X Factor
Judges' Homes #2

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
Not-Entirely-Sweet Sixteen

Only one left to go. Melanie Amaro, who blew the judges away with her performance of Beyonce's "Listen" at her first audition, is about to sing for Simon. She interviews about her supportive, huge family, and heads out to Simon's pool deck to sing "Carry Me There" by Michael Jackson. She does a great job, and the camera, tired of waiting for a reaction from the perpetually stone-faced Simon, zooms in on a tree instead as she wraps it up. But once she's away, Simon feigns a collapse on his couch. As his flunkies converge on him, Simon says he got that look from Melanie that people give him when they're daring him to write them off. Probably not much danger of that. But, after the break? We get to watch the judges making decisions, probably edited in such a way as to give nothing away until Tuesday's episode. Which I'm writing about on a Sunday. Did the earth's poles reverse or something?

So that was 32, counting the ones from Thursday's episode, so now the judges and their guests each have to spend the evening narrowing down their eight acts down to four. The editing jumps around between all four judges and their guests, and shots of acts performing and telling the camera how much they want it. The judges eliminate people without any of the editing letting us know who they are. So there was a whole long sequence to amp up drama and suspense without actually telling us anything.

And then, after all that deciding, Steve tells us, "This Tuesday, it's decision time!" By which he actually means the acts -- and, more importantly, we -- will find out who's in and who's out. But don't be fooled by who we see crying in the previews, because I've been burned on that before. Well, "burned" is a strong word. "Warmed," maybe.

M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at m.giant[at]gmail.com.

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