Wait, is everyone in the top nine dead? They appear in front of a white background over the sound of a heavenly chorus, telling us about what they’re thankful for: Chris, for “the man who helped me save my life,” Rachel for her parents adopting her, Josh for his daughter, Lakoda Rayne for whoever “shaped” them, Marcus for his mom, Melanie for God, Astro for his fans, Drew for her best friend and LeRoy for his mother. So it’s the “Thanksgiving Special,” as confirmed by the lame voice-over guy. There’s a callback to last week’s drama when Astro was in the bottom two, and a lot of promises about how emotional tonight’s show will be. With Stacy Francis gone? Fat chance.
Steve’s rocking the three-piece suit tonight as he tells us that two acts will be going home this week. I’m giving thanks for that right now. The judges are trotted out, and Steve tells us how it’s going to go down: the act who receives the fewest votes tonight will automatically go home first tomorrow, and then the remaining bottom two after that will compete to stay in it, and the judges will send home the one they like least. Steve invites us to Tweet tonight using the hashtag #ohsnap (no thanks, Steve), and then turns to L.A. to talk about last week and “Astrogate.” L.A. explains that the way Astro handled being in the bottom two last week was the way he was taught to handle it, being from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood and all, where the gang-bangers never perform when they’re in the bottom two, but he expects a turnaround this week. Steve asks Simon what he’s thankful for, and Simon says he’s thankful for the talent he’s been given. “Why am I being booed for that?” Because people think you’re talking about yourself rather than the girls? There’s some banter about Thanksgiving plans between the two British guys before Steve teases an upcoming performance from Rachel after the break. Teasing is in order, all right, but in regards to what Rachel’s wearing.
Rachel’s intro reel is about how her song is dedicated to her family. We learn that Rachel’s birth mom was an actual crackhead in an actual crack house, which means that Rachel Crow could be our first crack baby superstar. Are we still allowed to say crack baby? Rachel’s obviously beyond fine now. We also meet Rachel’s grandmother and her sister who was also adopted, and learn all about how grateful for and proud of each other they all are.
After a quick video dedication from Rachel to her parents, we cut to Rachel onstage. Simon’s got her in some Laura Ingalls Vegas Revue outfit and singing “I Believe” by Yolanda Adams. Never mind that this is the first time in my life ever heard this song, it’s completely unchallenging for her and uses about half her range. Simon has a strange way of showing his thanks. She does as well as she can with it, though.