Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co Photo: The X Factor Photos: The Top 4 Perform on December 15, 2011

Well, last night our Top 4 serenaded us, and tonight one of them is going to the Big Mug of Pepsi in the sky. Steve Jones is once again REALLY excited; he actually jumps up and down a little as he opens the show. Settle down, dude.

Our group performance tonight is of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” which allows Melanie Amaro a rare moment of seeming like a normal chick and not Whitney Mariah Dion. Meanwhile, Josh Krajcik singing this song is straight-up hilarious. Oh, it’s a mash-up with “Shout” by Tears for Fears. This is weird but not entirely unpleasant.

Next, we’re treated to a long recap of last night’s performance show. The recap reminds us what happened, in case we’ve forgotten, and lets us know that all of the mentors of proud of their contestants and all the contestants are proud of their performances and everyone wants to win and nobody wants to be eliminated.

We come back from a commercial break and all the contestants and judges are backstage, while Steve interviews them from out on the stage for whatever inexplicable reason, this show is so WEIRD, y’all. It’s just more of the same thing, everyone is awesome and hoping to perform in the finals next week.

Oh, yay, Florence + the Machine! Things are looking up. The lovely Flo performs “Spectrum” in a fancy hall of mirrors kind of setup, with a vibrant stained glass background and lots of dancers in flowing white chiffon. The sound mix is a little low but the performance is captivating — her new album is just delicious, bee tee dubz.

Next, we get to watch clips of the judges talking about each of the contestants. Wow, they’re really hard up for content tonight. We’re starting to miss the days when there were a dozen acts and they rattled off who was safe one at a time; at least something was happening.

OH HEY RESULTS TIME! Finally. Okay, here we go. The first person through to the finals is... Chris Rene! Cool. Simon Cowell looks worried. Next is... Melanie Amaro. Simon’s happy again. That concludes our recap of Simon’s facial expressions. Josh and Marcus Canty are left to sweat it out. Josh had better make the finals. Marcus’s outfit is so unfortunate that he deserves to go home just for that.

In our second “guest” performance of the night, Nicole Scherzinger is performing her new song “Pretty.” It’s actually... kind of awesome? There are lots of drummers and dramatic lighting, and she’s all in black with forty pounds of silver chains hanging off her neck. After she’s finished Steve asks the judges for comments, and Simon does his Nicole impression: “I believe in you, you believe in me, you transcend the universe, God is smiling on you, life is a waterfall, and you are the ultimate rainbow.” Hee!

Okay, we have like three minutes left, it’s time to find out the third person making it through. And it’s... [longest pause EVER, glaciers are melting, Rachel Crow is like 25 by now]... Josh! Whew. Marcus is in good spirits, promising that this isn’t the last we’ll see of him, and accepting hugs and congratulations from Steve and the judges.

So, next week, we’re down to our three finalists: Chris, Melanie, and Josh. Pretty good, all things considered. Do you know who you’ll be voting for?

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