor sound mix highlighting miss-laid harmonies and badly blended voices. So maybe it's live? I don't know if that would be something to be proud of, in this case...
8:05 p.m. Oooh. L.A. Reid begins by apologizing to Melanie Amaro. He also says that several singers dropped the ball, which isn't what he said last night.
8:06 p.m. Ha. Steve Jones now says that last night's theme was songs "that had a connection to famous movies," which isn't nearly the same as "songs from movies." Anyway, let's recap last night's performances.
8:09 p.m. If L.A. Reid was still being belligerent to Melanie backstage, I wonder when he had his Come to Simon moment.
8:10 p.m. Wow. Nicole Scherzinger was really proud of that "don't hate, congratulate" line. And Burrito Josh was all "Please don't antagonize Simon."
8:15 p.m. Let's welcome Willow Smith. On one hand, it's probably pretty easy to be Willow Smith. Your parents could afford to buy several mid-sized islands for you (to say nothing of setting you up with top-notch producers and candy-pop writers). On the other hand, it's probably hard to be Willow Smith. She's gonna be 90 and people will still come up to her say, "Why have you never done anything as catchy as that song about whipping your hair back and forth?" And she's still 12 or something.
8:19 p.m. Why wasn't this song saved for the "Hunger Games" soundtrack? It seems like a natural. "Fireball, indeed," says the easily impressed Steve Jones.
8:24 p.m. There's a reason why "American Idol" spaces out the elimination process. If you don't, there no reason for viewers to tune in until 8:40, unless they happen to be big fans of Willow Smith. Or...
8:25 p.m. Our next performer is Jessie J, who seems to have recovered from whatever injury had her on crutches at the VMAs a few months ago. It was a good move to have Willow Smith perform first, because you don't want the poor kid upstaged by this freaky blue-haired sex-alien. Oh, and Jessie J can actually *sing*. [That being said, this song also isn't as catchy as the thing about whipping your hair back and forth. That's some catchy stuff!]
8:28 p.m. "Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed that," says the easily impressed Steve Jones. "Never expect. Never presume. Always work hard and always be true to who you are," Jessie says of her advice to the "X Factor" hopefuls. She's like something out of "The Fifth Element."
8:33 p.m. And now, 33 minutes into the show, we're introducing the Top 11 and their mentors for the second time.
8:34 p.m. Time to reveal the Top Nine... IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Steve Jones repeats "no particular order" a second time -- this show is all about repetition -- and then reveals that Stacy Francis is safe. She pumps her fists maniacally. The second act through is... Astro. And then... Melanie Amaro. Our fourth act through is... Marcus Canty. [I'm the tiniest bit surprised by that.]
8:36 p.m. Still in no particular order... LeRoy Bell. [I've got to stop counting LeRoy Bell out. America likes him. Which is nice.] And then... Rachel Crow. Also staying in... Burrito Josh. The eighth act going through is... Drew. All of Simon and Nicole's acts are through.
8:38 p.m. Lakoda Rayne, Stereo Hogzz and Chris Rene are still waiting. I chose Chris' picture, because I assumed he'd be safe. And he is. AMERICA HATES GROUPS.
8:39 p.m. "I'm most proud and I would not have wanted any other category," Paula Abdul insists. Suuure.
8:44 p.m. This is a waste of time, once again. Paula can't keep Stereo Hogzz around if America keeps trying to send them home. That's a bad investment.
8:44 p.m. Lakoda Rayne is performing first and rather than having a theme to their attire, tonight's theme seems to be "We all got dressed in the dark."
8:45 p.m. This version of "No Air" isn't nearly as group-oriented as their past few performances. The performance is generally chaotic, including one moment in which Dani appears to have to push the Rayne to her left up to do a solo. Actually, that's really bad. I would miss their hotness, but I don't think Stereo Hogzz could do a performance that bad.
8:47 p.m. If The Stereo Hogzz get sent home first, what excuse will Steve Jones have to say "Hoo-ston"? They're singing "You Are Not Alone," though really only Trey is singing. He has four guys behind him clapping and periodically slapping their chests. Maybe we'll have a special double-elimination and both Lakoda Rayne and 4/5ths of the Stereo Hogzz will be sent home. Then L.A. Reid will get to mentor Trey Hogzz.
8:54 p.m. Decision time!
8:54 p.m. Steve Jones repeats the elimination rules.
8:55 p.m. L.A. Reid very accurately says that both groups sucked in their saving performances. He babbles and Steve Jones forces L.A. Reid to say that he's sending home The Hogzz. Nicole tells the girls that she loves them and that they're beautiful and she sends home the The Hogzz. What's Nicole's excuse? "Female empowerment." Paula cries and refuses to give an answer. She's just bawling. Surely we can kick this over to Simon and let him be the hatchet man. Paula abstains. Steve explains the rules, which are that if a judge abstains, it's a majority, which would mean that The Hogzz would be done. So Paula votes to send Lakoda Rayne home, just so that Simon has to vote. This is BIZARRE.
8:58 p.m. Steven Jones senses that the show is about to run long. Simon saves the day (time-wise) by sending the The Stereo Hogzz home, meaning that we won't have to go to America's vote. Thus, the second group eliminated from "The X Factor" is... The Stereo Hogzz.
8:59 p.m. We're rushing through their journey on "The X Factor," but "Bones" is still going to start late night. Paula Abdul's emotional instability thwarted Steve Jones' Mussolini-like trains-on-time efforts.
What'd you think of the results? What'd you think of Paula's drama?
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