Recap

'The X Factor' Recap: Top 9 Contestants Perform

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Nov 22, 2011 | 8:44pm EST

the x factorS1E16: The theme this week on The X Factor was all about giving thanks in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. So each act had to decide who they wanted to dedicate their performance to as a way to show just how grateful they are to have those particular people in their life. This was nice because it gave viewers the opportunity to really connect with each contestant and see them for who they really are, which could end up being quite beneficial to them during this week’s elimination process. And since two acts will be going home this week, they could use all the extra help they can get. So who were the best performances of the night? Did Astro redeem himself after last week’s debacle? Find out below!

First up was Rachel Crow who decided to dedicate tonight’s song to her family, thanking them for adopting her and bringing so much love into her life. Her performance was exactly how we all expected it to be – fantastic. She sang the song I Believe by Yolanda Adams, which was a perfect way to demonstrate just how strong her vocals really are. But not only that, she’s really grown as a performer, who can definitely make the crowd (and television viewers) fall in love with her during every performance. L.A. loved it and Paula called her an angel on earth. So, as usual, she rocked it!

The second performer was Marcus Canty and he dedicated the night’s performance to his number one fan – his mother, who has always worked hard to make sure he got a better life than the one she had. So tonight he fittingly sang A Song For Mama by Boyz II Men, which turned out to be an extremely moving performance since she actually right there in the audience. His voice was a little pitchy at times, but it was nice to see him sing without all the backup dancers and other theatrics that usually comes with his performances. It was a really touching performance and, not surprising, all of the judges concurred.

Up next was Melanie Amaro who dedicated her performance to God for all that he’s done for her and for never letting her down. She sang R. Kelly’s The World’s Greatest and there’s only one word to describe it – beautiful. The aesthetics provided by the stage coupled with her amazing voice was enough to make even non-believers want to check out a church if it meant getting to see her perform. All of it was just stunning and there wasn’t a dry seat in the house, even from the judges’ panel (well, except for Simon of course).

Then came Chris Rene who performed tonight in honor of his rehab counselor, Tim, who helped him get clean and sober. He sang a rap rendition of Let It Be, by The Beatles and it was alright, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the performance. Maybe it’s me and I just can’t handle such a classic being turned into a rap song, but this was one of my least favorite performances of the night. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s an inspiration after everything he’s gone through, but we’re getting down to the top picks at this point and I’m just not sure how much longer he’ll be in the competition.

Lakoda Rayne came next and since they’re a group and it’s harder to choose one specific person, they each got to be thankful for someone. Two of the girls were thankful for their dads, another was thankful for her boyfriend, and the other was thankful for her grandmother. They decided to sing Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me and it was a pretty decent performance. They’re doing much better at harmonizing with each other and actually did a great job of working the crowd throughout the entire performance. Plus they seemed to actually be having a really great time up there, which is important too – definitely their best performance so far. But will the final group be able to survive another week? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Up next was Leroy Bell and he dedicated the night’s performance to his mother because she always encouraged him to follow his dream of being a singer and truly believed in him. He chose to sing In The Arms of An Angel by Sara McLachlan and he did a really great job. Recently Leroy's received a lot of negative criticism from the judges, but tonight he proved he is in it to win it. The vocals were strong, the words were powerful, and he really delivered a solid performance. And while L.A. thought it was heartfelt, but not his very best, the rest of the judges disagreed and felt that they emotionally connected with him during the song.

Astro was next and his reel went into a big explanation as to why he acted like a stuck up teenager (because he is one) on the show. So as an apology, he dedicated his performance to his fans and sang Jay-Z’s Show Me What You Got. His attitude was certainly a lot better this week and afterward he even apologized for last week’s antics and promised his fans that he’d never let them down again. That’s definitely commendable, but I’m still having a hard time fully forgiving him for his childish antics. I know he is a child and so he should be given a break, but I don’t like the kind of person he becomes when he doesn’t get his way. I’ll be curious to find out what will happen if he makes it into the bottom slot yet again this week. Will he be able to maintain his positive attitude? Because then I’ll be impressed.

Drew decided to dedicate her performance to her best friend, Shelby, since she’s always supported her and encouraged her to be herself. Her song choice was Skyscraper by Demi Lovato and as always, she really made it her own, putting a completely different spin on the song and it sounded great. Of course, L.A. seems to have a problem with each of her performances since they apparently all tend to sound the same, which is funny since I could say the same thing about Astro (when does he not rap during a song?) But Simon came to Drew’s defense and snapped at L.A. for giving her ridiculous and unhelpful criticism, which I thought was appropriate. There’s no denying her natural talent and I’m fully confident she’s going to go all the way in this competition.

Josh Krajcik was the last performer of the night and he dedicated his performance to his daughter since she's the best thing in his life and has always inspired him to keep on singing. His rendition of Rolling Stone’s Wild Horses was both powerful and moving. Not only did he rock the same, scratchy vocals that we know and love, but he also gave a beautiful performance on the piano as well. He’s the real deal and all the judges know it (even Simon had nothing but positive things to say). There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to be in this competition til the very end.

Find out which two acts will be sent home Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on Fox!

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