'The X Factor' Recap: Live Performances Begin with Hosts Khloe and Mario
'The X Factor' Recap: Live Performances Begin with Hosts Khloe and Mario
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Before you apply the creepy make-up, pop in those bloody fangs and squeeze into your favorite ghoulish costume, celebrate your Halloween with Khloe Kardashian-Odom and Mario Lopez as they step out on stage for the first time tonight on The X Factor. (Okay, so for most of us, this may not sound too exciting, but hopefully it won't be as bad as it seems.) 

Demi Lovato and the Young Adults, Britney Spears and the Teens, Simon Cowell and the Groups and LA Reid and the Over 25s will finally perform live! Will tonight live up to all the hype or will favorites fall flat? Stick around to find out!

"Live from Hollywood, it's the X Factor!" Calm yourselves, we haven't seen Khloe or Mario just yet. Demi sports a new brunette do as she walks out with the Young Adults. LA and his Over 25 guys follow. Simon looks looks a little long in the tooth, wearing fangs, as he leads the Groups. Last but not least, Britney looks happy and healthy with the Teens gathered round her.

Here they are! Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian-Odom walk out onstage ... together! "Happy Halloween, everyone!" they announce. So far, so good. After reminding the audience that there will be NO voting tonight, Khloe wants to lay down some ground rules which includes no fighting or biting. Screaming is allowed though, of course.

Young Adults - Paige Thomas
"What Is Love" by Haddaway

It's definitely Halloween on The X Factor tonight. Paige looks like a moon rock with sparkly shingles for hair. Apparently, Demi needed to play up Paige's appearance because her vocals are lacking.

"I'm not so sure about that song choice," says LA. I have to agree with him, yet Britney thinks Paige is a "true star." Simon also feels that she nailed the performance tonight. 

Teens - Arin Ray
"Keep Me Hanging On" by The Supremes

I've been looking forward to this kid performing live. He stood out last season in that mega group InTENsity. Now on his own, Arin is definitely delivering. Dancing and running around the stage works his vocals quite a bit, but he still has great potential.

"I thought that was a really creative and innovative song choice," LA says. He touches on the fact that Arin's vocals weren't really that great, yet Demi says she couldn't hear him because of the screaming girls. Simon, on the other hand, believes that there were too many distractions on stage with Arin. 

Over 25s - David Correy
"Your Love Is My Love" by Whitney Houston

Right from the start, David's vocals are at their peak, I think. There's no build up. Does anyone else get the feeling he's trying too hard? Sure, he can sing, but sometimes less is more. 

Britney has an interesting comment on this one, saying "I felt you." I believe that's good feedback. Demi liked it, too, but Simon believes it was a random song choice. LA stands up for David, stating "It felt right."

Groups - Sister C
"Hell On Heels" by Pistol Annies

I'm a fan of country. I'll listen to Carrie Underwood any day, but the sisters' nasally twang isn't very attractive. Once the beat kicks in and they really begin to strengthen those vocals, things start sounding a bit better. Just a bit, though.

LA turns a rude shoulder as he reminds the audience that we heard this selection in the auditions and now he knows why we didn't hear more of it. Demi is disappointed that the sisters didn't give more of a performance.

Spooky, sort of
In a very lame attempt to spook the audience, Khloe dubs the show "The Hex Factor" and the lights go out in the studio. I'm oh so scared. (Cue typical screaming girl.)

Young Adults - Jennel Garcia
"Home Sweet Home" by Carrie Underwood

Jennel's new hair-do matches Demi's. Favoritism? Back to the performance, Jennel's vocals are strong and her appearance is spot on for this power ballad. Even when standing in front of the wind machine, hair flying Jennel does a pretty good job.

LA, along with hand gestures, gives Jennel a ten! "Your completely rocked it out," says Britney. Simon can only give slight criticism, saying that Demi has tried to make Jennel a mini-Demi, just as I said. Glad someone else sees what I see.

Backstage with Khloe

Not only are the performers put in awkward situations, being pulled away from make-up and such. Khloe has an awkward moment with Willie Jones, giggling and not knowing what else to say. So, when all else fails just throw it back to Britney!

Teens - Diamond White
"Hey, Soul Sister" by Train

Unexpected song choice, but it's a good one. Diamond has fun with it, lending a more soulful/pop sound to the song. Her set and dancers really add to the spectacle, which is Britney's expertise.

LA feels that the beginning was "mechanical." I would like to bet that Diamond and the rest of her team would have to ask what the word even truly means. Simon has better things to say, giving Britney accolades for a job well done.

Over 25s - Vino Alan
"Somebody For Me" by Nickelback

Not only is the start of the performance awkward because of strained lower register vocals, but Vino places his palm in the most vulnerable of areas of his leather pants. Thankfully, his hand moves and the song picked up.

I think Simon really nailed this feedback. "I think that you shouldn't have agreed to do that song," he says. I agree. It was way too Pop for him. Soul is what we've seen from Vino so far and soul is what we should continue to see if that's where his comfort lies. 

