Coming back, Steve promises to open the voting lines soon before giving us another look at the Twitter wall, now at 2.8 million. I guess they're counting all of the tweets ever, not just the ones that have been posted since this episode started. Either that or things really slowed down during the second hour.
Anyway, there's one singer left tonight, and it's Stacy Francis. We're reminded of last week's mini-controversy, when Simon called her a church singer. Stacy interviews that she was a little offended by that. "What she doesn't understand is that church singers sell records," Simon argues to us. So, I guess to prove Simon right, Nicole picked a gospel song for her.
Stacy appears in a sparkly dress in front of what looks like a field of candles (just more onstage graphics, because the L.A. fire marshal is probably already having a conniption over Chris Rene's performance) and enough stage-fog to spill off and cover Nicole up to her shoulders. Stacy does that thing where she holds back at the beginning and then cuts loose in the middle before blowing the roof off at the end, and this time, Simon's the first to applaud. After the lights are reset with that dramatic "whoosh," Paula starts to say something, only to be interrupted by L.A. who compliments Stacy on holding it together and having "stirred our souls." Paula agrees that Stacy was "the shining moment" and gushes about her voice. Simon lies that he doesn't want to take credit, and then demands a kiss from Stacy, which of course he gets. Simon says he loves being able to help the mentors (which they object to) and the contestants. Nicole insists on making it not about Simon but about Stacy, and compliments her on being honest in her performance. "You're fulfilling your purpose," she says. Stacy doesn't cry, but it looked for a minute there like she was coming close.
So now with all the acts finished, Steve says it's decision time. There's a montage of short clips of each performer with their voting numbers on the screen, in a way that looks somehow familiar, and then all of the acts are on the stage with Steve, who announces that voting is open. He also reminds us that the voting numbers all start with 855, not 800 or 866. Caught me just in time. Results tomorrow, when it'll take an hour to get rid of one act. Can't wait.
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at m.giant[at]gmail.com.