X Factor
Judges' Homes #3

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

So with ten whole minutes left in the show, the final sixteen have been named. "Or have they?" Steve asks. Sitting out on his pool deck at night with an assistant, Simon tells her, "I think I've made a mistake." She really sells her muted shock, slowly pulling her hands from the keyboard of her laptop as Simon insists that he made a big mistake. Well, I could have told him that.

Coming back, Steve tells us that the judges compared notes after making their picks, and Simon was having second thoughts, and the other judges agreed. So apparently he travels to Sunrise, Florida by plane, and then he's driven in an SUV along with a whole camera and sound crew to knock on some girl's door like he's Publisher's Clearing House in a white V-neck T-shirt. Don't stretch this out too much, Simon, or we're going to have time to look up who came from Sunrise, Florida. A dad lets Simon in conspiratorially, so Melanie doesn't know he's there until he's inside the house, shaking everyone's hand in the tiny, crowded living room. After things calm down, Simon makes a production of personally apologizing to Melanie and asks her back. Obviously she's thrilled, and her family excitedly tells her to say yes. Well, this is very thrilling and happy and all, but who's getting cut after being told they're still in it? "I never would have forgiven myself if I hadn't done this," Simon tells us outside the house. He's in an awfully good mood for someone who's going to have to yank someone's dream away...but then Steve tells us the final seventeen are confirmed. Okay then. Must be nice to be Simon. Rules are rules, except when they're not.

So then there's a whole flashy preview of next Tuesday's first live show, reminding us once again that it'll be L.A. with the Boys (Marcus Canty, "Astro" [formerly known as Brian Bradley], Phillip Lomax and Chris Rene), Paula with the Groups (Lakoda Rayne, The Brewer Boys, InTENsity and the Stereo Hogzz), Nicole with the Over 30s (Josh Krajcik, LeRoy Bell, Dexter Haygood and Stacy Francis), and Simon with the Girls (Simone Fucking Battle, Rachel Crow, Tiah Tolliver, Drew Ryniewicz and Melanie Amaro). All of them get glamour shots showing them posing in a corridor of lights, staring intensely out at us through the lens flares, as Steve reminds us they'll be back live! Tuesday! Live! Liiiiiive!!

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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