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'X Factor': Week 5 power rankings

Brooklyn teenager Astro is one of the finalists

Brooklyn teenager Astro is one of the finalists on "The X Factor." (Credit: FOX)

Should we blame it on the boogie?

Michael Jackson Week” – complete with Katherine Jackson, three of the Jackson brothers, and Michael's children, Prince, Paris and Blanket in the audience – was the worst “X Factor” week yet. The pressure of having all those Jacksons around, on top of singing some of the best-known songs ever, took its toll on the contestants. But, once again, the judges didn't seem to notice.

When Chris Rene sheepishly stepped to the judges after blowing one big note after another in his reggae-ish version of “I'll Be There,” he seemed stunned when neither Nicole Scherzinger nor Paula Abdul brought it up. Only Simon Cowell mentioned the struggles at the top end of his register.

And Cowell was also the only one to bring up Marcus Canty being out of breath and often off-key on his version of “P.Y.T.” Never mind that Canty was also oversinging a whole lot and seemingly ill at ease throughout the song.

They weren't alone in the struggle, though. Josh Krajcik had to battle through “Dirty Diana” (why would anyone pick that song?) and wacko staging (why would anyone sing in a cage?) before finally pulling it together at the end. Even normally sunny Rachel Crow seemed a bit flat-footed and nervous on “Can You Feel It.”

Astro shined through, as he rewrote “Black and White” into a new-millennium racial unity anthem as seen by a teenager. ("It don't matter what language you speak/It don't matter what food you eat.") He was the best of the night, but mainly by default. Melanie Amaro blew through "Earth Song" like a hurricane but didn't really seem to understand the song, while Drew succeeded by doing David Cook's interpretation of Chris Cornell's reworking of "Billie Jean." Seated. The whole time. Um, what a tribute.


THE RANKINGS

Astro, “Black or White”
Drew, “Billie Jean”
Melanie Amaro, “Earth Song”
Rachel Crow, “Can You Feel It”
Josh Krajcik, “Dirty Diana”
Marcus Canty, “P.Y.T.”
Chris Rene, “I'll Be There”

STRAIGHT OUT Chris
BOTTOM TWO Marcus and Josh
WILL BE ELIMINATED Chris and Marcus
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED Chris and Marcus
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED Astro and Drew

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