X Factor
Top 9 Perform

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Stuffing and Turkeys

Melanie appears onstage in front of projections that suggest a cathedral and sings "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly, complete with the full gospel choir and everything. Better than "Trapped in the Closet," at least. She sings it so well that L.A. can't come up with any criticism at all. Melanie actually gives an emotional display for the first time ever, excitedly talking about how happy she is to be here and thanking Simon for bringing her back. And suddenly Melanie's island accent, which we've never heard before, comes out full force as she launches into a whole emotional filibuster. Wow, the walls are totally coming down here.

Steve tries to get things moving again, only to have to stand there while all Nicole wants to do is give Melanie a hug. Paula tells Melanie to stay with the vulnerability and that she doesn't need the choir. Simon starts by defending his own choice, and tells the people voting at home not to let Melanie be one of the two people going home tomorrow. After the way Melanie reached into her own chest and flung her still-beating heart onto the stage, there doesn't seem much chance of that.

Chris Rene's turn, and the first thing we hear from him is, "I have seven months clean and sober." I'm starting to feel like we all need a Chris Rene sobriety calendar in our homes. Tim Fry is the rehab counselor whom Chris credits with saving his life. Chris's family talks about the nightmare of watching his addiction, and Chris tells about the car crash that nearly killed him. But then he took a taxi straight from the hospital to rehab. L.A. interviews that Chris is probably the most thankful person in the competition, and that certainly seems to be the case. His mom's also thankful to Tim.

So after all this talk about how his life was saved, Chris has to sing on a misty stage in front of clouds and pearly gates. I'm thankful that this is the first song all night that I haven't had to Google: The Beatles' "Let it Be." I'd be more thankful without the rap interlude and the fact that he mashes it up with "Young Homey," though. Tim and Chris's mom look quite proud in the audience.

Nicole's grateful that they have him, and Paula says, "It's so nice to hear you get back to where we fell in love with you in the first place." So never sing anything but "Young Homey"? Simon says the first song didn't work, but the second one did, and he adds that Chris's story might be inspirational to other people in the position Chris was in. It's comments like that which make me wonder how Chris would be doing in this competition if he'd never gotten on meth in the first place. L.A. gives a shout-out to the "Believe" tattoo on Chris's arm, and Steve sends us to ads while Chris gives a shout-out to the folks back home.

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