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Top Finalists Perform

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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The Dirty Baker's Dozen

Khloe has Demi introduce Paige Thomas, whose intro clip is all about how her three-year-old daughter is her motivation. And then, believe it or not, Paige is lowered onto the stage in a giant billowing white dress that looks like a scene from Tony Kushner's Angels In America: The Upskirt Epoch. She sings "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun, battling against the distraction of having a "dance partner" whose primary function appears to be disengaging her from her flight rig. L.A. loved the production, but was expecting more from Paige vocally. Britney also liked the beginning the best. But Simon tells Demi, "I don't think you could have put any more on that stage," and then says she could have used her imagination and done more with it. Well, which is it? Demi responds sarcastically, saying to Paige, "I'm so sorry I let you down." She kind of had to eventually; Paige couldn't hover indefinitely. Demi and the audience pretty much shout Simon down with their positive feedback, and the hosts let Paige tell us how much she loved it. Which, surprise, was a lot.

Khloe brings her awkward vibe and lack of personal space backstage to try to have a conversation with Tate Stevens, who would clearly rather be anywhere else in the world. Back out in the auditorium, Tate's mentor L.A. introduces Vino Alan. We learn that Vino's hometown is Waynesville, Missouri, right outside a military base. He tried to join, but his tattoos kept him out, so he's been singing for the troops instead. Tonight he's singing "When a Man Loves a Woman" (supposedly from the movie When a Man Loves a Woman, like the film came first), looking uncharacteristically swag in a steel-gray suit that might be made of actual steel. He does fine, although he doesn't pace himself and show off his voice as well as usual with the quieter notes. Not that the song really lets him, with its notorious lack of quiet parts. Still, Britney liked the performance, particularly the way it showed off how unique and special his voice was. The fact that he's hiding more of his tattoos than normal couldn't hurt with her either. Demi says it was phenomenal, but she's still concerned that "I have a hard time seeing you as a number one artist." You know, Demi, they have lasers and Dermabrasion now. Simon tells him he went "from zero to hero" compared to last week, and that Demi's comment was pretty stupid given what happened with Susan Boyle. "Vino, come back," he interrupts himself while Vino's shaking hands with the crowd off stage left, and lamely concludes, "You're a good man." As Khloe and Mario flank Vino, L.A. tells him he's proud of him and admits that Simon was right, so they used his advice. Looks like they've patched things up, at least for now.

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