Stacy Francis — the 42-year-old diva who once pleaded to Simon Cowell, "I don't want to die with this music in me!" — was eliminated from "The X Factor" Thursday night (November 17). But the bigger story was 15-year-old hip-hop dynamo Astro, who found himself in the bottom two with Francis and was none too pleased with his fate.
Asked to sing for his life in front of the judges, Astro nonchalantly strolled onto the stage and announced, "I really don't wanna perform. I feel like it's unnecessary." He turned to his mentor, L.A. Reid: "But I'mma leave it up to you. You're my mentor. Do you think I should perform?"
Reid told Astro he had come a long way in the competition and that he should perform. Astro turned back and proceeded to give a halfhearted, visibly jaded performance of a song in which he talked about his experiences on the show. Francis, for her song, belted out "Amazing Grace."
When it came time for the judges to make their decision, Astro was scolded for his attitude by the panel, with Reid telling him, "You acted a little bit like a quitter, and it upset me." But Cowell was the hardest on the Brooklyn MC — whom Rihanna once compared to "a mini J. Cole" — telling him, "I don't like your attitude right now."
"Look at me, and think about your mum watching the show," Cowell said to him. "Because you are showing disrespect to your mom. You are showing disrespect to the audience at home, and I don't like people with this attitude."
Astro retorted, "No disrespect to you or this show, but I just feel like if you're going to put me in the bottom two, I don't want to perform for people who don't want me here, you know what I'm saying? That's it."
By this time, Astro was being showered with boos from the audience, and a tear that had welled up in his eye began to stream down his face. Cowell asked if he'd take the same attitude if put in the position again, and Astro apologized, telling him, "Honestly, man, it's cool."
With the audience chanting, "Stacy! Stacy!" Cowell cast his deciding vote. "I really don't want to do this," he said, voting for Astro to stay, saying he thinks he had a better chance of winning the show and ultimately sending Francis packing with a 3-1 vote in favor of her ouster. (Nicole Scherzinger, Francis' mentor, was the sole vote for her to remain.)
Francis thanked the judges for her time on the show and took responsibility for her so-so rendition of Meat Loaf's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" the night prior, which was slammed by Cowell.
"I don't believe I did great last night. I go with that, and I have to suck up my pride and take responsibility for the performance I gave," Francis said. "I just want to thank Simon Cowell for giving me a chance, because I'm 42 years old, and he allowed me to sing for the world week to week."
Earlier in the night, Paula Abdul — who had already seen two of her groups get kicked off the show — caught a break when she learned her sole remaining group in the competition, Lakoda Rayne, was voted through to next week. Upon hearing the news, Cowell looked as though William Hung just won a Grammy, while Abdul proudly crowed, "I told you so, I told you so!" During the commercial break following the announcement, Cowell tweeted, "How the hell did that happen?"
The episode also featured a performance from Rihanna, who showcased her current Billboard chart-topping single "We Found Love." While it was presented as live, the performance was taped following Wednesday's episode.
The top 10 contestants opened the show with a group rendition of Queen's "We Will Rock You," celebrating the week's rock and roll theme.
What did you think of Astro's reaction to his near-elimination? Let us know in the comments!