Exclusive: Chatting with 'The X Factor' Contestants

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With only nine contestants left 'The X Factor' is heating up! Two contestants will be eliminated this week, so all the performers need to take it to the next level. Astro has had time to reflect after his outburst last week, so hopefully he is leaving the drama behind him. With only 9 contestants left 'The X Factor' is heating up! Two contestants will be eliminated this week, so all the performers need to take it to the next level. Astro has had time to reflect after his outburst last week, so hopefully he is leaving the drama behind him.

Rachel Crow and Astro told us about their game plans now that the competition is getting fierce; it seems like everyone has a different strategy for how to avoid elimination. LeRoy Bell and Lakoda Rayne are focusing on showing consistent improvement each week. Josh Krajcik and Drew Ryniewicz have the perfect songs picked out to wow the judges. Melanie Amaro, Chris Rene and Marcus Canty are just staying true to themselves - hey, it has worked so far!

While Chris and Astro say there is a lot going on backstage, everyone seems to agree that the environment is supportive. Josh is rooting for everyone (and helping out the competition). Rachel is everyone's cheerleader, good performance or bad. Hopefully Josh is right: maybe one contestant's strong performance will bring out the best in all of them.

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