X Factor 2012 Top 12: What it looks like when the judges get it WRONG

If you thought you knew which finalists were going home after the Top 16 performed on the first "X Factor" Season 2 live show, you were most likely wrong.

Have you ever been in the position where you see a catastrophe impending, know its coming, and also know there isn't the least thing you can do to stop it? That's what "X Factor" resembled last night -- an foreseeable but unstoppable disaster. And just like in a good disaster movie, someone steps in just before the end to avert the end of all things as we know it. Such was the script for the first results/judgment show for Season 2, where the Top 16 would be pared down to 12 finalists to continue toward the "X Factor" finale, and they didn't waste time putting the viewer dead in the center of the calamity.

It started off innocuous enough with Judge/mentor Demi Lovato's Young Adults. She quickly saved Jennel Garcia and Paige Thomas after their better-than-average performances from the Top 16 show. This left the newly blonded CeCe Frey and the country crooner kid, Willie Jones. As hosts Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez explained before things got started, the final two unsaved finalists in each category would have to sing for their lives to get their mentor's pass to the Top 12. Judge Demi went with vocal quality over likability and "X Factor" viewers are left with the crocodile-tear-crying (how many noticed that CeCe doesn't shed tears when she's supposed to be sobbing?) CeCe Frey to vote off in the first few shows. (Demi's strategy is uncertain in this contest due to the fact that Willie Jones, despite being a novelty, was a sure Top 10 contender, perhaps even Top 5. CeCe Frey's phoniness erases the points she wins for talent, much of which seemed in absentia during her performance of the classic "Because The Night" (Patti Smith) during the performance round.) And was that a look of complete exasperation on Willie Jones face when he got the bad news? Like most watching, young Willie didn't think he should have been sent home.

Judge/mentor L. A. Reid's Over 25s were next. The first shock of the night came when he first saved Vino Alan, whose power pop song from the night before had met with cautious reviews from the judges. Tate Stevens was an easy choice for a save, leaving David Correy (what? really?) and Jason Brock to battle for the third team slot. Both performed with passion, but the judges seemed to think David's was a bit forced. Perhaps, but it didn't come across that way on television. But the real shocker came when Judge L. A. chose Jason as his third team member, sending David Correy home. (What about his having maybe the best and most sympathetic backstory among the Top 16?What about the reunion with his biological mother? What really happened, because you get the feeling that someone as vocally talented as David Correy had to have some outside issues going on for him to be dismissed so early from the competition?)

Then it was time for the strongest of the categories, Judge/mentor Britney Spears' Teens. Another surprise. Instead of being one of the two that would sing for their lives, Beatrice Miller was chosen as her first save. Then she saved Carly Rose Sonenclar, whose name the crowd had begun chanting even before Britney made her first choice. This left Arin Ray and Diamond White. Both Teens performed well but when all was said and done, Britney surprisingly chose Arin Ray to remain on her team. (It has to be considered that the judges -- at least some of them -- are thinking strategically. With a unique Teen -- Beatrice -- and a strong pop Teen -- Carly Rose -- and a strong R&B Teen, Britney might have opted out Diamond because the bubbly teen was overkill in the pop department. Still, it might have been a bad move. Oddsmakers had Diamond White as Carly Rose's biggest threat to the "X Factor" title.) Still, don't expect Arin to be around long once the viewers start voting. There are too many strong singers and his sound, unfortunately for the talented singer, would just be another voice in an already saturated R&B market.

Judge/mentor Simon Cowell's Groups anchored the night. Remember that catastrophe scenario set-up when we started this story, and that part about there being a calming force to set things aright by the end? Of course, that came with Judge Simon. After watching judges Demi, L. A., and Britney not choose some that shouldn't have even been singing for their lives, then all three making questionable choices as to who got to stay, Simon quickly saved the two groups he should have -- Emblem3 and Lyric 145. Sister C and 1432 sang for their lives. Luckily for 1432, a group blessed with five extraordinary female singers, Sister C reverted to type and went all twangy on their life-saving song. Simon, of course, chose 1432. (He did say that he thought that Sister C's sound -- traditional, harmonic, female -- was missing in country music. And he just might be right, given that the Country Music Association saw fit to nominate pop star Kelly Clarkson for Female Vocalist of the Year, someone with only three country charting songs to her name and only one -- a remix of her pop hit "Mr. Know It All" -- was the only song she had on the country charts solely within the nominating eligibility period for the 2012 CMA Awards.)

And to show that all was right with the world, Simon announced that the atrociously named 1432 would get a name upgrade. He announced that he couldn't bear their name any longer and would take it to the viewers to choose the new name. And that's a good thing, considering that the quintet's former monicker was just as bad -- LYLAS.

