Last week, "X Factor" screwed up the voting and treated viewers to 13 frenzied performances in an hour, thereby denying us a performance by one Ms. Selena Gomez.
This week, we'll try again on Selena Gomez.
We'll also see the return of Fifth Harmony.
And we're eliminating two acts and presumably getting the rankings for the other 10 acts.
Buckle up and join the live-blog!
8:00 p.m. ET. What up, AC Slater? Yes. We know. Double Elimination. I'm ready for an intense night.
8:01 p.m. I'm not ready, however, for this apparent "tribute" to Lou Reed, which involves the Top 12 butchering "Perfect Day." Certainly contributions are decent. Khaya Cohen, Rachel Potter, Lillie McCloud and Alex & Sierra deserve credit for not doing anything horrible to poor Lou. How many members of the Top 12 do we think had a clue who Lou Reed was? I'm genuinely curious. But first? We have to recap Wednesday's show, which was really bad.
8:04 p.m. Yeah, I was generous to nearly everybody in my recap last night's show. Having to relive this was brutal. I'm gonna play Candy Crush for a few minutes.
8:11 p.m. The contestants sing backstage. You know why? Herbal Essences. Ew. This is gross. And they don't just sing. They sing songs by the "X Factor"-branded Fifth Harmony. What do the men do about their hair? Do they just go greasy? No. They just go later. Or something.
8:13 p.m. We can vote on what hairstyles the contestants have next week! I will not. But you can. I may judge you, though.Unless you vote for everybody to have dreadlocks. Ratty, ratty, Jason Castro-style dreadlocks.
8:15 p.m. Results! Who are we sending home first? SWEET SUSPENSE. Wow. That was actually a minor shocker. They weren't good, but they weren't worse than Fifth Harmony at this stage last season, when America loved Fifth Harmony. Yeah, that vote is just weird. "It was not your fault. I don't know what happened," Simon Cowell reassures Shocked Sweet Suspense.
8:20 p.m. Yeah. That was not the "right" vote. I'd say that Sweet Suspense was totally middle-of-the-pack last night, which means that we're going to be keeping some people we should be ditching.
8:21 p.m. Selena Gomez! This song is called "Slow Down" and mostly requires that Selena Gomez shake around in a fringe-y outfit. It doesn't have much of a melody, but that doesn't matter at all when the confetti flies and Selena instructs "X Factor" to jump. I'm not sure if I buy the Selena Gomez Bad Girl thing, but she's gotta try. It's practically a requirement for Disney stars when they reach a certain age. At least in "Spring Breakers," she had to be the conflicted girl.
8:28 p.m. Nine acts will now be sent to safety, but the results are coming in no particular order.
8:28 p.m. The first act in the Top 10 is... Carlito Olivero. Ugh. Simon Cowell rolls his eyes. For good reason.The next act to safety is... Josh Levi, who other people liked more than I did last night. The third act through is... Rion Paige. Totally fine with that one. The fourth act returning is... Jeff Gutt. Blah. The fifth act in the Final 10 is... Restless Road. Also comfortable and safe... Tim Olstad. That means that after losing Carlos last night, all of Paulina's acts advanced tonight. Also through... Ellona Santiago. You don't need to worry about... Lillie McCloud.
8:32 p.m. Alex & Sierra, Khaya Cohen and Rachel Potter are still waiting. Ummm... This is not well done, America. The last act in the Top 10 is... Alex & Sierra. Whew.
8:33 p.m. It's down to Khaya and Rachel. If the judges hesitate in saving Khaya, for shame. "I know she's gonna kill it," Demi Lovato says. Kelly Rowland wants Rachel to show America why she's here.
8:37 p.m. "They will *literally* be singing for survival," Mario Lopez says. Come on, Mario. "Literally"? For survival? This is going to be so disappointing when they're not, in fact, literally singing for survival. I mean, let's be honest, if Mike Darnell were still at FOX, he'd understand that the only way to turn things around for "Survivor" is to add life-or-death stakes. Sadly, Mike Darnell is no longer at FOX and if "X Factor" were going to kill somebody tonight, FOX would have advertised it.
8:39 p.m. Fifth Harmony. Apparently America loves Fifth Harmony. I'm not exactly sure why. This isn't very good. I like a good pajama party as much as the next guy, but this isn't an especially engaging performance of a song that was more charming when it was integrated into the Herbal Essences commercial earlier. The crowd, however, loves them.
8:44 p.m. In addition to Khaya being better than Rachel, Simon is smart enough to know that by getting rid of Rachel, he'd leave Restless Road as the only act wooing the potentially unbeatable country audience. I expect the judges will pretend this choice is hard, but it really shouldn't be.
8:46 p.m. This is... The Final Showdown.
8:46 p.m. "Neither one of these vocalists should be in the Bottom 2," Demi says. "Come on, America!" Kelly agrees.
8:47 p.m. Khaya sings "Don't Give Up On Me," which would have been a bad song choice if America were voting here. It's a great choice, however, for Khaya and her voice. I don't know what to say about America not warming to her. I didn't like her at first either, but after watching for several weeks of live shows, I've seen the error of my ways. Of course, the real problem here is that America didn't vote last night, because America isn't watching "The X Factor." Anyway, it's a perfect song topically and there's no way Khaya is going home after this performance. Rachel should come out, hug Khaya and leave gracious, just in case Mario was correct about that "survival" thing.
8:52 p.m. Wait. Stop! Potter-time! After being compared to Shania Twain last night, Rachel does "From This Moment On." She's quite decent. Really, there's no excusing her being here instead of Carlito. I don't think she could really win, but I'd put her in the Top 7 or 8.
8:56 p.m. It's up to the judges. Who will they send home? Kelly's pissed off with the Bottom 2. "Don't you be rushing me now," Kelly tells Mario. She suggests she wants to send herself home. Then she says that she's voting to send Khaya home based on these two performances. Oh that's just ridiculous, Kelly. There's no way you believe that, Kaya. Paulina votes to send Rachel home. Demi says that America thought these two were safe. And she votes to send Rachel home.
8:59 p.m. So it's all on Simon, who says they both did well tonight. Simon says he's keeping the act with the most potential. So he votes to send RACHEL POTTER home.
9:00 p.m. Yup. Pretty stupid voting tonight. I think we avoided any real disasters, but we definitely weakened the show for the next couple weeks.
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