The X Factor recap: Run Around and Desert You

One of the Top 8 acts leaves her mentor's wishes in the dust; Britney Spears and will.i.am Rickroll us in their own way
Ep. 20 | Aired Nov 28, 2012

PAIGE KNOWS THE GAME And she's gonna play it.

Fox

"I gave 110% last week and you guys STILL put me in the bottom two." CeCe Frey bitched to every viewer who will definitely not vote for her this week either. I'm sure many people were amused by the Victorian Cotton Candyland art installation she offered, but the desperation embedded into everything CeCe does at this point, combined with her general acidity, left me unable to approve.

I did appreciate the reminder that in this lifetime, I will never get over the absurdity of the lyrics to "Lady Marmalade." It was like The X Factor had dipped a Katy Perry concert in bleach, wrung it out, electrocuted it, then said "Go on, sing now." The upskirt shot of CeCe's somewhat listless "Oh, ah" with that sad garter on one leg and awkwardly lacy socks was particularly brutal. "You've definitely stepped it up a notch," said Britney.

Emblem3 had me in stitches as they pretended they were shopping for socks and underwear (ewww) at a "little shopping center" when in actuality they were conspicuously roaming around the freaking Grove -- the McDonald's Playland of tourists waiting to get into The X Factor or Dancing With the Stars -- with a giant camera crew! Of course they were mobbed by "fans," a.k.a. women with smartphones and a universal desire to brag about proximity to semi-fame via social media. (Aren't I a delight right now? Invite me to your holiday parties!) I wouldn't be surprised if Mario Lopez had announced Emblem3's arrival in the middle of shooting Extra 50 feet away. Seriously. You guys. Come on.

As Emblem3 blipped around singing "I'm a Believer," Demi looked forlorn and Britney looked in every other direction except towards the stage. I'm sure the guys sounded fine, but I couldn't help focusing on the five or so skunks behind them, thrashing wildly in sexual approval of the possible musical performance going on at the same time. America seemed to be a theme here, too, with all the red, white and blue stars. Anyway, L.A. completely overdid it as usual and pronounced that if he were the chairman of a major record label (which he is) and they were a desperado boy band in search of a big break (presto!) he would sign them immediately. Demi complained that this weird song choice marked just more of the same from the trio, to which they couldn't help but mention barely cryptic hints at the future, like "We have a record and it's coming" and "Working on the timing." They can play instruments, too, they swear. This is all very odd. It's almost like The X Factor is orchestrating something. But that couldn't be the case, right?

Right! All is as it should be on the red planet (except for Beatrice's absence).

Oh, I almost forgot -- we got the exclusive world preview of will.i.am demonstrating the all-new butterfly version of Rock Band:

I liked the part of "Scream and Shout" when his head doubled as a flaming disco ball planet, and the part where Britney's auto-tuner went overboard with the generic "European robot" accent ("All. Eyes. On. Us.) That's Britney, bitch. All cultured and s---.

Which two acts go home tonight? Discuss!

Read more:
Last week's performance's recap: Gobble Up the Emotions
10 Ways to Improve 'The X Factor'
The X-Factor: Meet the Top 16


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