The Chris-reel updates us on how long he's been clean and sober (six months now, and I hope there's a constantly updated calendar as the competition goes on), and L.A. talks about how important pain is in a performance. I think he means for the performer, not the audience. Anyway, Chris does a rather loosey-goosey hip-hop version of "Love Don't Live Here Any More." Nicole liked the performance, but is uncertain about the song choice, wondering if it was a bad decision of L.A.'s. Paula babbles about authenticity in a way that reminds us why she's a lot more coherent when she's prerecorded, and Simon says that if Chris isn't the best singer (which he isn't), he's one of the best recording artists (whatever that means), and wants to see him next week. L.A. gets a little defensive about unpredictable song choices, and Steve throws it to break, saying there'll be two more Boys singing and then L.A. will boot one of them. Well, this is just tearing right along.
Post-break, Phillip Lomax is next. After the Phillip-Reel showing him with his porkpie hat, without his porkpie hat, and ultimately a bowler (classy!) he's singing "I'm a Believer" in a three-piece suit, surrounded by dancers dressed as sexy bellhops. I don't know, dude. There's confetti and everything. This show kind of needs to pace itself, or there's going to be nowhere left to go for the finale but car crashes and gunfights on the stage. Nicole and Paula both love him, but Simon, although he really likes Phillip, says L.A. put a race car driver onto a tractor with that song. Boos all around, as Phillip says, "Thank you for the constructive criticism." Good line. L.A. says he's proud of Phillip, and "you're just fine." Steve comes back with an attempt to trump up the Cowell/Reid rivalry, and there are more ads before the last Boy sings.
Coming back, Steve asks L.A., "Who's the final boy?" as if there are a lot of choices. Of course it's Marcus Canty, whose hook is that it's his last chance to make it in a music career, which I'm sure makes the Over 30s love him. Anyway, he does a decent impression of Usher singing "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" by Culture Club, with the dancers back again. Nicole says he makes it look too easy, and Paula talks about how he owns the stage, and Simon recalls the whole two-year window thing and gives Marcus props for giving it all he's got, adding that it was a great song choice by L.A. and he really doesn't envy the next choice L.A.'s going to have to make. As for L.A. himself, he says Marcus made him proud.