The X Factor: Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell

"Paula, let's talk Pepsi."
"Paula, let's talk Pepsi."
Photo by FOX

I suppose it was inevitable. After moving the early stages of The X Factor along at a fairly good clip, we have now moved into Phase 2 of this music competition: Interminably slow elimination rounds. After Wednesday's two-hour performances, America was invited to vote online, by phone, and even Twitter; Thursday's one-hour "results show" promised us we would find out "America's choice to go home". More on that shortly.

Episode 12 of The X Factor opens with a big, cheesy musical number featuring all twelve of the acts. Astro forgets his lyrics in a very obvious way--he's rapping, and standing behind the judges looking directly into the camera. AWKWARD. He delivers when it counts, but this isn't the first time he's forgotten the lyrics and I doubt it will be the last. The next 14 minutes are consumed with rehashing the previous night's performances, plus highlights from the judges' critiques.

After a commercial break Outa Sight performs "Tonight is the Night". Tons of lasers and backup dancers are the highlight of this in-show Pepsi commercial. Time to refill my wine glass.

In an amazing segue back to the competition, Steve exclaims, "Thanks Outta Sight! Wonderful, wonderful stuff." Then he furrows his brow--an emotional cue! Way to go, Steve! He continues: "Now it's time to get serious! We are only moments away from finding out which acts blew your minds last night. Twelve finalists are backstage; only one thing is guaranteed--one is going home tonight." According to my DVR "moments away" equals 27 minutes.

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A few more minutes are eaten up by a montage of the singers having one-on-one confessionals with the camera. The subject: Elimination. The consensus: Going home would suck; they each want to stay. Juicy stuff.

It seems like things are moving along when finally the contestants and judges come on stage together. Steve announces: "In no particular order I'm going to reveal the names of the top 10; they will go straight through to next week's show. That will leave us with the bottom two acts, who will sing in a final showdown then it will go to the judges who will decide who goes home." So what was all that America decides shit? America doesn't vote anyone off this ridiculous show, the judges do! America just ranks them. I am officially annoyed with The X Factor. So, who is safe and who is at risk for going home?

Safe: Steven calls Marcus Canty first, and then Drew. Steve pauses again for dramatic effect ... and announces a commercial break. EFF OFF, X Factor. My DVR saves the day--again. More wine. Luckily Steve rushes right through the rest of the "safe" contestants: Leroy Bell, Astro, Lakota Rayne, Rachel Crow, Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro, Stacy Francis. Stereo Hoggz and InTENsity are the bottom two acts and must perform one more song before the judges make their decision. If the judges tie, the act with the lowest number of "America's votes" goes home.

I think it's BULLSHIT that Stereo Hogzz is in the bottom two. InTENsity I get--there are just too many of them and only a handful have showcased solos within the group. Stereo Hoggz are technically amazing in both vocals and choreography, and I'm not saying that because they are from Houston--I'm not from Houston! Steve asks Paula how she feels about having two of her groups in the bottom and she rambles a little about how groups have it harder. Blah blah. The two groups perform and the judges make their decision.

Simon: If I'm going to judge it based on the two performances I've just seen--and I should--I would vote Stereo Hoggz.

Paula: You're all winners. You're winning millions of fans. Based on everything in my experience with everyone, the act I'm sending home is InTENsity. (Ten little kids start crying. Uncomfortable.)

Nicole: With the Stereo Hoggz I've seen so much growth in you, challenging yourselves. I don't want to do it, I don't want to send someone home. The act I'm sending home is InTENsity.

L.A. Reid: InTENsity I'm going to have to send you home.

The camera pans out wide so we can't see ten little kids cry, but the Stereo Hoggz go over and console the kids, making me love these guys even more. I'm going to vote for Stereo Hoggz every goddamned week now.

The next episode of The X Factor airs Wednesday November 9 at 7 p.m. CT. You can watch video clips from last night's episode online.

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