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

X-Factor, Dec. 7 – “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Simon thought it was good, but he’s not jumping out of his chair. He’s heard that kind of version of that song from so many others on these types of shows. He would have liked to have heard a twist on it. He thought Marcus was far more comfortable on the first song, but he’s likable, and that’s important. He found it a bit boring. L.A. recalls that Muhammed Ali got knocked down twice, only to come back like a champion. He’s been at the bottom twice and has come back like a champion. He’s proud of him, and now he needs to not let Simon get in his head.

Rachel admits to being freaked out at the last minute change. She’s freaked out to only have twenty-four hours. This is a song she loves, and planned on singing, but hadn’t yet. No matter what happens, she’ll do the best she cans. Simon knows she’s tough and responds well to this type of thing, but Nicole is worried for her. She sings Music and Me, even though it’s past Michael Jackson week. She never has the best vocal, but something about this girl … you just can’t help but falling in love with her. And this was the perfect song for her.

L.A. loves that Rachel picked that song for herself. Her vision for herself is very inspiring. He hears rumors that Hollywood is circling the wagons around her. She is the star they always thought she was. Nicole points out the obvious, that she’s an old soul in a 13-year-old. She doesn’t know how she does it, but she did a beautiful job. Rachel says all she wants to do is inspire the kids. The kids? She inspires the adults just as much!

Paula admits Rachel is a great role model. She’s every girl’s best friend, and every parent’s daydream. She is a natural and amazing. She tells Simon he is lucky to have him. Simon warns her to keep away from Rachel. He likes the fact he chose the song this week, and finds it important someone her age is doing that. He agrees she’s an old soul. Sometimes it can be quite annoying … he never gets to finish, as Nicole gets upset with him for crediting Paula with the old soul line. We’ll never know what can be annoying, and with Simon, it’s bound to be a long list.

Josh is up and is feeling the pressure with the twenty-four hour notice. Nicole tells him to make every word count. He picked the song himself, and finds it emotional, relatable, and soulful. He doesn’t want to go back to his old life and knows he needs to nail it. Going out in fifth place is not an option for him. He sings Something In the Way She Moves, and it’s a marvelous song for him to take and apply his gravelly soul to. He shouts out the gravel, but can be just as tender with it.

L.A. thinks Josh should be thanking God he had a second song tonight. That’s the Josh he loves, when he sings that way, although it was every-so-slightly karaoke. Paula obviously disagrees with that, telling Josh adjectives don’t describe his brilliance anymore. He is so special, and they are so grateful to have found him.

Simon found this to be a massive improvement compared to the first song. He thinks Josh looked actually insane halfway through. Nicole tells him that’s called getting lost in the moment of the music. Simon just wants her to get lost. Simon advises Josh, if he makes it through, to not allow any more of that crazy choreography around him. He needs to do what he does best as a singer/songwriter. Adele doesn’t need any props, and neither does he. Nicole agrees that he’s like the male Adele. That is a little something she likes to call Krajcik Magic. She begs America to not let the real artist go home.

Last up tonight is Chris, with a song he chose and wrote. He and Marcus sat at a table this week and took a call from Stevie Wonder, who Chris calls his musical hero. It brings me to tears when Stevie tells him that he listened to his original song Young Homie, and he’s inspiring to him. It makes Chris want to get onstage and do the best he’s ever done, as it’s a song no one has ever heard. He needs to blow people away for $5 million. He sits in a chair and plays the guitar and sings. Every week, it seems we’ve been peeling away more to get to who he really is. He covered it up with the drugs, then the rap persona and hat, etc. This is naked, and who Chris is, an amazing guy singing “Where do we go from here?”

Nicole tells Chris in relation to his song lyric, the sky is the limit for him. It was amazing, and he wants him to take the moment in right now. Paula notes the universe works in mysterious ways, and had that glitch yesterday not happened, he wouldn’t be singing this song. [On a personal note, Amen, Paula.] He needs to trust the universe. It was what they were waiting for, as this allowed his originality.

Simon says he and Chris have gotten to know each other, and at this stage of the show, with $5 million at stake, and one step away from the semi-final, he decides to sing his own song. It’s either stupidity or a stroke of genius. He has to be honest, as he likes him and promised to never lie to him. That was “a stroke of genius.” Paula kisses Simon after that one. L.A. is so proud of Chris. The night they met him he did an original song, and has gone through the entire journey only to come back there, to music that he sang from his heart. Chris is finding it hard to hold in the tears it seems.

You know, whether he makes it through this week or not, this is what life is all about. And that’s kind of what his song was saying. He’s really not there for $5 dollars. He’s there to change his life. If you look around the five semi-semi-finalists, it interesting that that’s what every one of them is doing. Josh is looking for a life away from burritos, wanting to prove he’s more than that. Marcus was at the end of his two-year sabbatical to prove himself. Melanie is trying to be something more than the new girl with the accent, and we all know Rachel is looking for more than a bathroom.

No matter who leaves this week, it will be absolutely devastating. To everyone. Each one of the judges has a personal investment in all these finalists. These are people everyone believed in from the beginning, and each of them was brilliant in their own way tonight, and answered the twenty-four hour challenge. There isn’t one performance where I’d say “ehh.” Hopefully, whoever leaves will realize that what they are looking for is out there for them, beyond this competition, and they’ll be able to answer Chris’ lyrics, “Where do we go from here?”

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