X Factor
Top 12 Perform

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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The Dirty Dozen (a.k.a. Josh and 11 Other Acts)

Simon announces, "No silly outfits, no silly seasons, it's Melanie Amaro." Like Simon hasn't put any of his girls in silly outfits before, for example LAST WEEK. Melanie tells us that getting eliminated and then brought back made her stronger, and Simon boasts how awesome he is for admitting and rectifying his mistakes. Well, yes, this one.

Simon tells us that he wants to get Melanie out of her Whitney/Beyonce/Celine diva-rut, which must be why Melanie is singing "Desperado," starting out quiet and almost a capella before busting out at the end with the diva-voice after all. Yes, it's fantastic. She did Don Henley proud. L.A. tells her the only thing Simon did right was bring her back, which even I'm not sure I agree with. Nicole says there's no limit to what Melanie's voice can do, and Paula compares her voice to the good china that you bring out for special occasions, whatever that means. Simon admits, "I didn't realize how good you are" and calls her "the one to beat." So no pressure.

Coming back, there's a long plug for something called the Extra Factor App, with Taryn Southern (you either know who that is or you don't, and I mostly don't) up in the control room showing it off on an iPad. I'm still not recapping commercials, okay? And it's still not over when we go back to the auditorium, as Simon makes Paula do a spit-take by lavishly complimenting all the new Verizon commercials that air during the show because he's in them.

Back to the contestants, and Astro the young rapper is up next. L.A. tells us that Astro will only perform his own lyrics, and although the kid is still not terribly humble, he admits to being nervous about competing against singers in a singing competition. Which is a valid concern.

His stage design includes his name in big letters as he sings "Hip Hop Hooray," again with words of his own devising and again comparing himself to Jay-Z. There's a little Missy Elliot breakdown in the middle, cue the dancers and confetti, and then back to the first song, and he's out. Nicole compliments him on writing his own words, Paula enables his Jay-Z delusions, and Simon brings up L.A.'s assertion a few weeks ago that people Astro's age can't sell rap records. L.A.'s ready to take that back, and Simon calls Astro a "little star," which Astro doesn't visibly take offense to. L.A says Astro gets better every week, and then Steve's back doing the Steve thing.

Time now for the second Frankengroup, InTENsity. We're reminded how Ellona from the group was singled out as a great singer last week. Just not enough to come through as a soloist. Some of the kids have concerns about coming off Disney.

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