X Factor
Season 3 – Top 12 Finalists Perform

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Back to the Past

The previouslies are a quick recap of the top thirteen, which at this point in the season would have been a top eleven, if not for the screw-ups of the graphics department and Paulina Rubio. Apparently it's '80s night, so obviously Kelly's category has the edge there. One of her singers probably even remembers the '80s!

Mario comes out onto an '80s-decorated stage, sporting a loosely knotted skinny leather tie in keeping with the theme. He tells us that the top thirteen are going to be doing eighties songs tonight -- except one, because first we've got to quickly shitcan the act who got the fewest votes after what was supposed to be last week's results show. With all of the acts waiting on the stage, Mario waits through a full twenty seconds of dead air before finally blurting, "Carlos Guevara!" So at least Paulina's category is back to its correct size, as she watches Carlos say goodbye to Mario as though she's watching a cell phone commercial. And not even a cell phone commercial, but a cell phone network commercial. Carlos takes it pretty well, considering he probably spent the last week rehearsing two songs that he'll now be performing in front of his bathroom mirror.

Lillie McCloud is kicking off '80s night, which is appropriate because she's probably the only one in the competition who actually has a single out in the '80s. It was called "Don't You Want My Love," and released under her stage name of Nicole McCloud, and even though you've never heard it it's so quintessentially '80s that you've totally heard it. Lillie says she was so close, and doesn't want that to happen again this time. Much as Jeff Gutt was feeling the pressure of being from Detroit during Motown week, she's now feeling the pressure of being from the '80s. Kelly has assigned her Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody," which, coincidentally or not, sounds almost exactly like her single. She's rocking some Chaka Khan hair herself tonight in place of her usual Foxy Cleopatra afro, but the song doesn't exactly show off what she can do. Instead it's more like a second crack at what she tried to do in the '80s, and if it didn't work then it's sure not going to work now.

She's got some nice goodwill from the audience, who gives her a standing ovation. Paulina calls her "multifaCETed" and a goddess. Demi says she doesn't understand why Lillie never took off in the '80s, although she looked a little uncomfortable a time or two. Simon notices that Lillie seems a little winded and remarks, "You're a naughty little thing, aren't you?" Oddly, he says she's making an effort to be current, but the dancing is probably not her thing. Kelly says it's okay to get out of her head and have fun, until Simon interrupts to ask why Lillie thinks she can win. Lillie basically says she can turn into whatever they want. Maybe that's why she didn't take off in the '80s.

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