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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

X-Factor, Nov. 22 – Giving Thanks …

It was definitely a shocking bottom two last week on the X-Factor with Stacy Francis and Astro getting the least number of votes in the final 10. Neither behaved appropriately. Astro pouted and Stacy seemed to put the blame on her mentor, Nicole Scherzinger. The judges decided it would be Stacy going home, leaving me to wonder how Astro will bounce back this week?

For Thanksgiving week, the acts are giving thanks to the special people in their lives, and hopefully it will give Astro something to allow us to erase our anger. Simon promises we’ll finally see who they really are. I certainly hope so, and that that’s not who Astro really is. And Steve Jones drops a bombshell on us. Two acts will be going home this week. What do they think this is, Survivor? The act with the lowest amount of viewer votes will automatically go home, and the next two acts with the lowest amount of votes will sing for their survival, with the judges decided which of those two will leave.

Steve brings up “AstroGate,” and L.A. Reid explains that it was a very tough week for Astro, but he’s a kid with a very tough background. The way he handled it is the way he was taught to handle it. They talked this week, and he expects him to turn it around tonight. Simon Cowell is thankful for the talent he was given this season. It’s his first time in America for Thanksgiving, and he notes he hasn’t been invited to anyone’s home yet. I’m guessing Twitter is lighting up with invites tonight. Paula Abdul explains Simon always says “maybe I’ll come” after hearing the menu.

Going first tonight is Rachel Crow who is giving thanks to her mom and dad for adopting her and all the sacrifices they have made. Simon explains the song they have chosen this week is one that is more inspirational than sad, as hers is an inspirational story. Rachel was born to a crack addict and suffered abuse and trauma. Her dad explains when they first met her, she climbed up his knee, as if she was asking them to take her home. Tonight, she sings I Believe, and the girl pulls it out at the end. It’s inspirational, and I like it, but she wasn’t her best on this. But the ending notes she pulls out are great.

L.A. tells Rachel she did it again. He wanted to be critical, but she did that and shut him down. Nicole tells her she made a believer out of her, and she’s sure everyone else in America. She’s such an inspiration to so many people who may come from a similar situation as her. She’s such a bright light.

Paula says if anyone ever questions whether there are angels that exist on earth living, it is Rachel. She opened up the show in such a grand way. Her vocals were spot on, and she is magnificent. Simon reminds us it’s not a night to be sad, but to be thankful. They were hemming and hawing on whether they should drop the age down to 12 for the contestants, and she’s the reason why they were right to do it. Rachel tells all the kids out there at the end that they can, because she did.

Marcus Canty is giving thanks to his mom. They have a very tight relationship and talk on the phone two or three times a day. His sister calls him a momma’s boy. A single mom, she lived for her kids, so that they could have a better life. She walked her kids all over, as they didn’t have a car. She used to sing to them to keep the positive energy, and he knows that’s where he gets it from. She also made huge sacrifices just so he could go to private school. Marcus sings A Song for Mama, and it’s so sweet, and so great. His mom is fanning herself off stage, but his voice isn’t at its best tonight.

At the end, it’s clear why Marcus’ voice isn’t at its best. He was crying throughout. He wraps his mom in a huge giant hug at the end. And the mom in me can’t help but be overwhelmed with emotion.

Nicole tells Marcus he made all the other sons out there look bad tonight. It was so beautiful and so precious. She knows Mama Canty must be proud. Nicole thinks it was very honest, and he just sang from his heart. Paula calls all of his performances top-notch, but tonight especially. She issues a “God Bless your mom.”

Simon gets past the emotion and says that Marcus has had a yo-yo ride so far, up and down. He went from lying on the floor looking up girls’ skirts last week to the first time Simon has felt a connection between Marcus and the song. What he and his mom both want is for the competition to change his life, and he thinks he put himself back in the competition tonight. L.A. has worked with some great singers, and he thinks Marcus is as great as any of them, including the guy who wrote the song, Babyface.

Melanie Amaro is giving thanks to God for all that he has done for her. Everyone else in her life as always let her down, but He never has. She was born in Florida, then taken to the Virgin Islands to live with her grandparents. Being away from her parents made her feel like they didn’t want her, and that’s when she really had to lean on God. Her pastor thinks she’s connected with God when she sings. Simon calls the song choice an interesting idea. Melanie sings The World’s Greatest, and her confidence in what she’s singing really shows. She has also never looked lovelier.

L.A. asks what he’s supposed to say. “I’m supposed to criticize that?” He tells Melanie it was really good and she looks really great. She cannot tell everyone how great it feels to be there on the stage. She gives thanks to Simon for bringing her back. L.A. tells Melanie that the person talking tonight is a person he is glad showed up tonight. I know what he means. She hasn’t had that confidence since her first audition. She reverts back into her accent and talks about going back and forth to the Virgin Islands between her parents and grandparents. She says, “This is really me.” This is clearly her night.

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