Teen rapper Astro addressed his blow-up last week and promised to not let his fans down again during Tuesday’s (November 22) performance episode of “The X Factor,” which found the competition’s top nine contestants dedicating their performances to special people in their lives.
Astro, the 15-year-old Brooklyn rapper who had a near meltdown and almost refused to perform after landing in the bottom two on last week’s results episode, explained in a pre-packaged introduction he “didn’t know how to control my emotions” last week and he “could have handled it better.” He then went on to address the situation further in an original song he performed set to Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got,” in which he rapped, “Got my head in the right place and I’m back to win.”
Before the judges weighed in on his song, he explained to his fans, “To Team Astro and all the Astronauts across the world, but mostly hip-hop, I’ll never let you down again.”
Simon Cowell, who harshly criticized Astro for his attitude last week, took to the young MC’s apology. “The music business needs unpredictability,” Cowell said, explaining he admired Astro for speaking his mind. His mentor L.A. Reid went with the cooler-heads approach as well. “As long as you keep a good head on your shoulders and always do your very best, you’ll be fine,” he told him.
Here’s how the rest of the evening’s performances shook out.
Rachel Crow opened the show and dedicated Yolanda Adams’ “I Believe” to her adoptive parents. The performance sparkled, and never one to exaggerate, Abdul said Crow was proof angels exist on earth. Melanie Amaro enjoyed her biggest moment yet on the show, and following her performance of R. Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest” she excitedly celebrated onstage, shouting out her upbringing in the Virgin Islands. Cowell said she is needed in the competition, and Nicole Scherzinger stopped the show to give her a hug, nearly giving ultra time-conscious host Steve Jones a heart attack. And L.A. Reid showed another lapse in his musical knowledge when he criticized Drew for not singing “age appropriate” material, after the 15-year-old sang 19-year-old Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” That put Cowell on the offensive, and he spat back at his rival, “I’m sick to death of your pointless, stupid criticism,” going on to call it “unfounded,” “inaccurate” and “complete and utter rubbish.” In this case, we sort of have to agree with Cowell.
Marcus Canty dedicated Boyz II Men’s “A Song for Mama” to his own mama, who was sitting at the foot of the stage, and earned unanimous praise from the judges. “I’ve worked with some great singers, you are as great as any great singer I’ve ever worked with,” Reid told him, while Cowell said Canty put himself back in the competition with the performance. Chris Rene, meanwhile, sang a mix of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” and his own “Young Homie,” which he sang in the early audition rounds. “You reminded everyone why we liked you,” Cowell said, echoing the sentiments of all the judges.
The Over 30s
Josh Krajcik closed the show singing the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” alone at his piano, surrounded by a series of spotlights that made him look like a prisoner in some sort of light jail. Abdul called the burrito maker “larger than life” and Cowell said he was “outstanding,” while Scherzinger told him, “Beyond this competition, I strongly believe your music can change the world.” LeRoy Bell took on Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” the soundtrack to way too many of those wrenching animal cruelty awareness ads, and dedicated the song to his late mother. The judges thought it was his best performance, save for Reid, who called it “heartfelt for sure, but not your very best.”
Lakoda Rayne, the sole remaining group in the competition, chose to sing Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” — an odd choice for a dedication, though they were celebrated by the judges. But Cowell seemed to already be acknowledging their fate when he said, “I genuinely wish two people weren’t going home tomorrow.”
Yes, two acts are slated to get the ax during Wednesday’s results episode — so much for the warmth of the season! — which is also set to feature performances by Kelly Clarkson and Bruno Mars.
What did you think of Tuesday’s “X Factor”? Did you believe Astro’s explanation for his behavior? Let us know in the comments!