X Factor
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"Winners" and Losers

Mario says the top six will face an agonizing wait tonight. Well, five of them will, because one of them will probably be out of here within ten minutes. After the credits, Khloe lies that the judges are just as nervous as the acts are. I'm sure that's true, because if any of them loses they'll have to go back to Belton, Missouri and pave roads, right? Mario reminds us that Melanie Amaro will be released from witness protection for a performance tonight and Ke$ha will also be inflicted on us later on. Probably to make CeCe look good by comparison.

Let's take a look at last night. After being told by Simon that she wasn't worth five million dollars, CeCe blustered backstage that if he doesn't write the check, someone else might (they won't). Meanwhile, Demi reiterated backstage that Simon's taking Emblem3 in the wrong direction; Everybody Loves Carly and Fifth Harmony took the non-Simon judges' criticism pretty hard, whereas Diamond got bucked up by her mom backstage; and Tate said he took a risk, which is a self-justifying thing artists like to say when they mean "I face-planted." And that's just the first round of last night. So moving on to the Pepsi Challenge round, CeCe claimed to a vocal coach that she deserves to be here because nobody loves their "art" as much as she does. You always hurt the ones you love, CeCe. Emblem3 said Demi needs to chill out a bit, which is just about the douchiest of the douchey things that have ever come out of their mouths. Carly enjoyed more positive feedback, and Fifth Harmony enjoyed getting any at all after their second performance. Diamond did more grubbing for votes backstage and Tate hopes he made up for his first performance with his second one.

Khloe gives us a little history about what happened a year ago in such a way that it's clear she's never heard of Melanie Amaro before this week. But then, neither have a lot of people. Melanie gets an intro reel, which consists entirely of clips from last season -- although she's speaking in almost none of them -- and then she's presented to the audience standing on a perilously narrow and high platform to sing her new anonymous up-tempo pop single, "Long Distance." Which I don't expect many people have heard before or will hear again. Now I'm just dreading the return of Chris Rene next week. As the song goes on, Melanie is lowered gradually to the stage and joined by a couple of backup singers to finish up, along with a little confetti snow and some minimal choreography. Standing ovation from all four judges, because if she's awesome, they're awesome. The hosts come out and ask her how her life is different and she says that people love her and recognize her now. Also, her accent appears to be gone again, so that's too bad.

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