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The X Factor recap: Top 17 announced

The drama-queen judges pick 17 acts to advance to next Tuesday’s first live show

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X Factor LA Rihanna

The X Factor

TV Show
Current Status:
Reality TV

Tuesday night’s “special X Factor event” was a two-hour clip show that ultimately — after taking about five years off of our lives — told us which 17 of the top 32 acts would go on to the live shows. You thought you’d seen enough of the judges and guest mentors hovering over candles to determine the fates of the poors? You’d only seen the half of it!

You read that right — 17, not 16. After a fakety-fake-fake and SO CRUEL segment during which Simon Cowell dismissed Melanie Amaro — one of the top two singers in his cat-ah-gry — the G.O.B. Bluth of The X Factor claimed “I’ve made a massive mistake” in front of a lone consultant and 500 candles. So he flew to her hometown to right his wrong! Whatever, Simon. We already knew you have tons of money and can fly places. You are so mean! (But fine…the reaction of Melanie and her family was pretty great.)

Overall, I’d break the episode down like this: 60 percent footage we’d already seen (hometowns, auditions, interviews), 39 percent footage we’ll see again (reactions to tonight’s news), and 1 glorious percent footage of Steve Jones hovering in front of a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower (doesn’t fit into either of the other categories because it is TIMELESS).

Standout elements of the show for me included Paula Abdul’s polka dot pants, L.A. Reid’s attempt to mimic his guest mentor Rihanna’s decision to try head-to-toe light blue, and Steve Jones going in for the hug with Josh Krajcik and making a quick recovery by settling for double-clasping high-fives.

The Very Handsy Nicole Scherzinger in particular was just spouting out the dumbest word salads ever to ramp up the drama. At one point she tried to convince 60-year-old youngface LeRoy Bell, “I just don’t know if YOU want it.” Huh? And then, suddenly, this!

Awwww. She was lying!

NEXT: Here are your top 17 acts!