For the first time all season, a contestant who had a chance to win was kicked off. You could argue that Drew had the talent to win the show, but once she was caught in the Simon/LA Reid crossfire, there was no way she was going to last.

But Rachel Crow was different. She won over nearly everyone with her charm. Her vocals weren’t the best of the remaining contestants, but she definitely had the personality part of the equation. And then Nicole Scherzinger happened. For about 80% of the time, Nicole is useless, annoying, and possibly the worst judge I’ve seen on a show like this. In rare cases, she does bring a little bit of show business experience to her feedback. But let’s look at the facts. Popstars was no way comparable to the X Factor. It was on a small network with very little national attention. When Nicole was in the Pussycat Dolls, it was successful for a bit, but very quickly ran its course. And as a solo artist, she’s had one cancelled album, and another that was supposed to drop this year, but has been pushed back until 2012.

At the end of last week’s elimination show, Nicole had a chance to save Rachel or Marcus Canty. Rachel out-performed Marcus by a large margin in their final song and Paula Abdul decided to keep Rachel. If Nicole also kept Rachel, she would stay and Marcus would go home. Instead, Nicole pussed out. Instead of deciding like she is paid to do, she opted for the easy way out and wanted the popular vote to decide. She chose Marcus by default. Some would say that Paula did the same thing before. However, Paula was torn because she had to choose between two of HER OWN acts. That’s defensible. What Nicole did by opting not to decide is indefensible. I really hope she doesn’t come back next year and was very happy when she was booed by the live crowd.

Fast forward until about the 2:06 mark to see Nicole act like a fool.

We’re now down to four.

Hotlist Week 6
1. Melanie Amaro
2. Josh Krajcik
3. Marcus Canty
4. Chris Rene

The Defeated
1. InTENsity
2. The Stereo Hogzz
3. Stacy Francis
4. Lakoda Rayne
5. LeRoy Bell
6. Astro
7. Drew
8. Rachel Crow

How pissed is Simon going to be tonight? And how many times will Nicole cry tonight? I hope a lot.

It’s the Pepsi Challenge week. One of the songs tonight was chosen by an audience vote. It’s also semi-finals week. Just two more weeks left. Aaron is also back with us tonight.

Marcus Canty is hitting leadoff tonight, and why not. He’s had to perform more than anyone on this show so far. He’s singing Boyz II Men’s I’ll Make Love To You. The whiny vocals are back and he tells a girl in the audience that he’s going to do her right. It was pretty eh to me. Aaron says the entire song seemed off. Nicole says he’s bringing sexy back. Paula says he’s the entertainer of the group. They both have the thirst. Simon says he did an okay job, but he didn’t like the set and thought the performance was corny. LA says he did a great job and couldn’t be more prouder.

Chris Rene is next and he’s singing Fly by Sugar Ray. The comparison to Mark McGrath is actually kind of a good one. But the song is played out and corny and it came off that way. They couldn’t vote for Young Homie? Aaron says Chris knows where and what his vocal limitations are and manages to stay within the safe zone. Nicole says he makes them feel good. Paula says he looks like 5 million bucks. Simon says the song choice was good, but the vocals weren’t. LA says he looks like a major star.

Melanie Amaro is next Mariah Carey’s Hero. Man, the Pepsi Challenge songs are so played out. She’s changing it up a bit so it sort of sounds like a new song, rather than the copy cat songs from Chris and Marcus. But it’s still kind of boring. Aaron says it was the closest he came to tears during a song since David Archueleta’s version of Imagine. LA says it was really good but he didn’t feel her passion. Nicole loved the song choice. Paula says her voice was impeccable. Simon says she made the song original.

Josh Krajcik is singing Come Together. After the first song, it’s a two horse race between Melanie and Josh. It wasn’t Josh’s best, but it was much, much better than Marcus’ or Chris’ performance. It’s also the most comfortable he’s looked in weeks. Aaron says on occasion Josh throws him off at the beginning of a song by changing it up, but it’s all part of the story he brings you on. LA says it’s the best he’s seen him in a few weeks. Paula says he attacks souls. Simon says he’s come back and he’s come back strong. Nicole says Josh has the look of steel. Hmmm

Marcus Canty is back for his second performance. He’s singing a dance mix version of George Michael’s Careless Whisper. I don’t know if this is the song I would’ve chosen for him. He was way too laid back. Aaron says he loves this song when it normally is sung for the hooks, but Marcus’s version got rid of all of them. Nicole says he’s already a champion and a winner. Paula says it worked. Simon says it was horrific. LA says he looks like a champion and seemed flabbergasted by Simon’s comment.

Would I buy an album of Marcus Canty vocals? With the right vocals, it’s possible. But they’re going to have to do some major work on his voice.

Chris Rene did it again. He flipped Alicia Keys’ No One and made it a new song again. He started off on the piano and worked his way to the stage and made a song about a relationship turn into something fairly inspirational. The Teflon Don might just very well win this thing. Aaron says he was entirely entranced when he was at the piano and just singing, but when he hip hopped it up into his comfort zone he lost him. Nicole says it’s his spirit. Paula says he should be in the finals. Simon says he delivered big time. LA says he has lovability and that’s what stardom is about.

Would I buy an album of Chris Rene songs? If he continues to make original songs like Young Homie, I could definitely see myself buying his album.

Melanie Amaro is singing Feeling Good. This one is a bit of a wild card. It’s not going to be recognizable with most of the audience, but it definitely shows her vocal strengths. She’s basically sung everyone under the table with this performance. If America decides to vote off Melanie, they are idiots. All idiots. Aaron says win or lose she has at least $5 million coming her way after the competition. LA says she’s the greatest female to ever grace the X Factor stage. Nicole says it was her freedom anthem. Paula says she loved it. Simon says this performance is why he brought the show to America.

Would I buy an album of Melanie Amaro songs? I’m pretty sure I would as long as they didn’t make her boring like both of Jennifer Hudson’s albums made her.

Josh Krajcik closes with Hallelujah and as expected, he hits a home run with it. I’m starting to wonder if this song loses it’s power by being performed on these shows all the time now. Aaron says just listen this song (below). Dayum! LA says it lacked excitement. Paula says he’s the front runner. Simon says he sang a great song with great emotion. Nicole says that Josh is the simple truth and his performance was breath taking.

Would I buy an album of Josh Krajcik songs? I’m not sure if I would because his type of music isn’t entirely in my lane, but I’d buy singles here and there for sure.

Top 2
GG: Melanie Amaro and Josh Kracjik
Aaron: Melanie Amaro and Josh Kracjik

Bottom 2
GG: Marcus Canty and Chris Rene
Aaron: Marcus Canty and Chris Rene

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Mr. Marcus is going home tomorrow. Mr. Anti-charimsa out!

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