X Factor
Boot Camp #2

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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It Takes Two

So it looks like tonight we'll find out who's moving on to the next round. I've learned not to read too much into the people we see crying in the previews, because there's a better than even chance they're crying because they made it. We'll see how that plays out statistically, shall we? Actually, we won't, because that would require me to pay attention to who's crying in the previews.

Coincidentally, given that this is the second Boot Camp episode in as many days, we join the proceedings on day two of Boot Camp in Miami, where there are only sixty acts left. They're all out on the hotel's patio overlooking the Caribbean, as Simon talking-heads (and talking chests -- button your shirt, for God's sake, Cowell) that the remaining contestants will be paired off against each other in duets. In the absence of a host -- and I'm trying to pretend for as long as possible that that vacancy won't eventually be filled by Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez, two even bigger vacancies -- a producer starts calling names. To begin with, Tara Simon will be up against Jennel Garcia. Does that mean only one of them will survive? Nope. "One could make it, both could make it, neither could make it," Simon THs. So what's the point, then? David Correy will be paired with Vino Alan. Simon goes on to say that each pair has to pick their own song and divide it between themselves with no outside guidance. Of course Paige Thomas and CeCe Frey are duetting, so as to maximize the potential for conflict we were supposed to see last night. Briana Wright and Jason Brock seem to be clashing over which song to pick. L3vel (which is apparently pronounced Level 3, making me hate them even more than I already would have hated a group called "L3vel") will be duetting against Emblem3, who are sticking to their usual trash-talking ways. Simon says that after this there will be 24 acts left. "The battle is on for a place at the judges' homes," Britney narrates. And I'm sure the semifinalists can't wait to meet her kids.

Tara Simon, vocal coach and dedicated fan of Tara Simon, decides that she and Jennel Garcia will be doing "Landslide." "Um, we're set on the song," she declares when Jennel voices her doubts about performing something that isn't her style. Tara and Jennel wait in opposite wings for the entrance and eventually come out to stand before the judges. Tara looks like she's planning to eat Jennel at her earliest opportunity. Which she pretty much does when the song starts, bulldozing over the younger girl with her theatrics and her high notes and the fact that she actually knows the song. After they're done, Simon speaks for all of the judges when he says he doesn't know why that was the song they chose. As soon as Tara starts making excuses, Simon susses out that she picked the song and says he feels bad for Jennel. "Well, that's the way it goes," he dismisses them like a disappointed dad. Leaving Tara and Jennel to do some post-mortem speculation about what's next. Not much for Tara, I'm guessing.

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