I don't know why Steve keeps getting evicted to the balcony during every commercial break, but there he is again as he reminds us to vote and calls down to L.A. to introduce the one Boy left to perform tonight: Chris Rene, with a song from Dangerous Minds. His mom is proud of his sobriety and his music, and L.A. interviews that he thinks they nailed it this week. Chris sings "Gangster's Paradise," and I guess he figures if rewriting a rap song works for Astro, why shouldn't it work for him? Well, for one thing, the army of dancers in white zoot suits kind of dents Chris's street cred. Nicole lets him repeat some of his lyrics back; Paula calls him honest, truthful and amazing; and Simon says, "Welcome back Chris Rene." He gives him props for doing what they all agreed on (meaning, I guess, staying off the drugs), and compliments L.A. on doing a good job with all his acts tonight. All L.A. says is that "it's been a long way home, but we're there now." Chris manages to tone down the mugging compared to last week, while Steve gives the voting instructions, which is only good news.
After the ads, Steve says the voting lines will open shortly, but there's one more girl left to sing. Simon has a song from Cadillac Records for Rachel, promising a big shock. In her intro-reel, Rachel reveals that she was adopted at six months of age. She does stand out a bit. Simon admits that he hasn't done a good job with her so far, but after listening to her, he thinks he's come up with a "game-changer." And indeed, he's got her singing "I'd Rather Go Blind," which serves her a lot better than the Mousketeer crap he's been pushing on her this whole time. L.A. says she's come out as a contender with this one, and adds that it's his favorite yet. Nicole takes credit for Simon listening to her on the song choice, but Rachel interrupts and says she's the one who picked it this week. Simon nods proudly. "And that would explain it," Nicole says, complimenting Rachel on her level of soul. Paula adds that she's glad Rachel's teaching Simon humility. Simon claims that he's willing to admit when he's wrong, especially when working with an artist he trusts, like Rachel. He compares her to a "mini-Beyonce" and tells her she's back in the game. Steve comes out and chats with her a bit before giggling, "I want to eat her up!" before going into the voting instructions and throwing it to a montage of tonight's top-eleven performances. After that, all of the finalists are out onstage with Steve as he opens the voting lines. It's a lot less crowded up there sans InTENsity, one can't help noticing. Simon shamelessly milks votes by saying his mom's not feeling well, Steve lets Paula babble for a second before urging everyone to vote, because someone will be going home tomorrow night. Can it be Simon?