Wednesday’s (October 10) episode of “The X Factor” is a bit of a hodge-podge, as your local cable listings probably correctly note that it’s half-Boot Camp and half-Judges’ Homes.
I believe this means we’re going to spend an hour cutting the field to 24 and then we’re gonna hang out with L.A. Reid and Justin Bieber.
Click through and let’s get this live-blog started!
8:03 p.m. Nick Jonas, Marc Anthony, Will.i.Am and… JUSTIN BIEBER are our guest mentors. I feel sorry for the other three mentors, whose names were announced like, “Horse meat… horse meat… horse meat… FILET MIGNON.”
8:04 p.m. Why were we just in a shower with one of the male contestants? Or was that supposed to be creepy-as-heck? Because it certainly was.
8:05 p.m. “This is the hard one,” Simon says, setting up a cut-down from 60 to 24. Dinah Jane Hansen doesn’t want to let her family down. Jeffrey Gutt needs this. Freddie Combs wants to win it. Ally Brooke says she wants so badly to get to the Judges’ Homes. She says this in a way that suggests she’s gonna go full-on Sean Young if she doesn’t get invited. Cece Frey says she’s not going home. Paige Thomas is doing this for her child. James Tanner thinks it would suck to go home. David Correy’s sure it’s not time for him to go home yet. Tate Stevens wants to continue to live this life, rather than pouring concrete. Jennel Garcia did her best and she has to see where this takes her.
8:08 p.m. Decisions have been made. But first, products must be sold…
8:12 p.m. Our four categories are Teens, Young Adults, Over-25s and Groups.
8:13 p.m. We’re starting with the Young Adults. The first person through is… CECE FREY. “I’ve waited my whole life for this,” the leopard-printed one says. The next person through is The Wildly Overrated WILLIE JONES. Next is…JENNEL GARCIA. Duh. Awww. Jillian is so happy for her. Also going through is NICK YOUNGERMAN. Next through? PAIGE THOMAS. Our final place goes to JILLIAN JENSEN. Thank heavens. She and Jennel are very sweetly happy for each other. Farewell to folks like Lyric Da Queen and Sophie Tweed-Simmons and Ally Brooke, whose mistake was wearing hipster glasses.
8:16 p.m. On to the Over-25s. JASON BROCK, DARYL BLACK, DAVID CORREY, TARA SIMON, TATE STEVENS and… VINO ALAN are advancing. Freddie Combs and Jeffrey Gutt are done. “It’s their loss. I could have won the show,” says Gutt, who is incorrect.
8:19 p.m. The Groups are next. Oh, who cares? Advancing are SISTER 3, DOPE CRISIS, EMBLEM3 and… Nobody. That’s… Intriguing.
8:20 p.m. The Teens are last. This was easily the most competitive group, in my opinion. I can’t believe they’re really cutting down to six in this groups, but that’s what Simon tells us. They are… BEATRICE MILLER, JAMES TANNER, CARLY ROSE SONENCLARE, DIAMOND WHITE, REED DEMING and ARIN RAY. Wow. Lots of good talent got left out. Demi Lovato is in tears. “I remember being one of those girls,” she says. Of course, we assume they’re gonna cobble together some groups.
8:23 p.m. But the judges have a plan! They’ve called a group of variably familiar contestants back to the stage. They’ve created three new groups, it looks like? Yeah, that worked well last year.
8:30 p.m. OK. Now we’ve gotta assign groups to mentors. “The Producers” are deciding. L.A. Reid is already prepared to check out if he has either the Groups or the Over 25s. Demi wants the 17-to-25s. Britney wants to work with the Teens. The producers have decided to give Britney… The Teens! “That is amazing!” Britney gushes. Ha. The producers give Simon… The Groups. “I’ll make the most of them,” Simon says. Demi’s been given the Young Adults. How nice that the two new judges got exactly the categories they wanted. L.A. Reid grimaces and hangs up the phone when he’s told he got the Over-25s. “Everything else I would have been happy with,” L.A. Reid whines.
8:32 p.m. The contestants are all on a yacht heading to Houses. Does that mean every judge got a place in Miami for this Nobody’s going to Santa Barbara or London?
8:33 p.m. The Groups arrive at Simon’s palatial abode. He steps out on the patio and… everybody is excited. And who can blame them? Simon made the Teletubbies! Oh, and One Direction. For now reason in particular, Simon brings out Marc Anthony as his partner-in-mentoring. Simon guy from Dope Crisis has been a fan since “I Need To Know.” Wow. a fan since the guy’s first hit single? CRAZY!
