The X Factor recap: Fright Night

Break out the scary lasers! The Top 16 acts take the live stage for the first time
Ep. 12 | Aired Oct 31, 2012

PORCUPINE ATTACK Mario Lopez asks Paige Thomas what it's like to be a spiky villain from Super Mario Bros.


Simon was super harsh on Jason Brock after his ridiculously over-the-top "Dance Again" circus show, but come on, Simon! This is your show. You created this monster. You approved green glowsticks in the audience. Just deal with a little gayness once and a while. I thought this performance was not only well-sung but hilarious. Most of the annoyingly flashy X Factor routines are things I would never share with friends because they're so bad they're terrible, but I don't know -- this one delighted me! I'm such a loser, really, but I didn't mind it. I liked the haunting organ background at the beginning (Halloween!) and the stuff on the giant screens, which as far as I could tell featured a combination of a heart rate monitor and a Lite-Brite board containing sequins instead of the traditional light pegs. Sure, it was a s---show. But it didn't mean Jason wasn't talented. Keep him in!

Oh, but Jason'll probably be out after he inappropriately asked if he could pinch Mario Lopez's butt. This aggression will not stand, man.


"You've got to like these girls, because they really are nice people," Simon implored the audience before Sister C took the stage. Wow, way to make them sound as boring as possible, Coach! Thanks for doing your part. "Hell On Heels" was vocally excellent at times, but I felt like they barely engaged with the crowd and didn't quite fit into this arena-type setting. I picture them in a recording studio putting down tracks for other, flashier stars to record in the future. Is that mean? They have terrific voices. I'm just not so into the presentation.

The X Factor is clearly stuck in the '90s and despite a rousing rendition of "Gangnam Style," Lyric 145 didn't do much to stray from that theme. They're fun, though. The long-haired guy was screeching in parts and the whole thing was more of an all-out COLORS AND GRAPHICS assault than a performance intended to showcase talent. I'd love to see what they could do without so much crap accompanying them onstage. L.A. called out Simon's song choice -- "it sounded like somebody put you in a washer, dumped in bleach, and took all the soul out of you." But Simon protested: "To make rappers work in a competition like this, it has to be commercial." Hopefully they can settle on an appropriate middle ground. "I was genuinely entertained," offered Britney. "That's it."

1432 (formerly LYLAS) had an off night with what L.A. called "a talent show version of the greatest song in the world." The song in question? "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift. Yeah. Okay, L.A. The girls' performance was hokey, but I can't forget their beautiful collaboration on "Impossible" at Simon's "home," so I'm gunning for a big comeback night from these five girls should they have to sing for their lives tonight. Khloe made Demi name the group member she thought stood out -- it was Camila. "I thought the others should know," insisted Khloe. The producer screaming into her earpiece is really making her work hard for that overinflated salary!

Finally, Emblem3 shocked everyone with a non-douchey, well-blended cover of "One Day," featuring a particularly strong solo performance by Mr. Tank Top's armpit hair. Perhaps our sneering surfer bros are longer for this competition than I'd assumed. Oh, and Demi has (or has been instructed to act like she has) a crush on them and won't be able to make eye contact with them when they sing directly to the judges. Suuuuuuuuuure. "For anyone watching this band for the first time," trilled Simon, "remember this night, because you are seeing a future superstar here."

On tonight (Thursday)'s show, eight of the top 16 acts will sing for survival and four will head home. Who's it gonna be? And who were your favorites from Wednesday? Discuss!

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