Stacy Francis (Ray Mickshaw/Fox)

Show host Too-Tall Steve Jones wonders how Paula Abdul’s feeling tonight. Paula, who’s mentoring the groups, is down to one. And that remaining group, the fabricated-by-judges Lakoda Rayne, was the other half of last week’s Bottom 2 as determined by viewer votes.

“I’m feeling really confident with my girls,” she says. “I think Lakoda Rayne did just enough,” she adds, in a resounding vote of semi-confidence.

Too-Tall Steve begins to read the results. LeRoy is safe. Ditto – Lakoda Rayne! Results night just got interesting. Simon seems stunned.

T-T Steve wonders what Paula’s thinking.

“I told you so –and I told YOU so!” she tells fellow mentors Simon and LA Reid.

T-T wonders what Simon’s thinking.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Simon says, rolling his eyes.

Time for the X-testants to earn their keep, selling Sony cameras in a taped “visit” to a celebrity photographer. They are paid a token fee for this minutes-long ad: their own Sony cameras.

Rihanna, this week’s guest singer; surprises us with a number from what appears to be a new Cirque du Soleil production of “Grease,” being staged in Scotland, or someplace else where tartan plaid bras feel right at home.

“That was awesome!” T-T fawns. He asks her to advise the X-testants. “You have to love what you do,” she clichés. “It’s not easy. It’s hard. If you love it, it never feels like work.”

“You glorious, glorious lady!” T-T gushes, winning us over completely. When’s the last time you heard Ryan Seacrest use the word “glorious” on “American Idol”? Or Jeff Probst on “Survivor” — which just got a three-season pickup, BTW.

T-T gets down to business: Chris Rene is safe.

Ditto Melanie Amaro.

And Josh Krajcik.

And Marcus Canty.

We are now treated to a look at the downside of younger competitors. Drew, and Rachel Crow, still awaiting their fate, are crying. It makes for uncomfortable television.

Drew is safe, says T-T. Likewise Rachel.

That leaves Astro and Stacy to sing for survival.

Stacy cannot speak. Her mentor, Nicole Scherzinger, says her heart goes out to Stacy.

Astro can speak: “Yo, yo – don’t be sad. Hip hop made this far and we’re straight,” he says while his mentor, LA says he feels strongly about “this man’s future.”

Stacy sings first: “Amazing Race.” And, like the night before, she is off key – like WAY off key. But, unlike the previous night, she locates it eventually.

Astro comes out on stage. He seems genuinely annoyed to have to duke it out with the likes of Stacy.

“Yo, yo, yo. I really don’t want to perform. I feel like it’s unnecessary,” he says. He asks LA if he should sing.

“You’ve come a long way,” LA says, peeved.

“You all think I should perform?” Astro asks the studio audience. He launches into his take on, “Never Can Say Goodbye”:

“I get girls cause I’m on TV,

That’s one of the reasons I never want to leave.”


“Everybody says Paula was crazy,

But all the time I was here all I saw was a lady.”

..and so on.

T-T asks LA what he thought of the two performances.

LA thought Stacy did a “really good job” and Astro “came out and acted a little bit like a quitter.”

And though LA insists this biz is all about attitude, he “has to stick with my guy” so he votes to send Stacy home.

Nicole counters his stand with her stand, and votes to boot Astro.

Paula urges both X-testants to walk with gratitude, and votes against Stacy.

Simon is mad at Astro. “Can I ask you a question, Astro? I don’t like your attitude right now. So, do me a favor and stop folding your arms, and think about your mom watching this show. You’re showing disrespect to your mom and the audience at home.

“No, not really,” Astro interrupts. “No disrespect. If you want to put me in the Bottom 2, I don’t want to perform for people who don’t want me here,” he snaps back.

“Astro, part of doing this is being a grown up,” Simon responds.

This is the best competition results show – ever.

“Astro, if you are in the same position [next week] are you going to take the same attitude where you come out and not perform?” Simon lectures.

“I apologize but I understand. It’s cool,” Astro says. A tear rolls down his cheek.

Simon drops his outraged-father act and says he’s going to vote based on who he believes has the best chance of winning. Then he throws Stacy overboard. He does not explain why thinks Astro still has a chance of winning, after dissing viewers, who do the voting. We think Simon got it right the first time, and Astro will probably find himself in the Bottom 2 again, in no time.

Stacy, meanwhile, thanks the judges and says she takes responsibility for the previous night’s lousy performance. She gives special thanks to Simon because, she explains, “I’m 42 years old and he allowed me to sing, week after week.”


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