X Factor
Live Show #1

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Simon vs. L.A.

Khloe invites a response from Vino, who rumbles into the mic that he'll come back next week and show them. I'm actually kind of impressed with the judges for being willing to criticize someone who looks that scary.

Khloe and Mario welcome us back and mention Halloween, and someone obligingly plays a "spooky" sound effect in the auditorium. Moments like this are is why the show will end up running more than two hours. Mario reminds us that there's no voting this week; instead, the Top 16 are competing to make it into the Top 12, which means four of the acts we see tonight will be finished as of tomorrow. Boot four a week for the rest of the season and I'm totally on board.

Khloe and Simon flirt embarrassingly (and grossly) before he introduces his next group, Lyric 145. The guys formerly in One4Five talk about their tough upbringing in Queens and Lyric da Queen talks about all the funerals she's been to in Flint, Michigan. But now they're here in Los Angeles, and we see them working with Simon and with a choreographer, since singing isn't really their thing anyway.

They come out onstage and perform a "Boom! Shake the Room"-slash-"Gangnam Style" mashup, which works even more poorly than you think. There are also breakdancers, and the three rappers are wearing about four brightly-patterned outfits each so that they look like nothing so much as the dumpster behind Walt Disney World.

L.A. tells them they're an amazing group, but they sounded "like someone put you in a washer, dumped in bleach, and took all the soul out of you." He insists that would never be their single, and dares Lyric to say she really likes the song. "I made you like it," Lyric tells the audience, which wasn't the question. L.A. insists it wasn't hip-hop and they know it. But Britney says she was genuinely entertained, while Demi disagrees with L.A. and tells Simon she's a little worried about the group because they're so good. Simon argues that rappers have to be commercial in a competition like this, and that they were "absolutely sensational." As if he'd say otherwise.

After the ads, Demi introduces CeCe Frey, who has permanently traded the leopard spots for a mass of lemon-yellow curls. This is Demi's plan for making her more likable? But CeCe seems determined to make us relate to her if it's the last fucking thing we do, goddammit.

She comes out and sings a disco version of Patti Smith's "Because the Night." Oh, and now the leopard spots are no longer on her face, but on whatever she's wearing over her boobs. This "performance" seems all about the choreography and the backup dancers, because her actual voice sounds a lot weaker and breathier than usual.

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