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‘X Factor’ Top 10 Results: This Season’s First Shocker

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

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LeRoy Bell finds out he is safe

On Thursday night's results show, "The X Factor" experienced its first real shocker of the season, when the two contestants that many pundits (including myself) assumed would be most at risk were actually the first two contestants sent to safety by host Steve Jones--before the first commercial break had even aired. LeRoy Bell, who sang this week in the kiss-of-death first spot and had been widely panned by the judges (L.A. Reid called him "B-O-R-I-N-G"), surprisingly sailed through, along with Paula Abdul's one remaining hope, country group Lakoda Rayne, who'd almost gone home last week after being in the bottom two.

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Simon's reaction

"How the hell did that happen?" Simon Cowell immediately tweeted to his 300,000 new followers, in only his eighth tweet since joining Twitter the day before. And I hope someone took a screengrab of the priceless look on Simon's face when this news was announced, so it can be his new Twitter AVI.

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The bottom two

Instead, in the bottom were two of the show's biggest stars and until now presumed frontrunners, Stacy Francis and Astro...with Stacy ultimately going home.

Stacy started off the season as the show's far-and-away frontrunner. Between her prominent placement in Fox's first big pre-season preview, her single-mom sob story, and her disproportionate amount of screentime, it almost seemed like her journey to "The X Factor" finale stage was pre-ordained. But then...the backlash set in.

While many "X Factor" fans cried foul when this supposed struggling single mother was outed for her "secret" professional past as a working singer and actress (which wasn't so secret at all, since all of her credits could be easily discovered via a cursory YouTube, Wikipedia, or IMDB query), and Perez Hilton seemed to be on a personal mission to destroy her, I actually don't think that "scandal" was Stacy's undoing. After all, she easily made it through during those turbulent weeks--without ever landing in the bottom two, even when she sang in the kiss-of-death spot. If anything, I think that whole "scandal" helped her, as it spurred fans to rally around her when she was basically being cyber-bullied.

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Stacy Francis goes home

No, it was just a bad performance that was Stacy's downfall this week, plain and simple. While Stacy admitted she was "heartbroken" to be going home in 10th place, and she unsurprisingly couldn't hide her tears, she did maturely state, "I don't believe that I did great last night. I have to suck up my pride and take responsibility for the performance I gave....I just want to thank Simon Cowell for giving me a chance."

Astro's placement in the bottom two was much more of a surprise. L.A. Reid had bragged that the kid was "the most popular contestant on the show," and until this week that didn't seem like such a far-fetched claim. But perhaps viewers were turned off by the fact that on a night that was supposed to be rock-themed, Astro didn't even try to embrace the genre. He could have pulled a Run-DMC and done a rap version of a rock song, and it would have surely been awesome, but instead Astro just covered Diddy's "I'll Be Missing You" and tried to pass it off as the Police. And that was a major turn-off.

But the bigger turn-off this week was Astro's appallingly bratty attitude on Thursday's results show. When it came time for him and Stacy to sing their swan songs in an attempt to be saved, Astro had the gall to claim that he didn't think it was even necessary for him to perform in order for the judges to make up their minds about him. ("If you're gonna put me in the bottom two, I don't want to perform for people who don't want me here," Astro barked, prompting a deafening--and deserved--chorus of studio-audience boos.) Once Astro was finally arm-twisted by his mentor L.A. into doing "Never Can Say Goodbye," he came across as way too above it all to even care, giving a phoned-in performance, and a fed-up L.A. angrily called him a "quitter." Simon even told Astro, "I don't like your attitude right now. Stop folding your arms, look at me, and think about your mom watching this show, because you are showing disrespect to your mom and the people in the audience at home."

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Astro gets a scolding

For a moment, it seemed like Simon, who had the deciding vote, would send Astro home, just to teach the snotty kid a much-needed lesson in humility and sportsmanship. (The studio audience was actually cheering for Stacy to stay at this point.) But then a single tear streamed down Astro's cheek, and Simon gave him a last-minute reprieve. ("I very nearly changed my mind," Simon later tweeted.)

Astro was very lucky to get that second chance, but I am not so sure America will be as forgiving next week. I know he's only 14, and lots of boys have bad attitudes at that age, but the Astronomical Kid made an astronomical mistake Thursday night, and it just may have cost him an astronomical $5 million.

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