On Wednesday, “The X Factor” said farewell to a bunch of people who weren’t really very good and whose presence in Miami wasted FOX and Simon Cowell’s money.
I don’t pity Simon Cowell or FOX for losing a couple thousand dollars on hotel rooms for people like Dehydrated Trevor or That Awful Girl Who Sang Annie, but I do pity myself for having to dedicate an hour to pretending that said people were ever going to advance particularly far on “The X Factor.”
Let’s see what excitement will ensue in Thursday’s episode!
8:02 p.m. ET. Contestants are being paired against each other in what definitely is nothing at all like the Battle Rounds on “The Voice.” [I know “X Factor” came first. Don’t tell me. Geez]. Tara Simon is going against Jennel Garcia. Vino Alan is dueting against David Correy, which is exactly the showdown I suggested yesterday. Paige Thomas and Cece Frey are being paired, of course. Emblem3 and L3vel are battling.
8:04 p.m. Uh-oh. Tara’s feeling cocky about the song choice, which Jennel is in tears with the pressure and her discomfort with the song. “It’s a nightmare this task,” Simon tells Demi Lovato, whose hair is up “I Love Lucy” style. Tara says she’s “fabulous.” Jennel says nothing. They’re singing “Landslide” and there’s no mistaking how pure and emotional Jennel’s voice is. And this is what Tara thinks is showcasing her “softer” side? So. Much. Oversinging. Enough with the runs. Just sing. You don’t need upper-register on your upper-register. Simon doesn’t understand the song choice. “You didn’t represent yourselves,” Simon says. “I feel really bad for you Jennel,” Simon says, correctly guessing the song was Tara’s fault. “It wasn’t me at all,” Jennel says. She doesn’t know what’s going to happen if she’s out of the competition tomorrow. My suggestion: As a relatively talented, relatively cute 18-year-old girl, she’ll be OK. I could be wrong, though.
8:11 p.m. Everybody agrees they have to bring it. And leave everything on stage. And it’s about darned time, too! “The point of this challenge is very simple: Just be better than your opponent,” Simon says. In a battle of preternaturally talented 13-year-olds, Beatrice Miller goes head-to-head with Carly Rose Sonenclare. I’d say Beatrice wins this one with a wise-beyond-her-years tone on the verses, though Carly showcases a huge voice on the chorus. They’re both very impressive, though. Demi worries that it’s very difficult being that young and Simon agrees.
8:13 p.m. David and Vino are roommates and buddies, but they both want to win. David says he views the judges as the four roadblocks to his dream. That’s… weird. Mario Lopez won’t tolerate that sort of lippy attitude to authority when/if he begins his hosting duties. They do “What’s Going On” and David sings it well, but he also oversings it. Because that’s what he does. Vino sings with gravelly attitude, because that’s what he does. Vino thinks he screwed up, though I’m not sure why. He throws down his hat and storms off stage. “He scares me a little bit,” Britney says. Vino punches walls and says that this was his opportunity.
8:20 p.m. Only 60 acts remain and “They are now fighting for their lives,” Simon says. Diamond White and Dinah Jane Hansen are another predictably and smart pairing of 13-year-old girls, who I’m already apparently having a hard time telling apart, backstory-wise. Can we all just agree that a 13-year-old girl is going to win this year? Gracious. That’s where the talent seems to be this year. Dinah packs an early emotional punch and Diamond fights right back. I think Diamond wins because she chose to do something on the stage, sitting down at the end. L.A. Reid calls the closing move “genius.” Dinah worries she messed up the lyrics.
8:25 p.m. Weird. Sister C is going against Lauren Jauregui. The girls hate Sister C, because they’re hot. Brandon Hassan and Reed Desmond go Bieber a Bieber. Julia Bullock and Ally Brooke make funny faces through “Knockin’ on Heavens Door.” The judges seem to indicate that either Julia or Ally (Ally, presumably) clearly won, but I thought they were both hammy. Jeffrey Gutt mumbles melodically against somebody who they don’t bother to identify.
