The Top 12 are announced, as is their viewer-vote ranking. A reality TV first, brought to you personally by Mario Lopez!
X Factor
Credit: FOX
Simon Cowell, American Idol

I have to say I’m a little stunned. I’ve seen some — hundreds! — of crappy reality TV results shows in my day, but The X Factor‘s first live results show of season 2 was just staggeringly awful. Who are they kidding?!

It’s actually going to be fun to see if these hours will get progressively worse each Thursday, because right now I can’t even imagine the possibility! No one — most of all the hosts — knows where and when to look at the camera. The judges were either faux-grief-stricken (Demi), asleep (L.A.), oblivious (Britney), or pretending they were zoning out in front of a particularly challenging Magic Eye poster (Simon). Entire segments went by during which zero things happened! I’m even using way too many exclamation points to make up for the loss of interest/a chunk of my one time on this earth/brain cells!

Yes, yes, Simon’s U.K. X Factor brainchild One Direction was there and they performed twice. More like four times if you count those Pepsi commercials! They are adorable. I had the one named Harry, with the dreamy blue eyes and floppy brown hair, captured on my screen while my TV was paused for about five minutes, and my eyes nearly melted into my brain he was so cute. They’re good! One Direction is my top choice for my next intimate imaginary campfire on a television set.

Jason Brock is headed home after a sing-for-survival performance of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” that sadly and somewhat shockingly did not feature the randy troublemaker (remember when he asked if he could slap Mario Lopez’ butt? MEMORIES) belting out that crucial karaoke line, “I F—ING NEED YOU MORE THAN EVAH.” He was pitchy and terribly nasally but passionate, while his botom-two dueler CeCe Frey’s vocal chords seemed to be as fried as her platinum blonde hair on “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.” There’s something crunchy going on in that elaborate bun of hers, but if I think about it too hard my hair starts to hurt.

So CeCe gets to dye another day. “ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR CONTESTANTS” boomed Mario Lopez as he sent her bounding aimlessly away. Don’t care where ya go, but ya can’t stay here. Good luck not falling off the stage into a pit of existential despair!

Oh, now everyone come back out onto the stage, because…..

NEXT: I’ve completely buried the lead here!

For the first time on any musical competition series ever, we’ve learned the order in which the finalists placed in the popularity contest. America, here is how you voted:

1. Tate Stevens

2. Carly Rose Sonenclar

3. Vino Alan

4. Diamond White

5. Fifth Harmony

6. Emblem3

Simon was shocked (awake?) by Emblem3’s middle-of-the-pack placement. “I think it’s, for me, I’ve got this information,” Simon sputtered. “This has been very helpful.” WHAT?! Why is this happening? What am I doing with my life?

7. Jennel Garcia

8. Paige Thomas

9. Lyric 145

10. Beatrice Miller

11. Arin Ray

12. CeCe Frey

“Obviously people in America don’t get out a lot,” said Tate. This was so weird, it was like his celebratory winner speech or something. So awkward! All of it!

So that’s the show. Tate, Carly, and Vino are the frontrunners. Which results surprised you this week? I don’t think anyone was shocked to learn Jason was eliminated, but I assumed Lyric 145 and Beatrice might have placed higher, and I’m struck by the gleaming magic of our white diamond’s high ranking.

What about you? Will you ever watch an X Factor results show again? (Do stick with me here; it could be “fun.”)


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Ask Annie anything about ‘The X Factor’ — or whatever — below.

Episode Recaps

Simon Cowell, American Idol
The X Factor
Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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