Michael Jackson night turned out one top-notch performance after another—so what to do?

With only seven contestants left on The X Factor, there wasn't much fat to trim, so America had to start going for the meat.

So who was in danger? Marcus Canty, because he almost got the boot last week? Chris Rene, because his singing voice falls short of his raps? Drew, because she sat in a chair?

"I'm nervous because, of the final seven, I think anybody could win and anybody could go home," Josh Krajcik astutely remarked while he awaited his fate.

We've got the answer right here...

Well, Josh was just fine.

But Astro, the 15-year-old hip-hop phenom with the huge talent and even huger mouth, came hurtling back to earth. The kid seemed fine with tonight's turn of events though, saying that he loved his time on The X Factor and that thing he'd miss most would be his girl—Molly, did he say?—"who lives in Cali."

Oh, young love...

Anyway, then it was left to Marcus and Drew, who was already crying and shaking when she found herself in the bottom three, to sing for their lives. How did they handle the pressure?

Drew, as usual, sounded clear as a bell as she sang a spot-on rendition of Roxette's "Listen to Your Heart." But that means she also did another slow tune that didn't require her to do anything but sing properly. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Before he put his heart into Gladys Knight and the Pips' "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)"—we're breathless just writing it—which sadly ends with a simple "goodbye," Marcus more or less said his farewell.

"I just want to thank everybody. I'm humbled, I just want to give you my heart and my soul," the 20-year-old said by way of introduction. "I just want to sing this to y'all."

Drew's biggest fan, Simon Cowell, had said beforehand, "This is a sing-off and whoever does the best at this point deserves to go through." So?

L.A. talked about how torn he was...but he didn't really seem that bummed about sending Drew home.

But then Simon did the unexpected and took "full responsibility" for picking the wrong song (a super-slow "Billie Jean") for Drew to sing and called it "his fault" that the 14-year-old was on the chopping block.

"I'm begging these two to give her another shot," a genuinely alarmed-sounding Simon said of Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.

But after both Nicole and Paula elected to keep Marcus, Simon refused to say anything at first as he held a sobbing Drew. After the goodbye montage, however, he offered this: "Do you know what? I don't think she deserved to go home. I think she's a little star, and I think that America knows that she is going to be a star. And thank you to everyone who bothered to vote, we appreciate it."

He had nothing to say to his fellow judges.

THE X FACTOR, Drew Ryniewicz, Astro

Ray Mickshaw / FOX

Whew! So that happened.

Aside from having all the power to decide who goes home from now on, the fans also get to pick one of the two songs that each finalist will sing next week (you can vote online, of course).

Lenny Kravitz and Mary J. Blige will perform on next week's elimination episode.

Do you think America—and then the judges—got it right?

GALLERY: 2012 Grammys Nominations Concert

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share