The X Factor recap: The Top 12, Redux

The Top 12 are announced, as is their viewer-vote ranking. A reality TV first, brought to you personally by Mario Lopez!
Ep. 15 | Aired Nov 8, 2012

ONE DIRECTION Live while you're young, people. Do it.

FOX

I have to say I'm a little stunned. I've seen some -- hundreds! -- of crappy reality TV results shows in my day, but The X Factor's first live results show of season 2 was just staggeringly awful. Who are they kidding?!

It's actually going to be fun to see if these hours will get progressively worse each Thursday, because right now I can't even imagine the possibility! No one -- most of all the hosts -- knows where and when to look at the camera. The judges were either faux-grief-stricken (Demi), asleep (L.A.), oblivious (Britney), or pretending they were zoning out in front of a particularly challenging Magic Eye poster (Simon). Entire segments went by during which zero things happened! I'm even using way too many exclamation points to make up for the loss of interest/a chunk of my one time on this earth/brain cells!

Yes, yes, Simon's U.K. X Factor brainchild One Direction was there and they performed twice. More like four times if you count those Pepsi commercials! They are adorable. I had the one named Harry, with the dreamy blue eyes and floppy brown hair, captured on my screen while my TV was paused for about five minutes, and my eyes nearly melted into my brain he was so cute. They're good! One Direction is my top choice for my next intimate imaginary campfire on a television set.

Jason Brock is headed home after a sing-for-survival performance of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" that sadly and somewhat shockingly did not feature the randy troublemaker (remember when he asked if he could slap Mario Lopez' butt? MEMORIES) belting out that crucial karaoke line, "I F---ING NEED YOU MORE THAN EVAH." He was pitchy and terribly nasally but passionate, while his botom-two dueler CeCe Frey's vocal chords seemed to be as fried as her platinum blonde hair on "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me." There's something crunchy going on in that elaborate bun of hers, but if I think about it too hard my hair starts to hurt.

So CeCe gets to dye another day. "ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR CONTESTANTS" boomed Mario Lopez as he sent her bounding aimlessly away. Don't care where ya go, but ya can't stay here. Good luck not falling off the stage into a pit of existential despair!

Oh, now everyone come back out onto the stage, because…..

NEXT: I've completely buried the lead here!

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