Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: Marcus Canty on The X Factor Week 8, on November 10, 2011

Last night on The X Factor USA, the Top 11 performed what were supposedly “songs from iconic movies” but were actually “songs that maybe were in a movie at some point.” Then we voted, and now somebody’s going home, because that’s how this whole circus works, y’all.

After a hot mess group performance (go back to lipsynching!) and a long recap of last night’s festivities, it’s time for our first musical guest of the evening. It’s Willow Smith, singing a song about fire, with lots and lots of fire on the screens behind her. Clever! She’s a fireball, the song says. That may be true, but singing-wise she’s just kind of lukewarm. She gets standing ovations from all of the judges, though. Because she’s Will and Jada’s daughter, probably, and who doesn’t like them?

After the break, we get Jessie J performing “Domino” in a blue pageboy wig and a confusing outfit that features a lot of flesh-toned fabric that makes her look almost naked. The song is awesome, though! The overall effect is British Katy Perry with better vocals, and there’s confetti at the end.

So, who’s safe? Here we go. Stacy Francis. Really? She wasn’t too hot last night. Astro. Melanie Amaro. Marcus Canty. Leroy Bell, Rachel Crow. Josh Krajcik. Drew. Annnnnnd... Chris Rene. Which means that The Stereo Hogzz and Lakoda Rayne are in trouble, because nobody cares about Groups. Early prediction? The Hogzz are toast. Or, we guess, bacon.

Time for the Groups to fight for survival! And yet nobody sings “Eye of the Tiger.” Bummer. Anyway, Lakoda Rayne is up first, performing a countrified version of Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown’s “No Air.” It’s okay, but it feels a little desperate. Which, well, it probably is. The Stereo Hogzz, meanwhile, sing Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone.” We missed most of their performance because of the awesome sparkly stuff happening on the screens behind them. The Factor has the fanciest stage and lighting set-up ever, y’all. From what we could tell, the Hogzz were fine, but it wasn’t really their best performance. Honestly, it won’t be a big loss no matter which group goes home.

Both groups are called to stand centerstage, and it’s weird because the Hogzz are all in black and white, and Lakoda Rayne are all in black and shades of gray and silver, so it’s a big monochromatic crowd of sadness surrounding Steve Jones. And speaking of Steve, wow, how can someone so handsome and with such a nice accent be such a charisma vacuum. Anyone?

Time for the judges to vote! L.A. Reid votes out the Hogzz. Nicole Scherzinger is about “female empowerment” and is therefore also voting to send home the Hogzz. Paula Abdul’s in a panic and refuses to vote. Steve gets all boss man about it and keeps insisting that she vote. It’s awkward and she cries and eventually votes to send Lakoda Rayne home. Simon Cowell says he likes both groups, but he votes to send the Hogzz home as well, and so they’re out.

What do you think? Did the judges make the right decision? Are you pleased with the Top 10?

 

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