8:31 p.m. The judges deliberate and Wade the Assistant brings Pepsi to them. Demi picked the winner. It was “Dragon.” Oh my God. Make this end. STOP IT!.
8:32 p.m. Back to battling. Willie Jones and Lyric Da Queen are chatting, but surely they’re not going head-to-head. Oh. Nope. Willie’s going against the much older and much better Tate Stevens. They’re singing “Nobody Knows” and Willie starts off mediocre and things only get worse when he forgets the lyrics. He passes it along to Tate and… well, it’s the difference between a seasoned potential professional and a 17-year-old kid. The judges condescended to Willie for so long and they give him the chance to throw Tate under the bus for choosing a song he didn’t know. “I think Tate knew what he was doing,” Demi says. “Tate hustled him,” L.A. Reid says. Willie cries.
8:36 p.m. Former InTENsity member Arin Ray is flirting with Normani Hamilton. Doesn’t he know that we’ve never met her before? He shouldn’t be wasting time on flirting with a no-name. They’re the first mixed-gender battle we’ve seen, so the flirting is even more random. Normani doesn’t have a bad voice, but her phrasing is awful. I have no idea what she’s singing about. Arin looks even better opposite her. Their chemistry is cuter than the duet was good. “My heart just melted,” Lovato says of Arin.
8:44 p.m. The heat is on! Pressure is on! Everybody’s in it to win it. Jillian Jensen is worried because she’s been paired with LaTasha Robinson, who doesn’t want to do any dueting, because she’s here to focus on LaTasha. This is a bad pairing for formerly bullied Jillian, because LaTasha’s a pretty dominant personality. But then, things go South. LaTasha loses the words and breaks down in tears. Jillian tries to help her along but LaTasha says, “Sorry I can’t do it.” The tears are the best thing that could have happened for Jillian, because the girl thrives on hyper-emotion and she goes out and absolutely slays her part of the song. I wonder how Jillian would have done if LaTasha hadn’t broken down. “That was horrible,” L.A. Reid says. “To go up against Jillian is really hard,” Britney says. “I’m feeling very upset and disappointed in myself,” LaTasha cries.
8:47 p.m. “You can tell that the pressure is really getting to them,” Demi says. Freddie Combs forgets his lyrics as well. Oh, that’s sad. Jessie Bryant then helps Freddie out by also forgetting the lyrics. “All my eggs was right here,” Freddie cries. Nick Youngerman forgets his lyrics. Jordan Shane forgets her lyrics. “I don’t want to cry,” Britney says. “You already are,” L.A. Reid says, correctly identifying the moisture coming from Britney’s eyes.
8:53 p.m. It seems like Jason Brock did well. Lyric Da Queen remains energetic? We’re just waiting for Cece and Paige, who are also roommates, it turns out. Cece chose the song and Paige is unhappy. This isn’t a song Paige knows and she worries that Cece has an advantage. “I’m here to win. I’m not necessarily here to make fun,” says walking cliche Cece. Simon begins by asking how they ended up choosing the song. Awkwardness ensues, especially when Cece suggests that the song was originally Paige’s idea. “I don’t fit in anywhere else except for under the spotlight,” Paige cries before she even sings a word. “I want to succeed as bad as I want to breathe,” Cece says, digging deep to make sure that she also cries, or simulates something that sounds like crying. Paige had tears. Cece just had a cracking voice. Round 1 to Paige. As for the song, Paige, doesn’t know the words, what with not knowing the song. After standing in the background twirling her mustache, Cece jumps out and belts the song like she knows it. That wasn’t pleasant or especially fair. “They look exhausted. I’ve never seen anyone look so tired in my life,” Simon says. Britney likes Paige. “If they have to choose one of the two of us, it has to be me. She messed up,” Cece says.
8:59 p.m. Oh. No results today. I guess I should have looked at the clock… Whoa… L.A. Reid is gonna have Justin Bieber at his house. Nice get, L.A. Reid! But it also appears that L.A. Reid is going to throw a temper tantrum of some sort.
What’d you think of tonight’s episode?