X Factor
Judges' Homes #3

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Making the Hard Choices

Previouslies and previews, bombastic as usual. All I know is that if everyone they show crying or looking sad or serious in the previews for tonight's episode is really eliminated, there won't be anyone left.

Do I have to go over the whole thing where there are four categories, each of which were sent to one of the judge-slash-mentors homes, and how the girls went to Simon Cowell's place in France, while the Over 30s went to Nicole Scherzinger's house in Malibu to sing for her and Enrique Iglesias, as the Groups put on a show for Paula Abdul and Pharrell in Santa Barbara, and the boys sang to Rihanna and L.A. Reid at his house in the Hamptons? Well, I'm sure not doing it again.

It's the morning after the auditions, and Simon says he had a "wobble" last night, but woke up clear-headed. Looks like they'll be getting the news in pairs, and the first pair is mechanic Tora Woloshin and Simone Fucking Battle. There's a whole recap of their careers in the competition to date, as there will be for the rest of the contestants, because how else are you going to stretch out sixteen yeses and sixteen nos to two hours? Even Simon isn't getting paid enough to spend three-and-a-half minutes a pop saying "Noooooooooooo." Tora and Simone present themselves before Simon on his pool deck one at a time, standing at the official distance for a papal audience while Simon relaxes behind his shades in a chair. And although the both girls are there with him separately, the editors are cutting back and forth between Simon's speeches to them, I guess just to make my life harder. Simon tells Tora that she's got some rotten luck being in such a strong category, and Simone that he's pretty concerned about her tendency to forget the lyrics. Yes, I noticed that too. He tells one of them she didn't make it, but we don't know who it is until they cut back to...Tora. And yet Simone is going on to the live shows. Then they both call home, and as you can imagine, those calls sound pretty different.

Next is Drew Ryniewicz, the 14-year-old Justin Bieber fan, and we watch what may be her final interview with Simon without any editing tricks. Simon tells her she saw improvement, and she couldn't have done more. "But I only have four girls I can take to the live show," and she wasn't even the best teenager. Then he makes her squirm a bit before clarifying his statement: "You were the best contestant of the whole day." So Drew's one of the final four girls. Between hugs, she tells him, "You scared me." "I know that," Simon smugs. It's his job after all. She calls home, and I'm starting to think they all have to use the same phone. You suppose it's the same one we keep seeing in the commercials?

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