Groups - Lyric 145
"Boom! Shake the Room" 

I love these three. I don't think The X Factor was ready for Lyric 145. The vocals, the performance, the dancing, the style and everything else is ready the big time. Is this their true sound, though? While it works, Lyric 145 could be on their way to selling out.

Again, LA is the president of the Bad News Bears tonight. He states, loud and proud, that this performance was NOT Hip-Hop, trying to put Lyric on the spot. He asks, "Do you like that song?" She replies, "I made ya'll like it!" The crowd goes wild. LA does make a good point, though. Simon will commercialize this group and strip them of their soul. 

Young Adults - Cece Frey
"Because The Night" by Patti Smith

Well, Demi got it right, giving Cece a total Popstar makeover. With blonde hair and bright yellow accents to her wild and crazy outfit, Cece defintely stands apart from the rest. The vocals are lacking, but in the Pop world, it's mostly about the performance. 

"You're fearless and you're interesting," says Simon. Yeah, the vocals don't matter too much because of the pop realm that she's trying to break into.

Over 25s - Tate Stevens
"I Thought I Was Tough" by Craig Morgan

I'm glad LA opted out of giving Tate backup dancers. The song isn't the best. Tate can definitely take another selection and have even better moments than he's had tonight. Hopefully, he's given another chance and another song.

"You don't need dancers and a band behind you," says Demi. "You stood on your own." She's right. Tate doesn't need the fancy spectacles. Simon stresses that LA look for better songs for the country singer and I would have to agree.

Teens - Beatrice Miller
"I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz

I really don't know what Britney was thinking when she styled Beatrice. Crimped hair and 1980s flare. The song choice isn't that fantastic either. She's straining.

"I'm really, really impressed," says Demi. So is Simon, but he feels that Britney needs to spend more time on Beatrice's vocals. It could very well have been nerves, though. 

Over 25s - Jason Brock
"Dance Again" by J.Lo

I feel like I'm at Studio 54. Do I like it? Ask me after the blinding rave lights have been turned off. There's no denying Jason's vocal ability, though. He sounds amazing.

"That was utterly horrendous," Simon says. He along with Demi and Britney believes that this was the wrong song choice. Jason answers, "I disagree, but I appreciate your criticism " To make matters worse, he then turns to Mario, asks to touch his butt and then does so! It's a live show, Mario. Just flash the dimples and throw to commercial break.

Groups - 1432
"We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift

Remember the group LYLAS? Yeah, for some reason they are now known as 1432 which means "I love you, too." Anyways, the beginning of their performance starts off shaky and there are some pitchy spots. Overall, though, their harmonies are amazing.

Aside from needing some work and the group name controversy, Demi mentions that only one girl stood out for her. She makes it a point NOT to say who her favorite of the night was. Khloe, as super host, steps in and asks who that one girl was simply because she wants to know. After some interrogating, which I find unnecessary, Demi coughs up Camila's name. "You should all learn from her," she says.

Young Adults - Willie Jones
"Here For The Party" by Gretchen Wilson

Bringing swag to the world of country can only bring good things. This particular performance may not be as strong as Willie could possibly go, but it's a very good start. Oh, and the dancers might be a bit much.

LA, Britney and, of course, Demi are big fans of the performance. Yet Simon calls the performance "silly." While Khloe brings the tension back to the stage, putting Simon in the hot seat and asking what he would do differently, Mario brings the laughs. "If you can sing country with a high top fade, then you're alright," he says.

Teens - Carly Rose Sonenclar
"Something's Got A Hold On Me" by Etta James

Carly Rose has a voice that cannot be touched on this show, yet something about this performance doesn't sit well with me. While her vocals are incredible, she doesn't need the iconic schoolgirl outfit lent to her by Britney Spears. Not only does it add an element beneath her abilities, but it looks like favoritism.

"It would be criminal if you were to leave the competition tomorrow," Simon says. Right, Carly Rose has a voice that should not go unheard, but Britney needs to re-evaluate her techniques with the teen.

Groups - EMBLEM3
"One Day" by Matisyahu

Keep your eyes on Keaton, Wesley and Drew because they will be in this competition for the long run. The style works. The vocals are stronger. The song choice is on point. The crowd is on their feet and involved. And most importantly, they're given the last perfromance slot, leaving the audience with their fantastic first live impression.

"Even a broken clock is right twice a day," starts LA. "I think we have witnessed America's next teen sensation." Demi blushes up a storm while admitting that she cannot look the boys into their eyes and flirt while she should be judging their performance. Simon definitely got it right in choosing EMBLEM3.

Simon is right in saying that we've seen 3 or 4 very promising performances tonight. Some were pretty bad and worthy of being forgotten, yet others have proven to show the signs of the next great number one artists. My favorite of the night? EMBLEM3, by far. Who are you looking forward to seeing perform again next week?


Tomorrow night on The X Factor, Khloe, Mario and the judges return as the Top 16 are knocked down to the Top 12. Tune in to see which four acts will be leaving the competition.

Don't miss another episode! Keep up with your favorite shows, like X Factor, using the BuddyTV Guide app!

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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