"The X Factor (US)" stage was infused with Michael Jackson's musical legacy on Wednesday, November 30. During the performance show, the remaining seven finalists performed music from the late singer's catalog in front of the audience, which saw the "Thriller" hitmaker's children, mother and brothers sitting in the front row.
First to take the stage was Josh Krajcik who pumped up the crowd with "Dirty Diana". Paula Abdul said he raised the bar with the "showstopping performance", but Simon Cowell thought the aspiring singer was "overproduced."
Astro chose to perform "Black or White", rapping his own rap lyrics. Nicole Scherzinger said it was not her favorite, but Simon thought otherwise. Astro's mentor, L.A. Reid, additionally praised the young hip-hop singer, "I like to think that the Jackson family is as proud as I am of you, because that was truly, truly amazing."
Drew sang a stripped-down version of "Billie Jean". Nicole and Paula criticized the staging as Drew just sat throughout the song, but the judges agreed that she showed her best vocal performance.
Rachel Crow was next, coming out with "Can You Feel It". Donning a silver-sequined outfit and MJ's signature glove, she brought an energetic vibe to the stage. Still, most of the judges felt that the 13-year-old girl did not show any connection with the song.
In contrary, Marcus Canty made a good song choice by delivering "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)". Paula said he is "the whole package" and "the entertainer of the show." Simon agreed that Marcus is a good entertainer, but thought his vocals were unimpressive.
Chris Rene inserted some original rap lyrics to the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There". Nicole said, "You sounded the best you ever sang," while Paula added, "You look the best you've ever looked," but Simon noted that his vocal "was shaky on the top."
Melanie Amaro closed the show with her performance of "Earth Song", which was deemed the best of the night. "For a second I thought that we were at a Melanie Amaro concert," L.A. gushed. Nicole, meanwhile, shouted, "If that doesn't save a small country somewhere, I don't know what will!"
Commenting of the contestants' performance, Katherine Jackson said each of them did "an excellent job." Paris said they were all "absolutely fantastic," while Prince dubbed it a "really well put-together show."
Astro performs "Black or White":
Drew performs "Billie Jean":
Marcus Canty performs "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)":
Melanie Amaro performs "Earth Song":