X Factor
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Six of One, Half-Dozen of the Other

Mario and Khloe bring out the top seven and the mentors: Britney with Carly and Diamond; L.A. with Tate and Vino; Demi with CeCe; and Simon with Fifth Harmony and Emblem3. In no particular order, they start reading off names of the safe acts in super-slow motion: Fifth Harmony (who freak the fuck out like Ally's grandfather just walked up to them), CeCe Fucking Frey (back with the leopard-spots and leonine hair), Emblem3 (making it a sweep for Simon) and Carly Rose Sonenclar (no shit). That leaves Vino, Diamond and Tate, two of whom are in the bottom two. And it's not Tate, because he's safe, meaning Vino and Diamond are in the bottom two. Mario asks Simon if he's surprised and Simon says he is about Diamond, but not so much about Vino. I think he's probably still surprised about Paige.

After the break, Mario again flogs Britney's video, without mentioning will.i.am once. Meanwhile, Khloe is backstage talking about how shocked she is at the bottom two, who are standing right next to her. She patronizes Diamond and asks Vino if he's mad at L.A. for changing his song on him last night. Vino says he's not and then we're back onstage with Mario, who introduces Alicia Keys. She sings "Girl on Fire." Seems a bit ill-timed for a Hunger Games tune, but she knows more about the industry than I do. Anyway, the production design is more Avatar: The Last Airbender, so never mind. At the end, the hosts come out and go right into announcing the sing-off on the way to ads. All Alicia Keys has to do is stand there for five more seconds, but at some point she gets bored and wanders off, but not without flirtily touching Mario's hair first. Nice exit.

Coming back, Mario tells us for what I think is the eighty-seventh time that Paige Thomas has already left and Britney introduces Diamond White. Who comes out and sings a balled called "I Was Here," all about wanting to leave an indelible mark after you're gone. Except she sings it flawlessly, so it might not even apply.

L.A. introduces Vino, who comes out onstage stripping to his v-neck t-shirt and then pulls the even more desperate move of reprising the song he did for his first audition. That would be "Trouble," which has been inflated into a country power ballad for the occasion. He also leaves it all on the stage, to the point where I actually don't know what's going to happen.

Mario, Khloe and Diamond reunite with Vino on the stage, and Mario gets right to it, asking L.A. who he's sending home as though it isn't obvious what with L.A. being Vino's mentor. L.A. says there are no two acts he'd rather not have to pick between. "I don't even like my own decision in this one, but I have to send home the beautiful Diamond White." Diamond fights tears like that wasn't a foregone conclusion. Her mentor, Britney, says they both did amazing, but she's sending home Vino. Mario tells Demi that she's an impartial judge (we'll see) and asks who she's booting. Demi says they both deserve to be there, but after a long pause she says she's sending Vino home. Mario tells Simon -- like he doesn't know damn well -- that if he sends Vino home he's done, but if he votes out Diamond it's a Deadlock. Simon agrees with L.A. and gets bleeped saying what I think is "Christ." He adds that they both sang really well, but he finally sends home Vino. The hosts send Diamond backstage to be with what are still her peeps while L.A. gets up to join Vino and the hosts onstage. Vino says we still haven't seen everything he's got. Maybe you should have sung a different song tonight, then. Khloe says something, but her mic is off, which is her best hosting moment to date.

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