Could this pre-credits sequence be any noisier or more unintelligible? Even the low-rent announcer sounds like he's doing his job by speakerphone. Fortunately there are also onscreen titles telling us that tonight, the 60 people still at Boot Camp will be winnowed down to 24, who will proceed to the judges' homes and perform for not only Simon, Demi, Britney and L.A., but also guest mentors will.i.am, Nick Jonas, Marc Anthony and Justin Bieber. Poor Drew from last season must be shitting herself at home over that last one.
Morning comes on the final day of Boot Camp (which is also day number three, in case you were worried about anyone being too worn out). Simon narrates that more than half of the remaining acts will go home, but 24 will proceed to the next stage. The judges meet at their table in the otherwise empty auditorium while we see clips of contestants singing and interviewing about their emotional state, intercut with the judges debating yeses and nos. I'm not going to break it all down because the judges could be talking about anyone and not necessarily the people we're seeing at any given moment. Otherwise it would just be too much of a giveaway. But this way they get to burn eight minutes of air time reminding us that some of these people still exist.
After the ads, we get the first official word on the categories from Simon. There are no more "Boys" or "Girls" categories, which I always thought was a weird term for groups that included people in their twenties anyway. Now there are unisex categories consisting of "Teens" (people aged 16 and under), "Young Adults" (people aged 17-24), "Over 25s" (duh), and "Groups," the last being the only category held over from last year. However, also like last year, six acts from each category will go to the judges' homes, one category for each judge to mentor. But first, here at Boot Camp, the remaining contestants will be brought onstage one category at a time to receive the news, starting with the Young Adults. "This is one category where we're going to lose some really good people," Simon tells us. Unlike the Groups category, he leaves unsaid. There are quite a lot of Young Adults on the stage to start with, so that's going to be a tough category. The first person named is CeCe Frey, who displays an emotion other than bloodlust for once. Willie Jones is also going through, as are Jennel Garcia (who hugs her new soulmate Jillian Jensen), Nick Youngerman (even though we totally watched him choke last week), Paige Thomas (whose eye makeup is already running even before her name is read), and Jillian Jensen, who goes and hugs Jennel backstage and cries more than ever. Bad luck for the likes of Sophie Tweed-Simmons, Ally Brooke (who's wearing stupid lensless glasses instead of a stupid hat for this moment of humiliation), Lyric Da Queen and any number of other people I've already forgotten.