X Factor
Top 5 Perform

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Pepsi Challenges

L.A. gives her credit for picking the song and alludes to rumors that Hollywood is "circling the wagons," which may not mean what he thinks it means. Nicole calls her an old soul, and Rachel claims, rather cheesily for her, that she just wants to inspire the kids. Paula says Rachel's a great role model: "Every girl's friend and every parent's daydream." That must be the nicest thing Paula's ever said about someone's singing. Paula adds that Simon's lucky to have her, and Simon advises Rachel to steer clear of Paula because she's doing just fine. Simon agrees with the "old soul," remark, but gets confused as to whether it came from Nicole or Paula. "You're both the same," he says dismissively.

Steve gives the instructions for voting for Rachel and says it's time for Nicole to introduce her one remaining Over 30, "If she's paying attention." She clearly wasn't, again, but she rallies and introduces Josh again. His intro reel is all about the pressure he feels and wanting to get to the semifinals, and shows him rehearsing at 8:33 that morning. His song is "Something" by The Beatles, which he sings accompanied by a scratchy acoustic guitar and synthesized strings. Is he really trying to tell us that he hasn't performed this song onstage dozens of times in his life as a struggling musician? He sells it pretty hard, looking a lot less uncomfortable than he did with the Rihanna song.

L.A. thanks God that Josh had a second song, and calls this "Ever so slightly karaoke-y, but good nonetheless." Paula says that Josh is so good that he's beyond adjectives (?), and Simon agrees that this was a massive improvement over Josh's first song. He calls Josh out on his tendency to throw the crazy-eyes, which Nicole interrupts to define as "getting lost in the music." Simon tells Nicole to get lost, which is some sparkling repartee by X-Factor standards, and Simon tells Josh that he's a singer-songwriter. "Adele doesn't need any props and neither do you." Nicole agrees that Josh is the male Adele, and coins the term "Krajcik Magic," claiming she just now thought of that herself. Sure she did.

Coming back, Steve reminds us of the Pepsi Challenge performances coming up next week and tells us not to forget, like we're the ones who screwed up.

L.A. introduces Chris, and in his intro reel, we see Chris and Marcus sitting at a table in a dressing room in a not-at-all-staged way as Chris gets a cell phone call from Stevie Wonder, talking about how much Chris is inspiring him right now. Also, suck it, Marcus. Chris says that after everyone had to change songs, he's doing an original song that no one's ever heard before. Cut to Chris onstage on a high stool with an acoustic guitar slung across his crossed legs. He sings his original song, which he wrote himself, which no one's ever heard because of how it's by him, better than he does with most of the songs by other people that he's had to do. And...yeah, I think he's out of danger for the week. Other people's songs are not his thing, and as much as I'm not on the Chris Rene train, I have to admit that it's not like any of these people are going to get paid five million dollars to record covers.

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