X Factor
Boot Camp #2

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Putting the "Boot" in "Boot Camp"

"So that's it," Steve narrates. Thank God. "Or is it?" Yes! Yes, Steve, it is! No, I guess not. Fuck you, Steve. The losers are just leaving the building when the judges summon 14 of the boys and girls back for some reason. They're assembled in a hallway with their eyes rolling in confusion like cattle in a slaughterhouse chute, until finally they're disgorged onto the stage. The judges divide them into two groups and explain that they sometimes cast solo artists in groups. Simon says that some of them, in groups, could have blown away the competition, but they didn't come in that way. "But now," he announces, "you are in the Groups category." So most of the rejected boys and girls are back in the competition, filling out those open Group spots. Obviously they're thrilled, but now Brock is absolutely never going to tap that. And for people like Cari Fletcher and Paige Ogle, this has to take some of the sting out of losing to Simone Fucking Battle.

The people still in it all unite outside the theater happily, while the judges' SUVs drive past, Simon sticking an upraised thumb out the window at them. Yay! Happy! We made it! All done!

What? "After the break?" Oh, come on.

Steve returns one last time to remind us that thousands have been narrowed down to 32, eight in each of the four categories. Judges become mentors, blah blah blah. Three days after Boot Camp, the "producers" meet in a conference room behind half-open blinds to assign categories to the judges. Steve tells us they're just about ready to call L.A. in New York, Paula and Nicole in Los Angeles, and Simon "on vacation in the south of France," who is chillaxing on a giant yacht which he totally owns.

We see them all sitting in their respective locations, just waiting for their phones to ring in front of the cameras, talking to us about the different categories and which ones they think they'll end up with. Simon boasts, "It's not a question of who I'm happy with, it's a question of making other people happy knowing they've got me." L.A. is confident of his chances of winning regardless of his category. They're all edited to get their calls at the same time, but Nicole gets the news first: she'll be mentoring the Over 30s. She works really hard to seem happy about it, and maybe oversells it a little. "You didn't say Girls, did you?" she double-checks. They didn't. L.A. is getting the Boys. "I think I just won," he says, and wonders aloud who Simon got. Paula is getting the Groups. She's screwed and she knows it. When Simon gets his call, he grumps, "Just tell me who I've got, please." He's got the Girls. "You just made eight girls very, very happy," he tells the producer. Simon at his house with eight girls? Who thought that was a good idea?

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