This is somewhat uncharted territory for “The X Factor,” since American viewers have no idea what a Thursday hour-long elimination show is going to look like on FOX’s new hit talent show.
Our hunch? It’ll look a lot like an hour-long “American Idol” results show. But let’s find out for sure…
7:59 p.m. ET For what it’s worth, I used a picture of Rachel Crow with this recap because I’m 99 percent sure she isn’t going home tonight and I won’t be spoiling anything. If she does? Well, that’s just Crazy Town, folks!
8:01 p.m. Sorry, but I’m still confused by the Announcer Man. His voice has nothing to do with the show. Who is he? What’s his day job? And why did Simon Cowell decide he didn’t want Steve Jones introducing the show?
8:02 p.m. I mean… Look at him. Steve Jones is a well-dressed man and he has a charming accent, even if he can’t pronounce a number of American locations properly.
8:03 p.m. I also haven’t commented on the “Live and Let Die” cover that introduces the judges. Not great.
8:04 p.m. We’re going to announce the Top 10 based on votes. Then we’ll announce the Bottom Two. Then they’ll both perform and the JUDGES will make the final decision on who goes home. I assume this is how the British “X Factor” does it? It doesn’t feel very democratic to me…
8:05 p.m. Lip-Synched Group Sing! Featuring 12 Acts! This isn’t at ALL chaotic!
8:05 p.m. Wait. Astro just blew his rapped verse. Does that mean that some of this is live?!?
8:06 p.m. How is a performance like this not preceded by a warning for epileptics in the audience? That’s a lot of strobe light being barfed all over my TV.
8:07 p.m. Recap of last night’s show, including snippets of backstage footage. It’s a celebration of the judges’ celebration of each and every one of Wednesday’s performances. I guess Simon criticized LeRoy for his confidence issue and Lakoda Rayne for their costuming. But would it have killed just one judge to actually LISTEN to InTENsity?
8:10 p.m. By the way, when I mention the sporting event that I’m watching on my other screen, it’s not because I think I’m “too good” to be watching and recapping a reality TV show. It’s because I have a short attention span, especially when it comes to watching something that I already watched last night. Tonight’s sporting event? BC vs. Florida State. Go Eagles!
8:12 p.m. Seriously, InTENsity was wretched.
8:13 p.m. But Drew? She was darned good.
8:17 p.m. That was a bad time and place for a fumble, BC.
8:18 p.m. A tribute to Pepsi commercials? Ugh. “Not just anybody gets to be on a Pepsi commercial,” Drew says sagely. Chris Rene says that getting a Pepsi commercial would be “da bomb.” The ladies of Lakoda Rayne would like to be in a video where it rains (raynes?) Pepsi. That would be sticky.
8:19 p.m. Our first live performance is from Outa Sight, significant because they have a current Pepsi commercial. Oy. Is this what Colin Hanks does when he isn’t killing people for Jesus on “Dexter”? They’re so nondescript and forgettable that they have to have their name flashing on the screen over and over. Also, semi-rhetorical question: Which of these people are actually in the band?
8:23 p.m. “It’s time to get serious,” Steve Jones warns us. It’s a lie. It’s not time to get serious at all. It’s time for a commercial.
8:28 p.m. The contestants would all like to stay in the competition. They would all be sad if they’re sent home. They all have dreams and losing would be bad for said dreams. Several of them are nervous and presumptively devastated. Having competed for one night doesn’t mean that they’ve done what they set out to do. Singing is their collective life.
8:30 p.m. Your Top 12. On the stage. Steve Jones is revealing the Top 12 *in no particular order*.
8:31 p.m. The first act in the Top 10 (again “in no particular order”)… Marcus Canty. Our second act… Drew. The third act through is… going to be revealed after the break. Lame, Steve Jones. Lame.
8:36 p.m. Let’s try again, Steve. The third act through is… LeRoy Bell. Wow. That actually surprises me a little. Our fourth act through is… Astro. Our fifth act through is… Lakoda Rayne (I’m happy for Dani and Purple Rayne). Also through… Rachel Crow, which means I don’t need to worry about changing the picture with this recap. Also sticking around… Chris Rene, meaning that all three of L.A. Reid’s Boys are safe. Our next act in safety is… Burrito Josh. Also singing next week… Melanie Amaro, who’s relieved she didn’t have to deal with contrived suspense this week. And Simon’s Girls are all safe.
8:40 p.m. That means it’s down to InTENsity, Stacy Francis and The Stereo Hogzz. The 10th act going through (in no particular order) is Stacy Francis, getting a boost from some artificial tension.
8:40 p.m. “It’s difficult for America to identify with Groups,” Paula says, facing the departure of one of her teams.
8:45 p.m. Good news: We get to watch The Stereo Hogzz perform again. Bad news: We have to watch InTENsity perform again.
8:46 p.m. Are we kidding here? Simon called The Stereo Hogzz the best band in the WORLD last night. You know who’s going home tonight? Ummm… Not them.
8:47 p.m. They do a fine version of “Emotion,” much more of a true group performance than anything we’ve seen from them previously, even though they’re still dominated by the lead singer who appears to be fearing a flood tonight. They’re good. And they’re not going home tonight.
8:48 p.m. Paula’s still proud to bring back… InTENsity. [Trivia: According to Friend of HitFix Richard Rushfield, only one group has ever won in any of the show’s myriad international incarnations.] Yeah, InTENsity has put too many of its eggs in the Ellona basket and while she thinks she’s a frontwoman, she’s kinda not. And “My Life Would Suck Without You” is a ridiculously silly song selection for this group of over-polished urchins.
8:55 p.m. Results time.
8:55 p.m. Oooh! The judges have to announce their votes publicly! Simon decides to vote based on tonight’s performance and he votes against Stereo Hogzz? Ummm… Really? He just voted against THE BEST GROUP IN THE WORLD? This is difficult for Paula, but she votes to send InTENsity home. It’s now 1-1. Nicole’s next and she doesn’t want to do it, but at Steve’s prodding, she finally votes for InTENsity. It’s down to L.A. Reid. Is he gonna make those kids cry, or is he going to force America to take responsibility?
8:58 p.m. Steve rushes L.A. Reid’s vote and it goes against… InTENsity. The first group sent home on “X Factor” is InTENsity.
9:00 p.m. In the end, the result was exactly the correct one and I can only assume that Simon was indulging in a bit of gamesmanship to produce drama in this first live show.
What did you think of the “X Factor” results and the “X Factor” elimination format?