X Factor
Top 10 Perform

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Rock Off

As soon as she's done, L.A. gets sarcastic with Simon about how that wasn't rock either, and that's pretty much all he has to say to Melanie too. Nicole tells her she didn't cry at the song like she usually does (hint for you, Nicole: no building strings, no crying), but she sounded great. Paula says she took them to church. Simon compares her to Adele and Alicia Keys, which just gets L.A. on the rock kick all over again. As Simon points out, the audience is with Melanie. But since they're with everyone, always, except any judge who just made a negative comment about anyone in the last five seconds, that may not be the ironclad argument he's looking for.

Nicole introduces Josh, who if anything looks less groomed than ever in the intro reel. He talks about his 15 years of trying to make it as a musician and all the crap jobs he's had in the meantime. For his sing, the Foo Fighters' "The Pretender," he's lit from behind in a way that shows he actually washed his hair before the show, so he's clearly committed. He's got an actual rock band (or dancers with guitars and a glowing drum kit who look like a rock band) up onstage with him which helps sell the rock star vibe, as does the way Nicole stands up and thrashes behind the judges' table. Alas, Josh pretty much just keeps his feet planted the whole time, when this really calls for him to run around the stage a lot more. In fact, he could probably stand to do more running in general. Still, he sounds outstanding as always, and it's nice to hear him do something up-temp for once.

Paula and even Simon join Nicole's standing ovation. L.A. correctly tells Josh, "You're the only person that's really rocked this house tonight." True enough. Paula says it was both her favorite performance of his and her favorite performance all night, and Simon once again calls him "bloody fantastic." Josh is thrilled, and so is Nicole. Steve, joining Josh onstage: "You rock. You rock! You rock, sir!" Josh fluently fingerspells "VOTE JOSH" during Steve's spiel. Is there anything he can't do? Now that we know he's able to operate a shampoo bottle, that is?

L.A. introduces Astro as "the most popular contestant" on the show. Should we all just go home, then? Astro hasn't seen his mom in a month, so he misses her and her cooking. But next time he sees her,"I plan on having five million, so it's no big deal." L.A. says Astro will do "a very familiar song that became as big a hip-hop hit as it was a rock hit. "Walk this Way?" I'm not looking ahead, honest.

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