Still, besides Simon, a case can be made that each of the other three judges made mistakes in their choices. But it will be interesting to see which of the three first saved finalists -- Jason Brock, CeCe Frey, and Arin Ray -- will be among the first contestants the "X Factor" viewers want to send home.

After two hours, the teams had been pared to three each. They were:

Young Adults
(Mentor: Demi Lovato)

Jennel Garcia
Paige Thomas
CeCe Frey

Over 25s
(Mentor: L. A. Reid)

Vino Alan
Tate Stevens
Jason Brock

Teens
(Mentor: Britney Spears)

Beatrice Miller
Carly Rose Sonenclar
Arin Ray

Groups
(Mentor: Simon Cowell)

Emblem3
Lyric145
1432 (for now)

"X Factor" will return for the Top 12 live performance show on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. EST on Fox Television. This will be the first show where viewers will vote for their favorite contestants. The first live results show where fans have a say in the contest will air on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m.

(photo credit: Freemantle North America, SycoTV, Fox Television, Wikimedia Commons)

Comments

Submitted by EastKentGoldings (not verified) on
I was surprised by some of the decisions in last night’s episode. I really liked Diamond White, and didn’t think she should’ve been sent home. All my officemates at DISH were really disappointed when Britney picked Arin over her. It was an interesting start to the live shows, and I can’t wait to see what happens next week. I have class on weeknights, so I’ve been catching up on X Factor using Prime Time Anytime on my Hopper. My DVR automatically records all the prime time shows on the four major networks for me. It was obvious who was going to get through in the groups, and I think Simon made the right decision. Lyric 145 is my favorite from that category.

Submitted by k2 (not verified) on
we patiently excited waiting for this show to start hoping that we can see fair,honest,wise and entertaining judges.many of us are expecting something fr.britney if she will be able to raise the rating of the show which is exactly the reason of simon to sign her with an extravagant amount of money. if you have watched the auditions you can note her comments were short,dull and the same,and in her house when she was choosing her 4 acts she delivered it to them with the same greetings and introduction of breaking her decision. but maybe because its just an auditions so gave her the benefits of the doubts that maybe in the real live show she can create a new,fresh and honest criticism.

Submitted by k2 (not verified) on
so the show has started and here the contestants perform to the best of their ability.we were all excited and cheering for our own and favorite acts,but of course the judges have their different view and favorites of the acts so they criticize some and encourage some delivering it in a constructive words except from our britney who just keep on saying very short and boring comments "i think you are a star and i like you" failing the expectation of the crowd and most especially the production management. first show would always be the most important part of any program because it is when the people gather and formulate their first impressions and they must have known that first impression is very difficult to change. they should have prepared their brain and search mr.webster for many different kinds of words to express and deliver their comments,for a very expensive contract they should have hire someone to help them construct proper,entertaining or amusing way of presenting.

Submitted by k2 (not verified) on
demi ,you could have chosen a better and honest person.yes,she can sing but that's all,she is so fake and self centered.the smugness on her face towards paige,the fake sobbing.the way she carry herself as if she is the best.how could you bring her to the finals when the people already formed their opinion of her?well good luck.

Submitted by LeeB (not verified) on
Talk about fake and self-centered, what about Paige? If they showed one more minute of her giving the other contestants dirty looks and making pathetic comments to the camera about how good she was and oh yes she has a daughter, don't forget she has a daughter. She knows she has the "LOOK" If money is so hard to come by, where did the horrible over-kill outfits come from on the last 2 shows. That's drama for you. Please send her home. Willie Jones should have been saved and the other girl that Demi cut with the bullying issues. I forget her name, she was very good.

Submitted by LeeB (not verified) on
Talk about fake and self-centered, what about Paige? If they showed one more minute of her giving the other contestants dirty looks and making pathetic comments to the camera about how good she was and oh yes she has a daughter, don't forget she has a daughter. She knows she has the "LOOK" If money is so hard to come by, where did the horrible over-kill outfits come from on the last 2 shows. That's drama for you. Please send her home. Willie Jones should have been saved and the other girl that Demi cut with the bullying issues. I forget her name, she was very good.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
"Did not like the performance of Jason Brook at all"!!! He's got a nice personality and yes, ma-by he is a entertainer, but the touching and the drama was to much....please can you keep it tastefull next time cuz' he will be around in the near future.......

Submitted by Stormy (not verified) on
the DVR was set to go and the first time we got slammed by some chaos at Fox where they couldn't decide which show we should watch while we waited to find out if they could bucket the rain off the ball field. Then Fox had the next two episodes listed as ballgames so forget the DVR picking those up. I feel like I have missed so much of the show that, at this point, there isn't any reason to watch anymore. Simon should take Fox out behind the wood shed. Fox knows the number of viewers X-Factor has and for them to totally butcher the shows the way they are is totally inexcusable.