X Factor
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The King of Pop is Dead; Long Live the King of Pop

Looks like it's going to be Michael Jackson week. We're reminded that Lakoda Rayne and LeRoy Bell were eliminated last week, and as the lame voice-over guy says, "Paula and the groups are out of the competition." So where does that leave her? She tells us she's now the only impartial judge. Which is true, as long as "impartial" doesn't mean "all there." Nicole says she lost two acts, but doesn't plan to lose any more. What, she's going to keep all one of them? L.A. says his guys are working overtime. Simon snarks, "Biggest star of all time, double elimination, no pressure," And then a big, blurry, scary Michael Jackson face morphs into the opening credits.

The dancers gyrate to "Bad" onstage, and thus Steve Jones enters to the question, "Who's bad?" Not Steve, that's for damn sure. He dorks about how there will be two acts going home this week, and brings the four judges out onstage. Steve reminds us that Nicole's down to only one remaining act, and even with no groups left to mentor, Paula remains "a very impressive judge." In the sense that Princess Bride had an impressive clergyman, maybe. We get a whole Michael Jackson intro reel, which for some reason includes not only a lot of grainy archival footage that makes it seem like his heyday was back around the same time as the Beatles, but also a long plug of a Jacko-themed Cirque du Soleil show. Then, inexplicably, Steve trots out Michael's brothers Marlon, Tito and Jackie. That's really not germane. Jackie also points out Michael's mom and three kids in the audience. So I guess they all have a lot more free time now that the Conrad Murray trial is over, is that it?

Steve's up at his back-from-ads balcony, telling us to use the hashtag #Beatit to Tweet stories about how MJ music helped us overcome a challenge. Yeeeahh, I don't think I'll be doing that.

Steve yields the floor to Nicole to introduce Josh Krajcik. In his intro reel, Josh talks about listening to Michael Jackson records growing up and thinking he was the coolest guy ever. Yeah, I knew guys like Josh growing up and they hated Michael Jackson, not that anyone's allowed to say that now. He also talks about his plan to play guitar, which he picked it up at age 12 when his dad (!) bought him his first one, and how this is totally different from what he usually does.

And indeed, seeing him up onstage doing a lite-metal version of "Dirty Diana" with his Strat on his back soon tells us why. The theme of the production is clearly chain-link fences and half-dressed dancers. I guess this is what happens when Nicole has just one act left to pour all her bad ideas over. Josh actually takes the guitar solo, scratching it out while the dancers get even more undressed.

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