We get to watch severely letterboxed versions of last week's eliminations of Sister C, Willie Jones, David Correy, and Diamond White before we're reminded that we're expected to vote for the acts who will sing live tonight. Because I think that what America is in the mood for right now is more voting. Stellar timing as always, The X Factor.
The judges come out onstage and submit to the crowd noise before taking their seats. Mario and Khloe come out and Mario yells, "Everyone welcome to The X Factor, let's go!" So we're not wasting any time, then? Great, who sings first? Oh, wait, Mario was just blustering. He and Khloe tell us yet again that the top twelve will be singing for our votes tonight. Except, as Simon announces, the judges have decided that someone from last week gets to come back because they made a mistake, and by "they," we of course mean Britney Spears. And out comes Diamond White, wearing earrings the size of her head and smiling happily over getting the coveted Melanie Amaro spot. Mario shoos her offstage until later and announces that the theme tonight is "songs from the movies," which is underscored by a playing of the 20th Century Fox fanfare, of course.
And the first person to sing tonight, after Khloe and Britney have themselves an impromptu little awkward-off, is Arin Ray. We flash back to Arin's near-elimination last week, as well as his actual elimination with InTENsity at this time last year, as he vows that he's about to give the biggest performance of his life. He sings "American Boy" by Estelle with a motorcycle-racing themed production (which must have something to do with a movie I don't know that this song I also don't know must be from), and he sounds pretty good once he warms up. L.A. tells him he's a totally different person from last year, and Arin thanks him. He didn't say it was a compliment, but it turns out it actually was. Demi (who needs to fire her eyebrow person) tells Arin that he clearly took their advice from last week, which is the biggest compliment they ever give anyone. Simon even credits Britney for doing such a good job as his mentor. Britney recites complimentary speech number three, and then the hosts come out to join Arin, Khloe flirts awkwardly, and Mario sends us to commercial. Thank you, Mario. A little faster next time, though, please.
After the ads, Mario comes back to flog the hell out of the X Factor app from the control room and then yields to Khloe at the judges' table, who lets Simon flog it as well, as he deadpans that it's the best app in the world. Well, if he says so. You know how objective he always is.