The X Factor: The final three ... (spoiler alert)
Finally! An X Factor results show that didn't leave me having to pick my jaw up off the floor.
There was no weeping, no collapsing on the stage, no angry judges. The contestant who got the lowest votes was quite cheerful about the whole thing.
Mind you, I will confess to being on edge right up until host Steve Jones coughed up the name of the last finalist and, then, extremely relieved when I heard it was Josh Krajcik.
Marcus Canty's fourth trip the bottom was his last, finally.
Though Marcus and Josh were the last two left standing after Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro were sent to the finals, Steve was careful to say they weren't necessarily the bottom two.
So it's my guess that Josh and Melanie got the most votes and that one of them will win the $5 million recording contract next week.
I am thrilled that Josh got through and I hope he blows the roof off the place next week.
As for Marcus, he should have been gone last week. Only Nicole Scherzinger's idiocy kept Rachel Crow from reaping the benefits of her blistering "save me" performance. But I guess that's water under the bridge now.
The smile never left Marcus's face after he got the bad news. Steve's best efforts to get him to express disappointment at coming so close to the finale and falling short came to nought.
"Trust me, this is not the last time you will see Marcus Canty," said the 20-year-old R&B singer.
"God blessed me so much being here in this competition. I gave it my all and, really, at the end of the day that's all you can do." He thanked his supporters and told his family to "stop crying, it’s alright, relax."
L.A. said he knew Marcus would "continue to do great. You have my support."
It's my guess Marcus's mama will extend her "two years to make it in music or get a job" deadline, which was up about the time Marcus first auditioned.
A few other thoughts.
1. I found it interesting, in a segment where the judges commented on the four semifinalists, that Paula said that Melanie has "a beautiful technical voice": interesting because Paula seems to value vocals with heart over technically flawless ones. When asked for her impressions of Wednesday's show, Paula cited Josh and Chris as the performers she was most impressed with. "Heart wins out 100 per cent of the time," she said. Belatedly, after Steve had moved on to Nicole for comments, Paula mentioned "Melanie's note" in "I'm Feeling Good" as another highlight.
2. I get the feeling that wrangling those judges is like herding cats. In a throw to backstage, where the semifinalists were waiting with their mentors, Steve had to try four times to get L.A. Reid to respond to the comment, "You must be a little bit smug because you're the only judge who’s guaranteed to be in the final." L.A. had two contestants left, Simon Cowell and Nicole only one. Paula, who had none, kept wandering in front of the camera, kissing L.A. and Marcus and Chris as Steve tried in vain to get L.A.'s attention. "Paula, get out of my shot. Goodness," Steve said.
3. Steve seemed sincere when he told Marcus, "You're a wonderful guy, you really are, and I'm sorry you're leaving." It's those human touches of his that keep me liking him more often than not. On the other hand, he seemed way too excited about the prospect of Nicole performing "on this very stage." Um, yay?
4. Simon had the best line of the night and possibly the competition. Steve jokingly asked him to critique Nicole after she sang (screeched?) her song "Pretty." Simon said that since he was sitting in Nicole's seat he'd try to critique like her: "I believe in you. You believe in me. You transcend the universe. God is smiling on you. You are a waterfall and you are the ultimate rainbow," he said (I may have missed a couple of words, but that's the gist of it). Simon nailed her vapidness perfectly. My question is, is Nicole contracted to the show for more than a year? Can they get rid of her next season?
5. What happened to Melanie's Caribbean accent? I was pretty sure I didn't hear it Wednesday night and more sure on Thursday. I thought it was a huge relief for Melanie to talk like her real self, so what happened? Why drop it now?
That's it until next week, finals week. Josh, Melanie and Chris perform Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CTV, then there's a two-hour finale Thursday, same time, same channel.
And I seriously would love to hear some of your thoughts. I know X Factor is pulling more than a million viewers in Canada every week, so some of you must be watching. You can comment here, on Twitter @realityeo or on my Facebook page.