8:35 p.m. Oh. Only the Groups were in Miami. The Young adults are in Los Angeles. “I didn’t think that this was possible,” says Jillian. Jennel is really nervous. Cece expects that Demi is going to be their judge, but Willie thinks it’s LA Reid’s place. Nope. It’s Demi. They’re happy. “I am so thrilled,” Jillian. “She’s just someone who’s easy to relate to,” Jennel says. Demi promises to devote everything to them and introduces her friend… Nick Jonas. “I almost passed out when Nick Jonas walked in the room,” Paige says. “I really want to hug all of you,” Demi says.
8:37 p.m. Meanwhile, the Teens are heading to Malibu. They’re so cute and little and friendly! Britney’s got a very nice residence. It’s nice enough that even Arin Ray would want it. James Tanner wants either L.A. or Britney Spears. Out comes Britney. They kids are pleased. “She’s a legend,” gushes Carly. Reed can’t be one of the two to go home. I hope he’s able to look to his left and to his right and guarantee that there’s ZERO chance both he and James Tanner are surviving. Will.i.Am comes out and they all cheer like he’s their favorite politically motivated hologram.
8:39 p.m. The Geriatrics arrive at L.A. Reed’s pad. Fittingly, he has a really good view of LA. Out comes L.A. Reid. Has he stopped pouting? Nope. “I can’t really say that there’s anybody who stands out in the category,” L.A. Reid tells us, before admitting to the Geriatrics that he was disappointed to get stuck with them. And who better to teach old folks than Justin Bieber. This is hilarious. Jason Brock is very, very pleased. Nobody else cares all that much about Bieber or Scooter Braun. “You’re never too old or too young,” Bieber tells them, before projectile vomiting on all of them.
8:46 p.m. We’re starting with Demi and the Young Adults. Nick Youngerman wants to be the one who goes through. “Each one of them is a roadblock,” says Cece of her competition.
8:47 p.m. Demi and Nick Jonas sit down with Jennel. Demi warns Jennel that when she gets nervous, she flips her hair. Well, OK. She’s nervous and she’s tackling “I Kissed a Girl.” She tears into it, just one room away from her rivals, who have no choice but to listen in. I don’t think it’s a terrific song choice for Jennel’s voice and this version comes across as slightly pitchy karaoke. Jennel stands and waits for comments, but Demi just smiles at her. After Jennel leaves, Demi speculates that her advice dimmed her light. Uh-oh.
8:50 p.m. Willie Jones time. Demi and Nick have no advice for Willie Jones, who’s repeating “Nobody Knows,” which he bungled in Boot Camp. He wants redemption. I just don’t think Willie is very good, but at least he isn’t blowing the lyrics here. “I feel like I put everything out there,” Willie says. “He’s a star. There is no doubt,” Nick says. I disagree. Nick also says that Willie needs to define his place between R&B and Country. I disagree with that, too.
8:57 p.m. I don’t care about Nick Youngerman’s dream. He’s kinda obnoxious.
8:58 p.m. Demi and Nick sit down on the patio with Jillian. Demi tells Jillian to be away of her faces or her performance or something when she sings. Jillian is grateful for their coaching. She’s doing “Gravity” and this is the first time we’ve seen Jillian perform when she wasn’t crying mid-song. She still makes “I’m crying mid-song” faces even when she isn’t in tears. Yeah. She definitely could stand to work on her singing-face. But there’s a ton of emotion in her voice and this is, to me, easily the best of the three performances and song choices we’ve gotten from this group so far. “Maybe it’s out of line, but she’s kinda sexy,” Nick observes. Demi, for the second time, is worried that Jillian took her advice too seriously. Oh, Demi. With great power comes great responsibility.
9:01 p.m. “It’s just so crazy that we made it this far,” Nick Youngerman says. I agree! We’ve really only seen him cover “Vanilla Ice.” In this case, he’s singing “Tick-Tock.” Why do we need a singing competition to find a competitor whose niche is singing songs that require no singing. He’s like Chris Rene, except Chris Rene did his own stuff, which made his schtick authentic. This is horrible. Stop it. He’s a bad club DJ. If that. Blech. “Solid. I killed it,” Nick Youngerman says. “I thoroughly enjoyed that performance,” Nick Jonas says. “I couldn’t tell if I was loving it, or super-annoyed by it,” Demi says. Team Demi.
9:04 p.m. Cece and Paige are still messing with each other’s heads. They should be forced to only sing the same songs every performance. And then, they should be dropped into Thunderdome. Paige is singing first and she’s doing “Turn Up The Music.” I’ll confess that somebody this Rihanna-esque doing a Chris Brown song is weird and Paige’s also doing a song that requires very little of her vocally. It’s a sleepy performance. Demi’s worried that the pressure has gotten to Paige.
