X Factor
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The Dirty Baker's Dozen

Coming back, Mario and Khloe are up in the audience as they remind us that we vote tonight and there will be results tomorrow, as well as a performance from One Direction. Can't wait. And then L.A. introduces Tate Stevens, who we learn graduated from high school in 1994, then tried to be a star instead of going to college, and then ended up taking his day job in construction rather than being away from home all the time. So now he's here for his family. It's totally logical if you think about it. He sings "Wanted Dead or Alive," which I guess could potentially be from any number of movies, not that I can think of any right now. And, you know, it's not country like Tate usually does, but there are lyrics about being a cowboy so L.A. must figure it counts. Especially with a lot of giant neon steer heads and words in "Western" font up on the projection screens. He does pretty well with it, though, and so does whoever's singing the indispensable Richie Sambora part along with him. Britney agrees with Tate that he's a cowboy and "a slice of America." Demi says she loves him and thinks he has what it takes, and Simon tells him it feels like he's arrived back in the competition. And he likes giving guys like Tate a break, putting Demi on the spot as to whether Tate can sell records at age 37. Demi maintains that Tate looks like a pop star. Well, unless he takes his hat off. L.A. just says he hopes America votes for Tate. Always nice when your mentor is the least effusive of all the judges.

Khloe's still backstage, where I'm starting to think she should spend a lot more time, and the cameras should spend a lot less. Simon gets the floor and announces, "The movie is Mary Poppins; the group are Lyric 145." Can't wait to hear their hip-hop version of "Chim Chim Cheree" or "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Wait, what, they're actually doing that second one? Simon appears to have his Disney movies mixed up, starting them off dressed for Alice's mad tea party behind a table that turns out to be packed with dancers. And of course he also has them dressed like demented clowns again, with a stage and lighting design that expresses every last erg of Simon's pent-up rage at the world's epileptics. At one point, Lyric Da Queen leans over on the judges' table and teases L.A. about how she can even say "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" backwards, but that would be going a little too far. And one of the guys says, "One night I said it to Britney and now she's my wife." Clearly Simon's goal with this group is to invent a weapon of mass headache-inducement. When the torture finally ends, L.A. goes first, telling the table-mic that Lyric broke for him that he hated it, but it was perfect. Britney liked the theatrics (which, agreed, were amped up enough to penetrate even the thickest Thorazine haze), and Demi says to Simon, "Who knew that in that rusty old brain there were some fresh, cool, hip thoughts?" Is that what we've just learned? Simon reveals that Lyric picked the song, and it was "bloody fantastic." I think I may be losing my mind here.

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