STAGE TUBE: Recap of Michael Jackson Week on THE X FACTOR
On last night's THE X FACTOR, the remaining contestants paid tribute to the late artist, Michael Jackson. In addition to the X FACTOR tribute, IMMORTAL, the soundtrack to Michael Jackson's The IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil, was released on November 21st, making it a special week for the Jackson family.
To help celebrate all that the King of Pop's brothers, Marlon, Tito, and Jackie Jackson, took to THE X FACTOR stage to show their love. "It's a special night," said Marlon. "We want to thank THE X FACTOR. We really appreciate it." And, the Jackson family matriarch, Katherine Jackson and Michael's children, Prince, Paris, and Blanket, took seats in the audience to enjoy the night as well.
Josh Krajcik kicked off the night by getting down and dirty with one of M.J.'s naughtiest songs ever, "Dirty Diana." It was a rocked-out, gritty performance, and Josh even whipped out his big guitar! L.A. Reid said this was the first time he's seen him step out of his comfort zone. "It was a show-stopping performance," said Paula. "As a spectacle, taking everything account, it was great. However, you were over-produced. You got lost in all the choreography. This is not you onstage. This is what Nicole wants to be," said Simon, calling it his "weakest performance so far." Nicole said, "Simon, unlike how you like to mentor some of your contestants, we actually like to take risks on this show." Take that, Simon.
Astro performed "Black or White" with his own original rap about racism that seemed way beyond his mere 15 years of age. Also, dare we say? It seemed like Astro had more fun tonight than ever. Good stuff. "That was bad as in B, double A, D - bad," said Nicole, who also added it's not her favorite performance, but loved his lyrics. She dittoed us in saying she thought he had more fun onstage than ever. Holla! Paula said, "I think you can win this competition." Simon beamed, "I'm so happy the public kept you in. You deserve to be here." And, his own mentor L.A. said, "I'm proud. I'd like to think that the Jackson family is as proud as I am."
Host Steve Jones took a pause to chat with the Jacksons. When asked how they're enjoying the show so far, Katherine said, "I'm very happy. I don't miss an episode of this show and I'm so happy to be here because I get to see it in person." Paris replied, "Yes, I love the show very much."
Drew, seated in a chair, took "Billie Jean" down to its bare bones in a very intimate, stripped down rendition with no bells and whistles. "I'm in a really naughty, naughty mood, but I have to tell you that you took 'Billie Jean' and you made it your own. And it pains me to say this, but I liked it," said L.A. Reid. Nicole said, "I like YOU," but thought Simon played it too safe with having her sit in the chair. "I wanted you to get up from the dang chair!" she screamed. Paula thought it was her "best vocal performance, without question." However, Paula thought Simon didn't take advantage of the Michael Jackson week, wants Drew to have more fun, and suggests she sings an up-tempo song. Simon replied. "Let me remind you because of too much dancing is why your acts are out of the competition right now... And, Nicole, you're talking absolute nonsense what you said!" Simon vs. Nicole: The battle brews on!
Rachel Crow kicked off her performance of "Can You Feel It" by saying, "Michael, we love you. Can you feel it?" Well, we felt it! And we really felt that sparkly single glove! Thanks, style architect June Ambrose. Finally a glove! L.A "didn't believe that you were really having a great time. It didn't translate." Wow. Boos ensued. Nicole agreed with L.A., saying she didn't feel the connection. More big boos. Paula didn't think the song was a good choice for her. Triple ouch for Rachel. Simon dismissed the criticism by saying, "Well, it's obviously anti-Simon night tonight, Rachel, so I wouldn't take any notice."
Marcus Canty got his groove back after being in the bottom last week with an electric rendition of one of Michael's most danceable songs, "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)." Not only did he dance, but he did a back-flip as well! And, hello? Welcome to the gun show! Marcus revealed some major arm candy in his MJ-inspired black and white vest. "You're the whole package," said Nicole. "What a beautiful homage to the late great Michael Jackson," said Paula. Simon agreed with Paula, but said, "The vocals weren't very good" and that his back-flip was the best part!
Chris Rene revealed that his grandfather was the songwriter who wrote "Rockin' Robin," which became a hit for the Jackson 5 and that his grandpa started the first black R&B record label in the West Coast. How baaad is that? Here's what the judges thought: "I felt your spirit tonight and it was so beautiful," said Nicole. "You manifest with abundance in the heart department," said Paula. Simon didn't dig it: "The vocal was a little bit shaky at the top... I think you're gonna need a lot of support from your hometown." L.A. thought it was a great job.
Melanie Amaro closed the show with one of his biggest hits, "Earth Song," after explaining why her Virgin Islands accent was kept hidden until last week. She explained that as a kid, she was teased for her heavy accent, so she hid it. But now that it's out, she said, "I feel like a burden was lifted." (See last week's In Case You Were Wondering for more on that.) That aside, she delivered a powerful performance that had L.A. calling it "maybe the best of the night." Nicole echoed that and added, "It was one of the best performances I've seen on this entire show." Paula called her flawless! Simon closed with, "I could not be more proud."
To which, Steve Jones replied, "That was epic." The Jackson family appeared to agree with him."I think he would've been very proud," said Katherine at the close of the show.