X Factor
Top 7, Live Results

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Simon's Scowl

Because even after the ads, Steve has the four of them standing backstage looking nervous so he can remotely interview them Julie Chen-style. Astro's playing it cool, Drew looks like she needs to get to a bathroom stat, Marcus grins about the tension and the pressure, and Josh admits that anyone could win or lose. And they're going to have to wait even longer, because they still have a performance from Tinie Tempah to sit through. Apparently he's the UK's best-selling rap artist, which is the approximate equivalent of being Finland's best-known kung fu star. Whatever, he performs, has rap-sex with Nicole, it ends, and then there are yet more commercials. At this rate, by the time Drew finds out if she's safe she'll be dead.

Post-ads, Steve has Josh, Drew, Astro, and Marcus out onstage, and after a pause almost as long as the ad break itself, he announces that the fourth person automatically in it for another week is... Josh. He picks up Nicole in a celebratory, splayed-leg hug while Simon and Drew look actively pissed at her being in the bottom three for the first time. Steve gathers in L.A., Simon, Marcus, Astro, and Drew to find out who's leaving the competition right now. Steve goes over the judges' comments from last night. Then he throws the note to the stage to dramatically demonstrate that it's really up to the public. Drew, who's been fighting tears for a while now, starts crying like she's already lost, when in fact the first loser tonight is... Astro. Steve tries to chase the kid down while he hugs L.A. and Marcus (and then Simon and Drew) and the audience boos. Astro claims to be cool with it, and L.A. tells him he's a star, "It's that simple." Well, it's a little more complicated now. Season-covering montage of the kid who started out as Brian Bradley, and he wishes Marcus and Drew (who's still crying) the best of luck before giving his shout-outs and making his exit. Well, at least now I can stop saying "acts" and start saying "singers." Steve sticks the mic in Drew's face so she has to talk about hoping people will see her true talent, and Marcus says he was hoping to not have to be back here. But what really matters, as Steve knows, is how the judges feel. "I've still got two," L.A. says, and is confident in Marcus. Simon, who clearly wasn't prepared for this, mutters that it's a sing-off. We'll be back with that. Eventually.

We're back, and honestly, how many "final showdowns" are there on this show? Steve must have learned the meaning of the word from Final Fantasy. He asks Paula, the "completely impartial judge," what she expects from Drew and Marcus. Paula blathers about them needing to prove they need to stay, only with a lot more numerous and nonsensical words, and Steve throws it to Simon without checking with Nicole, who also doesn't have a dog in this particular round of the fight. "Sweetheart, best of luck," Simon says as he introduces Drew. She comes stumping out in her boots and dress and sings her second Roxette song of the competition, "Listen to Your Heart," with all the trademark vocal breaks we've come to expect from her. She's also the first person to ever do a "save me" song with more choreography than in her original performance. Sure, she just takes a stroll around the circular catwalk, but for her that's like one of Marcus Canty's backflips. She also tries to stretch out vocally quite a bit, which, unfortunately, only serves to demonstrate why she doesn't do so more often. She's so emotional at the end that Steve rushes out to hug her like a worried uncle before dismissing her from the stage with some words we don't hear. It was either reassurance or orders to save the tears for the final sequence.

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