X Factor
Judges' Homes #3

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

Over to Malibu, where Nicole is getting ready to end some careers for good. For very good, in at least one case. But the first to face Nicole is Josh the Burrito Guy. He interviews about how this could change his life. Nicole acts all nervous, sitting on a couch in her back yard with her feet tucked under her as Josh sits on the other end. She doesn't have Simon's skill for fucking with people, and there's not much suspense before she tells him he's going through. Josh gives her a big hug, which probably makes her regret not telling him last. Now she needs to be fumigated.

Nicole's next victim is Christa Collins, who we've barely seen but who I was completely exhausted with at first sight two weeks ago. Oh, but before we find out what happens to her, we catch up to James Kenney of the five jobs. "Jobs, and then there's dreams," he interviews. And he really wants his kids to see his dad live his dream. Awfully kind of him, thinking about his kids that way. And yet we don't find out what happens to him either, until we check in with Dexter Haygood, who says this is the most important day of his life, and admits that during the previous day's performance for Nicole and Enrique, he "stunk up the room." Which is being a little hard on himself, especially since he was outside. He reminds us that he's homeless, and thus needs this more than anyone. Too bad Paula isn't here to protect him any more.

Now it's a three-way edit, as Nicole tells Christa there's still room for growth, and compliments James on his vulnerability while wondering if he's the solo artist they're looking for. As for Dexter, she just makes him cry. Not that that's hard. Decision time: she cuts Christa loose, sending her and her mascara-rivers back for a hug from Steve. She also ends it for James Kenney, who gets to go back to his five jobs now. I also have more than one job, but the difference is that I like mine. As for Dexter, she tells him that she's torn between her heart and her head, but she has a big heart, so Dexter's still in it. "I'm actually the happiest man in the world right now," Dexter tells Steve with uncharacteristic calmness, and then takes a celebratory dive into Nicole's pool in one of the three outfits he owns.

Up to Villa Abdul, where Paula's getting ready to inflict some mass casualties. We're about to learn the fates of 2 Squar'd, the four-girl group; moppet brothers The Brewer Boys, and Illusion Confusion, if "learn" is the correct word in that last case. They interview that it would be a nightmare if it ended for them now; 2 Squar'd has basically gone all in for this, quitting their jobs and zeroing out their bank accounts; and the Brewer Boys seem like they could take this or leave it. So it's time for the three-way interview. Paula tells the Brewer Boys she's proud of them, Illusion Confusion that they have good vocals but lack showmanship, and 2 Squar'd that they need to make it work when they're asked to sing songs that don't work for them. In other words, it's their fault they were assigned the worst possible song Paula could think of having them do. She tells Illusion Confusion they're done, and one of them interviews afterward, "I'm mad as hell. I'm very upset." This he says with utter calmness and complete lack of showmanship, so I kind of see Paula's point. 2 Squar'd is also out, but the Brewer Boys don't have to suffer anything but a long wait before Paula tells them they're in. Afterward, the younger one's emotional, while the older one appears to be cracking up laughing.

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