Britney Spears and L.A. Reid narrow their categories from six to four in a clipped episode; the rest are revealed on Oct. 23

By Annie Barrett
October 24, 2012 at 02:30 AM EDT
FOX
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In a very confusing night of television, Fox pre-empted much of The X Factor‘s “Judges’ Homes: Part 3” episode due to a rain delay in an NLCS baseball game. Silly network! Who cares about real sports when we can watch fake ones like Simon Cowell toying nonchalantly with the dreams of children? (Every time you’re convinced he cares, every team loses….or something. I’m not good with sports.)

Anyway, the episode intended to air Wednesday, October 17 will now re-air in full this coming Tuesday, October 23.

Update: The Top 16 moving on to the (cue over-zealous yet tinny X Factor announcer voice) ‘LIVE SHOWS!’ are….

TEENS: Diamond White, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Arin Ray, Beatrice Miller (Reed Demming, James Tanner out)

THE OLDS a.k.a. 25+: David Correy, Jason Brock, Tate Stevens, Vino Alan (Daryl Black, Tara Simon out)

YOUNG ADULTS: Jennel Garcia, Willie Jones, Paige Thomas, CeCe Frey (Jillian Jensen, Nick Youngerman out)

GROUPS: LYLAS, Lyric 145, Sister C, Emblem3 (Playback, Dope Crisis out)

The Teens’ segments were a whole lot of Britney petting her pastel-hued My Pretty Pony pelts and calling people “sweetie.” Carly Rose didn’t want to go back to eighth grade — “It just sounds awful when you think about it” — so it’s a good thing she’ll never have to go back to school ever again. Arin Ray got a rare cheek kiss and round-the-noggin caress from his mentor. Is he Brit’s fave? EW.com investigates!

Meanwhile, poor little Reed will have to find different ways to climax in life after calling his X Factor journey so far “the climax of my life.” He’s 13! I’m sure he can think of something, at some point. Reed was sweet and congratulatory to the other teens after his defeat, while James Tanner, whose name I still didn’t recognize even after all the seconds of footage we’ve seen from him, merely strolled through the Room of the Chosen and announced “Peace out.” I wonder how many times Britney had to practice this intriguingly bizarre line from her script, delivered to James: “Your persona is very cool, as a rapper.”

NEXT: The rise of laughter at the fall of Tara Simon L.A. Reid was able to subdue his burning hatred for The Olds long enough to have serene one-on-ones with his rapidly decaying charges. David Correy took this opportunity to remind us many more times that he is on this reality show to connect with his birth mother, with all-new lines like “Every note I hit I feel like it’s a message and I’m carrying it to my birth mother” and “To my birth mother, wherever you are, I hope we can reunite and I’m gonna keep singing ’til whenever we do.” Each reference strikes me as more and more sad. I would not be surprised if production has coordinated an entire plot line around the birth mother and she’s already in the makeup trailer getting prepped for December’s finale. (Otherwise, how and why would she be watching The X Factor?)

Jason Brock is adorable and deserving (and just got fired from his tech support job that day, so woohoo!), Tate Stevens hates his asphalt job/loves his family more than we’d even imagined, and Vino Alan communicates exclusively in growls — the higher-pressure the situation, the lower he goes. “Just send me through man I’m ready to rise,” he aggressively spat out to L.A. while glaring at the ground. He made it clear to the other contestants in his group, as if financial struggles were an element of the competition, that he’d be out on the streets if The X Factor would decide to revoke his housing privileges.

Two high points within the rejections: I liked when the talented, even-keeled Daryl said he respected L.A. Reid… “….uhhhh, but today he made a mistake.” YES. Well said, good-humored, and polite. Daryl is a reality TV personality I am sad to see go. On the opposite end of that spectrum, there was Tara Simon, legend in her own mind/joke in everyone else’s, who expressed immediate “disbelief” after L.A.’s negative verdict instead of even feigning awareness of the concept of humility. “He just got rid of someone who could be Kelly Clarkson, or Carrie Underwood, or Christina Aguilera,” she bitched.

Superstardom, Tara. “This is where it stops.”

Two notes about Demi’s shortened segment: 1) Why can’t they ever offer the contestants a refreshing ice cold Pepsi? It’s The X Factor‘s cruelest and most delicious stunt to date. And 2) How cute was the slow-mo swaying hug between Demi and Willie Jones, followed by a twirling hug/happy dance combo platter between Willie and Jennel? I’m liking Willie as a person more and more. That smile!

Wow, so that was a brutal set of furious cuts between CeCe and Jillian, with Jillian heading home in the end, our formerly leopardian mail clerk crying real tears that did not look like freakish facial spotting, and the dulcet tones of Chris Martin promising Jillian he would try to fix her.

Also, #Demiyoungadults is seriously the worst hashtag I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Follow @EWAnnieBarrett

Video reply time! Ask Annie anything about ‘The X Factor’ — or whatever — below.

Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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