Simon, L.A., Britney, and Demi pick their Top 12 acts; four head home. It's time. To Leopard Face. The music!

By Annie Barrett
November 02, 2012 at 05:38 AM EDT
FOX
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“Yes,” said Khloe Kardashian. Again and again.

And she was right! Yes — after a two-hour results show that could have been accomplished in 30 minutes or less, 12 of the Top 16 acts of The X Factor‘s season 2 are moving on in the treacherous laser field of possibility and future despair.

Here are your Top 12!

Paige Thomas

Jennel Garcia

CeCe Frey

Tate Stevens

Vino Alan

Jason Brock

Beatrice Miller

Carly Rose Sonenclar

Arin Ray

Emblem3

Lyric 145

1432, soon to be named something else by (gasp!) the public

The poor, unfortunate souls heading home this week are….

From Demi Lovato’s Young Adults: Willie Jones

The main thing I remember from this segment is Paige Thomas’ GIANT BEACH HAT and the way Khloe kept yanking the mic away from contestants after deliberately asking them questions. But a life was on the line, too. Willie sang “You Don’t Know Me” against CeCe Frey’s “On My Own.” The problem was that Willie looked and acted like a plain old befuddled young adult who was out of his element and knew he was done, while CeCe flawlessly elevated her status to “ancient Greek goddess in a tiny red dress” and really went to town (the ruins behind her) with the drama. She was shaky on the first verse and then improved, making sure to cop a facial expression that was the perfect balance of terror and hope after the final note.

“Woooooooooooo,” mouthed one of the bored girls behind Demi Lovato’s eyebrows, which tonight had been applied with the same brush that trucks use to paint highways in the middle of the night. Demi looked stern and all-important the whole night in her studded military jacket, like an early ’90s supermodel with a MUCH MORE SERIOUS JOB TO DO. “I don’t want this to stop you, because I think you’re onto something,” she told Willie, as if he could go back home and, just like that, “figure out what you need to do to make it your time.”

What does any of this babble even mean? Tonight we also heard Britney tell five different acts that they either “really surprised” her or “made a believer” out of her. Everyone could just stop speaking and we’d understand the plot perfectly. Or they could just awkwardly cut to a commercial. Oh look, here’s one now.

NEXT: Did L.A. Reid EVER know Jason Brock’s name? From L.A. Reid’s Over 25s: David Correy

I find it hard to believe David would receive the least viewer votes out of any of The Olds. He seems much more likable than Vino Alan and more relatable (at least in terms of age to the people who watch this show) than Tate Stevens. So there must have been some ulterior motive for booting him before the popular vote kicked in. The judges called his performance “desperate” Wednesday night, but really, what performance is not desperate on The X Factor?

It’s possible, but not probable, that the reason Jason Brock stayed in the competition over David was that the guys’ coach, L.A. Reid, completely forgot Jason’s name a second time and wanted to save himself the embarrassment. (A perfectly fine reason to dash someone’s hopes for life.) How cringeworthy was it when L.A. was like, “I think the song choice I gave…. um, um, um…. Jason?” and then just trailed off while Jason had to stand there and nod politely that yes, that was him. L.A., you had four names to learn. Appalling. If there was any question about how much time these “mentors” truly spend with their contestants, then here you go. Gross.

So in the “sing for survival” face-off, Jason performed an over-the-top theatrical rendition of “One Moment in Time” (not that there’s any other kind), while that other guy whose name L.A. Reid doesn’t know sang a stripped-down but super-passionate cover of “Since U Been Gone.” Simon and Demi found David’s performance too melodramatic, and Simon went so far as to say he didn’t even want to judge the pair because he didn’t think either of them could win. It was “Mr. Entertainer vs. The Star,” according to L.A. (because he still didn’t know their names). The Star went home.

“It’s not the last time you’re gonna see my face,” David stated confidently.

“Yes!” piped up Khloe Kardashian.

“Who ARE you?” wondered L.A. Reid, with his eyes.

NEXT: In a shocking twist, ‘1432’ is a terrible name for a girl group From Britney Spears’ Teens: Diamond White

I thought Diamond’s cover of “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” was light years better than Arin Ray’s “I Look to You,” but there are already two 13-year-old girls sticking around, so bye-bye, Diamond. “The girls in this audience are screaming for a reason,” Demi said after Arin had finished. Pssssst. It’s because he’s a boy. “That was in a different league to last night,” Simon raved about Arin, adding “For you to leave would be a huge mistake.” Did Coach Britney get all that? She’s sitting there, so probably, but you just never know.

Diamond and her bionic golden ears could not have been sweeter and more upbeat following Britney’s announcement of her demise. I love how quickly she bounced back from what was clearly a big surprise to her. Simon had just told her that the last 20 seconds of her song had given her the advantage over Arin. Was Simon Cowell a liar?

“Yes,” said Khloe Kardashian.

From Simon Cowell’s Groups: Sister C

This one was a given. Sure, 1432 (awful name, make it stop, make it stop!) had an off night Wednesday, but Simon had hand-picked them from a giant stable of the tiny, young, and hot, so obviously their staying power was a no-brainer. The five girls sang Demi Lovato’s own “Skyscraper,” basically alternating on solo verses and only harmonizing in a few parts. The presentation was much improved over last night’s boppin’-around crapfest, and just the fact that the girls displayed emotions gave them the edge over Sister C. At one point, Ally and Normani were clasping hands and on the verge of tears while Lauren (center) delicately sang her part. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff — just raw terror up onstage from truly vulnerable contestants. (That’s a creepy thing to say, but it’s true! It’s how they draw you in.)

Sister C, on the other hand, absolutely knew they were unwanted toast crusts, and the brunette with the sassy angled ‘do didn’t even try to hide it. They were upset because of some phantom “missing stairs” from Wednesday’s staging, and looked so defeated at the start of their survival song that I almost fast-forwarded until the final decision. But I’m so glad I didn’t, because then I would have missed the Khlomeister screaming “I WOULD LIKE TO WAIT ‘TIL AFTER THE BREAK, SIMON” and Simon’s uttah-ly bored-out-of-his-mind facial expression as the cameras took forever to cut away from him. That’s just good, solid TV. I feel more enriched than ever.

What do you think? Did the right acts head home?

Thanks for the mammaries, everyone! See you next week.

Follow @EWAnnieBarrett

Read more:

Wednesday’s performance show recap: Fright Night

10 Ways to Improve ‘The X Factor’

The X-Factor: Meet the Top 16

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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