X Factor
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Canty Be Done Already

Mary J. Blige then sings "Need Somone," standing inside Josh's spotlight cage from last week, all in white and singing to a bedazzled microphone stand like a welcoming TV angel of death. It's a pretty subdued tune, accompanied by a white-dressed guy with a white acoustic guitar and a white-clad string section. So that's what someone with nothing to prove sounds like on this show.

Then Steve has a remote interview with Josh and Chris, whose images in the backstage area tower over Steve on the Jumbotron like they could step on him at any moment. Lucky for him, they're in a good mood. Steve seems amazed already that Chris is going to be back next week. "It's rather exciting, yes?" Chris gushes about how happy he is that he'll finally be able to get those teeth fixed. Or maybe that was just the Chris in my head. Josh says he always believed in himself, and thanks everyone for their support. Steve reminds us of next week's Pepsi Challenge songs and says, "Back to business."

He heads back across the stage to where Marcus, Rachel and Melanie are waiting with L.A. and Simon. Before dropping the shoe already, Steve goes over last night's comments from the judges, and takes his sweet time at it. At this rate some of them are going to have to be moved into the Over 30 category by the time we find out who's safe.

But at last, Steve announces the name of the third and final person automatically safe for the semifinals: Melanie Amaro. So it's going to be Marcus vs. Rachel in the bottom two, in what I'm sure will be a blowout. Seriously, Marcus doesn't have a chance. "Bottom two again?" Marcus mock-sighs, but promises to sing from the heart. Rachel emotionally says she'll do her best, "And I love you, Marcus, it's okay." Aw, that kid. Who would ever let her leave? Steve promises that after the break we'll get what must be like the eighth "final showdown" now.

Coming back, Steve checks with the "impartial judges," Nicole and Paula, to ask what they're looking for. They just both want singing from the heart. I want more articulate impartial judges. L.A. introduces Marcus in that way he always does, pronouncing the two syllables of "Canty" like a ringing doorbell. Oh well, at least it'll be the last time.

Marcus's save me song is "I'm Going Down," which may not be the best option for a third bottom-two performance in as any weeks. Because yes, Marcus, you're going down. He actually belts the hell out of it, although I kind of wish someone would immobilize his right arm, because he seems to be under the impression that flopping it around a lot = heart. Steve comes out and shakes his hand, but Marcus looks like it's already over. Well, at least he did a good job with his last song. He's not just handing it to Rachel like I thought he would.

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