Someone is going to get a $5 million recording contract later this month thanks to “X Factor,” but two of the acts who seemed the best bets to become that kind of star were voted off the show Thursday.
The more predictable one was Astro. This is not a show that a teenage hip-hop artist could expect to do well in, and he did well to last as long as he did. It wasn’t a big shock that he was the lowest vote-getter. But if you were betting on someone to wind up making it big out of this group of contestants, it might be him.
Or it might be Drew. The teenager found herself in a sing-off with Marcus Canty, which clearly came as a stunner to both her and mentor Simon Cowell. Simon, in fact, was so surprised that he actually humbled himself in his efforts to save her, an act most experts had previously considered to be impossible.
“The reason Drew’s in this position tonight is my fault. I take total, full responsibility,” he said. “I should have listened to what everyone else was saying.”
“I’m begging these two to give her another chance, I really am,” he then said, referring to the critical votes of Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul.
Well, let’s review for a second. Here’s what everyone else had been saying about her: Drew has a lovely voice and it would be great if she would at some point sing something that wasn’t as slow and deadening as the typical Steve Jones pause before he announces the results.
Here’s what Simon said in response: Forget those no-talent hacks next to me on the podium. I know best, she’ll keep doing what she’s doing, and if you don’t like it you can go pound sand.
As it turns out, the other three were correct in their assessment. But Simon was right about one thing .... the judges made the wrong call in sending Drew home. She was much better than Canty, both Thursday night and throughout the competition, and is far more likely to become a recording star than he is.
If you were searching for storylines, you might point out that Simon couldn’t expect the women to do him a favor tonight after he’s spent the past couple of months belittling them. All those jibes at Nicole probably aren’t going to get her to take his side in a dispute.
Two other factors were more likely explanations, however. The first is that at the end of the night there are only five singers left in the competition, and had the judges saved Drew then there of the singers would have been girls. Better to mix things up than to let one judge dominate.
But the ultimate reason is that Simon’s mea culpa was right. By ignoring what the judges had said about her over the past few weeks, Simon and Drew set themselves up for disappointment.
If we’re judging this based on vocal talent, Drew and Melanie Amaro are the clear winners. But week after week, Drew came out singing these sad, soulful, angsty and sappy ballads. Every one, taken individually, was very good. But because she did the same thing every week, it was easy for people to tire of her.
The eliminated contestants took the news very differently. Astro, who went on a rant the last time he was in the bottom two, seemed cheerful at his exit. “I wish you all the best of luck Team L.A. Reid!” he yelled, thanking his “Astronauts” and promising to be back.
Drew, meanwhile, interrupted her sobbing to blurt out “Jesus loves all of you guys. I haven’t gotten to say that, and that’s what I’m here for, and that’s what I truly was in this competition for, and now I’m saying it.”
Sadly, it came as she was saying goodbye.
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