X Factor
Top Finalists Perform

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Their Own Worst Enemies

You can tell The X Factor has its big-boy pants on tonight, because I think the voice-over guy is one I've actually heard before, outside the context of this show. We're reminded that Jason Brock got the boot last week, all the other acts were ranked in order of votes FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, and we're told that the theme for tonight is "Songs of the Divas." Just rub that salt in Jason Brock's wounds, Actual Voice-Over Guy. The mentors talk big over yet another replay of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Two Tribes," even though it's four tribes going to war. They should really play it twice.

Mario and Khloe come out onstage, and what she's wearing tonight... I'm sorry, I can't even. They throw the leaderboard up on the big projection screens because they're still super-thrilled about how that happened for THE FIRST TIME EVER. Yes, show, I heard you THE FIRST TIME EVER. The hosts introduce the judges and flog the diva theme for a while before coaxing some more bragging out of each of the mentors, not that it takes much effort.

Demi starts things off by introducing Jennel, who we learn is also a dance instructor back home. She Skypes with her students, and Demi tells her about how they're going to see her do better than the seventh place she pulled off last week. Too bad Demi has her doing a watered-down version of Ike & Tina Turner's "Proud Mary." L.A. tells her she has returned to the competition, Britney says Tina would be proud, and Simon agrees that she's back in the game, probably because he likes her hair again. "I'm glad you listened to me," he says. Demi agrees that they did it together. When the hosts come out, Khloe asks Jennel if she wants to respond to any of the criticism she got the last couple of weeks. Jennel: "Um, no." Smart, too.

Keep talking about the X Factor app as long as you want, Mario. I'm just going to skip it like every other commercial.

L.A. claims that Tate Stevens represents "every American who ever gave up on their dreams." Uh, thank you? In his intro reel, we learn about how Tate met his wife at age 17, and he tells the story to CeCe, who's doing a good job of feigning interest at least while the cameras roll. Tate says he isn't coasting on his number-one vote total from last week. Which is good, because he probably isn't going to repeat it. He's singing "At This Moment" by Shania Twain, and I have to admit that he isn't remotely complacent, nailing the key change and not only singing to his wife in his mind, but singing to his wife while she's really mad at him in his mind (his actual wife is looking proud backstage). Britney compliments him on his vocals and how heartfelt it was. Demi can only say he's really good, and Simon reluctantly says, "That was better than last week," but remembers to make it about the design of the show (and this giving himself part of the credit) before saying he'd be happy to write the five-million-dollar check to Tate. L.A. just says that's good, because he's going to. And then the hosts come out and Khloe blatantly grubs for another Make-Tate-Cry bonus for herself.

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X Factor

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