It's going to be a double elimination tonight, and maybe you might have heard that One Direction is on the show as well. I'm probably the only person watching who's more excited about the former.
As usual, we get the high-speed replay of the night before, with added (but not value-added) reactions from the top ten backstage, including Sierra's tears at being called the weak link. And then we come back and Simon complains about how the other judges were too hard on his two acts. Which they weren't, and they say so, and Mario tools, "I see what you have to deal with, with the ladies." Shut up, Mario.
Then there's a clip package that's supposedly about how stressful the competition is for all the acts, and all the different ways they deal with it, but which is actually a deodorant infomercial. At least it's more subtle and less embarrassing than last week's shampoo travesty, plus the deodorant people are generous enough to be giving away a trip to see an X Factor taping. Second prize is of course two X Factor tapings.
Now it's time for the first elimination of the night. Mario presents the groups with their mentors standing on the four ends of the stage, intones "this...is it," and after a long pause announces that tonight the competition ends for Khaya Cohen. Not surprisingly. She takes it like a champ, and Demi tells her she's young and needs to keep singing. But now she's never going to get to perform with Simon's puppies next week.
Mario introduces One Direction, who are apparently the biggest boy band in the world, in case you were wondering. I admit to being startled by the onscreen graphic that they've had 64 number-one hits, but then accurate onscreen numbers are something this show has had issues with in the past. So they come out and sing a sensitive, earnest ballad, and I'm sorry but I don't have a lot to say about One Direction that you probably don't already know. But in case you haven't heard of them, imagine if Fitz from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went through a cloning machine that could only spit out copies with fucked-up hair and you get the general idea. They fulfill their contractual obligation to the franchise and get a standing ovation from all four judges, so now they can look forward to One Direction Day on Saturday. Is it really that soon? Dear God, I nearly missed it.
Mario now re-presents the top nine with their mentors, telling us the names of the safe acts will be given in no particular order. And very, very, very…very…