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The X Factor recap: Run Around and Desert You

One of the Top 8 acts leaves her mentor’s wishes in the dust; Britney Spears and will.i.am Rickroll us in their own way

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X Factor

The X Factor

TV Show
Current Status:
Reality TV

Welcome back to The X Factor, starring “L.A. REID!” ……plus, “L.A. REID!” — the tiny seated dancer so important Mario Lopez felt the need to roll call twice. Speaking of Mario, is anyone else becoming more and more amused that Mario feels compelled to announce whenever he is even slightly turned on? Tonight’s slime targets were Paige Thomas (” It was groovy — you slowed it down and it was working, girl”) and Britney Spears (“I can see people bumpin’ in the club right now,” complete with an A.C. Slater-like crotch thrust). All I’m saying is I didn’t loathe him tonight.

Khloe Kardashian is still in the black pleather doghouse with strings of beads instead of doors and windows (a.k.a. all of her show-night dresses), though, this time for her absurd emphasis on every other word. Did you know that tonight’s results show will feature MULTI-Grammy AWARD-winning GODDESS Alicia KEYS? Jeez, Khlomeister. You’re not drumming here. You have not got the beat. Give that a rest!

This week 13-year-old Diamond White decided to quit it with the dirge-like ballads and give another Whitney Houston classic — “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” — a shot. This was your typical overblown X Factor kitchen sink production, with a three-tiered giant Gem Cart to wheel Diamond and her backup dancers around, plus 5,000 balloons, seizure-inducing graphics, the whole bit. But I was into it! Diamond really did carry out the suggestion Coach Britney had recited to her during their mentoring session — look like you’re having fun onstage. That’s very easy for her to do and her delighted “Yeahhhh!” following the final note didn’t lie. Diamond’s good at acting flirty mid-song without trying to be sexy (I liked the sly shrug on the first “I wanna dance”), and her “I thought it was awesome, what’d you guys think?” to the crowd came off as adorably enthusiastic instead of obnoxious. If anyone bothers to remember her performance way back at the start of the show, I think she’ll be safe.

In Superlame Mario World, the 2000s are “The Ohs.” Is that a thing? Huh.

All I want to do is tell Vino Alan “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” and call it a paragraph, but I suppose that’d be unfair. Coach L.A. Reid — suddenly a participant behind the scenes this week — had vetoed Vino’s original song choice “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” at the last minute. L.A. just hadn’t experienced any goosebumps. He may as well have been crippled.

You could tell Vino wasn’t too jazzed about the switch because he didn’t even bother to wear a hat. His constant hunching over and the switching of the mic from hand to hand was irksome, plus his clashing t-shirt and suit (black/navy? dark blue/forest green? t-shirt/suit?) annoyed the hell of out me for some reason. Simon didn’t like “the weird reggae version of the song” and admitted that halfway through, he’d thought simply, “This has to end.” This would have been exactly my critique. Vino can still sing well, of course, but everything just seemed off. L.A. said Vino was “good,” admitted this performance was “not his best,” and then decided he “still killed it.”

NEXT: Paige Thomas is gonna sex you up