X Factor
Top Finalists Perform

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Eight it Up

Tonight's pre-credits sequence is all about how with only eight acts left and each of them wants it so bad and is going to fight so hard. Oddly, that makes it seem like there are a lot more.

The hosts come out after the credits as is their wont, and as Mario gets more relaxed, Khloe gets more wooden. It's a whole paradigm. If they switched sides, my cable would probably go out. The judges/mentors are all brought out with typical overblown fanfare and the hosts do their equally wonted awkward cross to center stage to display the leaderboard, which you may have already seen last week depending on the severity of your food coma at the time (which reminds me -- a big thank you to Carla Patton for covering while I was out). They talk about how Carly won the vote last week and turn to Simon so he can boast about how that's going to change this week -- like he says it will every week -- and then there's some major flogging of the new will.i.am video apparently being premiered on tonight's show, because this big pop star named Britney Spears is also in it. You'd think these people would be less excited about her by now. Britney herself looks a little pained at all the fuss and downright relieved to get to introduce her first act, Diamond White.

Diamond thought her performance last week was awesome and ended up in fifth place. She'll be singing "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," which makes her a little nervous after her run of successfully pulling off ballads. Britney assures her that this'll take her to the next level, though. Well, if she can get over the choreography problems she was clearly having during rehearsal. And after all this, she starts out by singing the first verse and chorus just sitting on the stage, all slow and accompanied by an acoustic guitar and strings. But no! It's just a trick! She's doing it all up-tempo after all, complete with backup dancers in vandalized tuxedos and the whole schmear. She does find a way to get some big notes in there, and not one but two key changes. And I appreciate that as the population dwindles, they're stretching out the songs and not just adding a bunch more useless crap. L.A. says he's a fan, but he's giving her an A for effort and B for execution. Demi says this is what she's been waiting for from Diamond, but she needs to "work more on your performances." "What?" Simon sputters, and asks what else Diamond could have done. He also appreciates that Diamond's gunning for the number one spot. Britney says she'd dance with her any day. She probably worked on that line all afternoon.

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