X Factor
Live Show

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Five Singers: So Long

I'm getting a little discomfited by Paula's insistence on looking into the camera as she introduces each group. InTENsity is up next, the first of the two Frankengroups that the judges threw together and aren't about to get rid of any time soon. But Paula's making it tough, staging them on monkey bars like it's a production of Bye Bye Birdie and making them sing a chopped-up version of "Footloose" and something else [Note: "The Clapping Song" -- RS.]. Eventually they get to climb down and work the stage some more, but there's no getting around the fact that ten teenagers singing on a stage are never going to look like anything beyond a bunch of Mousketeers. L.A. gives them credit for doing so well, Nicole calls them her "pumpkin patch" (although she says nothing about their sincerity), and even Simon calls them a "music miracle," and "the new young Glee." Paula thanks them for their hard work, and now Steve has to herd the entire pack off the stage. Fortunately they're fairly docile even in such a large group.

The second Frankengroup is up, and the Lakoda-reel reveals that Lakoda Rayne had a pretty rough rehearsal. Their performance of "Come on Eileen" starts out slow with them on stools, but it soon picks up into a cheesy country version with a Southwestern road projected on the backdrop. Pretty rough overall, and there's not much you can do with that song in the truncated window they get to perform in. But L.A. and Nicole think they did great. Simon's also impressed, and is annoyed to have to say Paula did a really good job with all the groups. Paula gives him a kiss and gets emotional as she talks about how they made her proud, "because you, out of all the groups, have a lot to prove tonight." Would have been good to prove it, then. Off they go, and Steve says it's time to send one of the groups home.

Paula says she's worked with 22 of the 33 people still in the competition (and I'll trust her on the math), but she has to do what she has to do. "How are you going to do it?" Steve asks. "I don't know, Steve, stop asking me," she deadpans. Steve scampers way over to stage right to make room for the throng of contestants that now flood forth. Again, Paula is naming the people who go to the next round: Stereo Hogzz and Lakoda Rayne are the first to go through, leaving the Brewer Boys and InTENsity on the stage. Paula tells them they're going to go on and have careers, which she wouldn't say to ten randoms who just met, so it's even less of a shock than it already would have been to learn that InTENsity is in and the Brewer Boys are out. They take it pretty well, although the younger one's apology to Paula for not living up to her expectations sends her off on a supportive filibuster that Steve has to cut off. It's live, after all.

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