9:13 p.m. Cece Frey is reapplying her spots. I’m somewhat disappointed they aren’t natural. Or tattooed on. Demi and Nick come over to tell Cece that sometimes she comes across as “borderline unlikeable.” Uh-oh. This hits Cece where she lives. This hugely unlikable young lady fears being thought unlikable. Nick Youngerman tries reassuring her that she’s likable, which sounds like the kiss of death to me. In her effort not to seem cocky, she’s singing “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” It’s sad that Cece annoys me so much, because she’s not untalented. “She took direction extremely well,” Nick Jonas says. “I don’t know how I’m going to eliminate two people,” Demi says. I do! I do! Nick Youngerman and Willie Young. Or Nick Youngerman and Paige Thomas. A shaken Cece says she may go spotless the next day.
9:18 p.m. Nick Jonas and Demi sit and talk nebulously about contestants. “This is really hard,” Demi says. “Sometimes the best thing to do is sleep on it.
9:23 p.m. Groups time. Playback is one of the newly formed groups. Emblem3 is contemptuous of them, because Emblem3 is contemptuous of absolutely everything. But Playback has been rehearsing 24-7, because they know what “No” feels like. They’re determined to stand out. Simon reminds Playback that he’s put groups together successfully in the past, warning them that one bad vocal can kill a group. Oh God! It’s the guy with the girlfriend in New York City. He’s in Playback now. Wow. But how will Playback perform… For a group of solo artists who have been performing together for a couple days, they definitely sound like a group of solo artists who have been performing together for a couple days. There are some playful personalities and some strong solo voices, but as a group, they’re sorta comical. But they could get better. It’s unfair to judge too harshly. “I found myself just looking for planes,” says a bored Marc Anthony. Simon, however, disagrees strongly.
9:29 p.m. Emblem3 reassures Simon that they’re dedicated to aiming for the stars. Simon threatens to kill them if they make a deal and the reneg. Emblem3 does a Sublime-ated version “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” They think too highly of themselves and too lowly of everybody else and that over-confident leads to a bit of a performance goof. I think they’re good and they’re marketable, but they also really douchy. “I came in late in a verse,” says Topless Emblem3, telling his groupmates that they can punch him in the face. “I like them,” Marc Anthony says.
9:35 p.m. It’s time for Sister C. I like the “Hair Colors We Have Known” montage of family pictures before their performance. Simon sits down with Sister C and warns them that they come off as standoff-ish. Marc Anthony tells them to go out and enjoy it. They’re determined to prove they can be likable. They’re much more polished than the first two groups we’ve watched, but they’re also much more robot in their vocals and presentation than the other two groups. Also, they had so many harmonies in the performance we saw earlier, but this is more about accentuating their individual talents. They’re pleased. Simon thinks they’re contenders, while Marc agrees they’re a home-run.
9:40 p.m. One45 has been combined with Lyric da Queen and they’ve become Lyric145. Lyric says things like this don’t happen to people from Flint, Michigan. One45 says things like this don’t happen to people from Queen. They’re happy as a group, but will they deliver? Why yes. Their version of “Party in the USA” is relentlessly high-energy. It’s not quite singing at any point, but it’s entirely fun. Marc Anthony thinks Lyric da Queen is a star and Simon agrees.
9:48 p.m. Have we seen Dope Crisis before at any point? I have no memory of them. They’re both very very good, but I think that as a group, they’re very sparse and very retro. I think they could have been big in 1990, but I don’t think they could be big now. Simon and Marc Anthony agree they’re “good,” but they doubt there’s much more to them.
9:49 p.m. Our second IKEA group is Lylas. This group includes Dinah Jane Hansen and Ally Brooke. Simon tells them this moment can change their lives. Marc warns them that if one of them messes up, they all go home. Did this rule not apply with Emblem3? How will Lylas compare to Playback? They’re definitely more sedate. They’re just five solo singers sitting on stools. Nobody thought to make a group of the group? A tiny bit of background harmony doesn’t a Group make. This is weak. Finally at the end, they sing the word “Impossible” in unison and walk two steps together. Marc and Simon are not pleased. “I don’t know what you’ve expected,” Marc says. “It’s gone somewhere else,” Simon agrees.
9:58 p.m. Simon and Marc deliberate. But no results til tomorrow…
Who’d you like? Who’d you hate? Which two Groups and which two Young Adults would you send home?