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‘X Factor’ Recap: Five Eliminated, Top 12 Remain

X Factor Judges
FOX

On tonight’s episode of ‘X Factor,’ the contestants all performed live for the first time. Five were eliminated and now each judge has three people on his or her respective team to form the Top 12.

This episode was more about the judges criticizing each other to the point of PopCrush yelling, “Children, behave!” at our screens than it was about the singers. The four members of the panel bicker in an insulting way. It was a shame that some contestants were yanked into the middle of the tongue lashings that took place between Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid, and Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. Notice the pattern?

Nevertheless, PopCrush is please to offer this recap, so you will know sang what, how they did and their fate.

Eliminations:

L.A. Reid: He eliminated Phillip Lomax, who was classy upon his exit, smiling and thanking Reid for the chance. Perhaps Cowell was right when saying that Lomax performed the wrong song. Sorry you’re leaving, Phillip. We’re sure we’ll see you again.

Paula Abdul:
She eliminated the Brewer Boys, but told them they are going to have careers. “We want to thank the judges, we’ve learned a lot. You are just awesome.” They were also gracious and apologized for not living up to the mentor’s expectations, but she quickly addressed them, saying, “You surpassed my expectations. I need you to know something. You need to develop. Magic is going to happen.” She got cut off, awards show-style.

Nicole Scherzinger: She sent Dexter Haygood home, and she struggled with the decision. We can’t blame her, since Dex is on skid row and living out of his car. “I’m kind of confused. I’m in the 21st century ‘Twilight Zone’” was his reply to before leaving the stage. He still has plenty of time to entertain people. Don’t give up, Dex.

Simon Cowell: He sent Tiah Tolliver and Simone Battle home because he couldn’t send any of the others packing. His night was doubly hard, as he had to cut his super-sized team by two. Tolliver thanked the judges for what they taught her via criticism, and Battle shamelessly but smartly self-promoted her new single.

Performances:

Brian “Astro” Bradley: The teen rapper fired on all cylinders, performing an Astro-ized, self-referential version of Kris Kross’ hit from the ’80s, ‘Jump.’ He mentioned L.A. Reid, ‘X Factor’ and himself throughout. Paula said this is what he is going to be doing his whole life.

Chris Rene: His unusual R&B and rap fusion of ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ was at once modern and showed off his star power. He’s a crowd and judge favorite.

Phillip Lomax: The jazz crooner with the infectious smile stepped outside of his Sinatra-shaped comfort zone on Neil Diamond’s ‘I’m a Believer.’ He was totally unique.

Marcus Canty: His R&B version of ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me’ was groovin’ and movin’. He’s a complete package. Abdul said he was born to be on that stage.

Stereo Hoggz: Jay-Z and Kanye West aren’t the only ones to cover Otis Redding’s ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ with foolproof swagger and style. Their performance was current and classic at once.

The Brewer Boys: The boys mashed up Hall and Oates’ ‘Rich Girl’ with George Michael’s ‘Faith’ on acoustic guitar with a little twang.

Intensity: They’re a big, blended group, like the new version of ‘Glee.’ This judge-created group could go super far.

Lakoda Rayne: They are beautiful, they sing in the pop-country style and have great voices, so they peformed ‘Come On Eileen’ as an acoustic song that ballooned to a rowdy rocker. They made girl groups look good.

Dexter Haygood: The interesting and unpredictable Dex turned in a rugged, rock opera version of Katy Perry‘s ‘I Kissed a Girl’ and Britney Spears‘ ‘Womanizer.’It was a weird but yummy musical milkshake and had the ‘Dex’ factor!

Leroy Bell: His husky version of Pink’s ‘Nobody Knows’ shows that he has on of the best voices in the competition.

Stacy Francis: She sang George Michael’s ‘One More Try’ and didn’t cry. Simon called her a church singer, but she wants to be a pop star so there is some disconnect.

Josh Krajcik: He sang Bob Dylan‘s ‘Forever Young’ a capella, with a spotlight on him. No props, no choreography. It was so simple and soul stirring that Cowell said, “You are the artist I fear.” Burritos be damned.

Simone Battle: With ‘Just Be Good to Me,’ Battle had the look and moves, but she couldn’t sing and was out of tune. L.A. Reid loudly questioned why Cowell put her through.

Rachel Crow: She mashed up the Supremes and Justin Bieber. She is retro and pop. Like Amy Winehouse was and like Adele is!

Drew: Her light-as-air rendition of ‘Flashdance … What a Feeling’ was ethereal and classic, laced with a sweetness. Drew is our fave.

Tiah Tolliver: She was fierce during the Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).’ It was an epic, grand production. Paula and Nicole were so “anti” this poor girl. She was like the rope in tug of war between Simon and the ladies.

Melanie Amaro: She played the part of diva with Whitney Houston‘s ‘I Have Nothing.’ The girl can sing and she also brings heat and connects.

The final 12 remain.

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