X Factor
Top 4 Performance

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Semi-Excellent

One break later, the people in the balcony seem to have finally noticed Steve's presence up there as he throws it to L.A to introduce Chris Rene. Chris's Pepsi Challenge song is "Fly" by Sugar Ray, because what's really been missing from the whole Chris Rene thing is his fratty side. There's a fake band up on the riser with him, and people butt-dancing on the stage until they get up for the last chorus.

Nicole and Paula give him a standing ovation for that. L.A. is just shaking his head -- proudly, I guess. Nicole and Paula give some vague, meaningless comments. Simon liked the song choice, but says it wasn't Chris's best vocal performance, giving it a 7 out of 10 (agreed), and basically says he's got one more chance to get it right. Over the crowd's chants of "Chris Rene," L.A. tells him to keep doing what he's doing. Voting instructions from Steve, and ads.

Steve's still in the balcony, reminding us again that it's all votes this week, and then he yields the floor to Simon, who starts by disowning the song choice and saying they put a "twist" on it before introducing his last Girl, Melanie Amaro. She's alone on the stage in a black dress, singing "Hero" by Mariah Carey in usual Melanie Amaro fashion, which is to say quite well indeed. I didn't bother to vote for the Pepsi Challenge, but I'm starting to suspect that the songs were selected from a menu of choices for each singer. Which is probably good for them, because who would have been able to resist the impish impulse to make Melanie sing "Fly" instead?

L.A. admits that he can't criticize the song choice, as much as he might want to, and says Melanie didn't have her usual passion. Nicole talks about her love for the song and the message and blah blah blah. Paula talks about how Melanie inspires her, and points out the song's writer who she has dragged into the audience for some reason. Paula also complains about changing the major chords to minor ones, which Simon says is putting one's stamp on a song. Melanie lets Steve get all the way through her voting instructions without throwing a filibuster this week, and before we go to ads we get a glimpse of Josh being prepped backstage, having more grease added to his hair.

Yes, there's one singer left for the Pepsi Challenge round, and Josh should be in good shape because he's the only one left in the competition whose mentor isn't also a judge. America has sent him back to the Beatles well, specifically "Come Together," which Nicole has him doing in some kind of indeterminate funk-metal style.

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X Factor

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