'The X Factor' Recap: Top 40 and Judges' Categories Revealed
'The X Factor' Recap: Top 40 and Judges' Categories Revealed
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
We're only three weeks in and already The X Factor is being whittled down to the Top 40 acts, 10 in each of the four categories. I'm unaccustomed to reality competition shows moving this quickly, but given the disastrous ratings, who can blame them?

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Tonight we finally get to see some more groups before quickly moving on to decide the finalists and select the mentors for each category. Simon Cowell had the Girls in season 1 and the Groups in season 2, while the Girls and Over 25s won the first two seasons, so will Boys or Groups get their chance to shine this year?

And how many times can Mario Lopez hype the "Four-Chair Challenge" rounds that will change singing competition auditions forever? He should probably stop that, because every time I hear the phrase "Four-Chair," I think of The Voice, a much better singing competition show. It comes across as a desperate attempt to copy a more successful show.

Neal Macomber

With only one hour and a lot to get through, why are we wasting time on this 45-year-old trainwreck who looks like an ugly Seth Meyers? The only good part is that the show gets in a quick reference to Simon Cowell's personal life and that whole "getting his best friend's ex-wife pregnant" situation.

Good Montage

After wasting the start of the show with a bad performer, we now speed through five good ones, all of whom will be in the Top 40.

Glamour: This is a Baby Destiny's Child group who sing "The Star-Spangled Banner," which is an awful choice.

Girls United: They must've seen Pitch Perfect, because they do an a cappella version of "Price Tag."

Zach Beeken: He's a 17-year-old country singer with a deep voice. So he's Scotty McCreery. Kill me now if this kid's gonna win.

Wild Thingz: They're a young rap duo.

Denny Smith: He looks like Santa Claus with his red suit and giant white beard, and he has lots of rasp and soul in his voice.

Victoria Carriger

She's a 41-year-old single mom to eight kids. Yikes, that's like my nightmare. Her performance is all emotional and good. All the judges feel the pain in her voice. Yeah, the pain of popping out eight kids over the past 16 years. After the judges say "Yes," all eight of her kids run onto the stage and Demi Lovato is moved, because this show is all about emotional manipulation.

The Last Audition: Keith Beukelaer

Ugh. This guy is dressed all in tie-dye with a rainbow feather boa. He's that annoying guy from American Idol 10 years ago who sang "Like a Virgin" and was declared the worst singer in the world by Simon. He raps "Baby Got Back," and...no. Just no. This guy is clearly a pathetic fame whore and his bad audition from Idol was the highlight of his life, so he's back for another of his 15 minutes. This is my least favorite part of these kinds of shows, when they indulge these obnoxious losers.

The judges all say "Yes" because they hate me and the world. Congratulations, The X Factor, the final audition of season 3 has made me hate this show with a passion. He's not good, he's not gonna move on, he's a clown, a waste of time, and saying "Yes" to him decreases the value of every decent singer they've said "Yes" to this season.

From 218 to 40

There were 218 acts that made it through the first round and were invited to Los Angeles. After flying all of them out, it's revealed that the judges will only pick 10 for each category to move on without any more performances. So The X Factor flew 178 acts to L.A. for absolutely no reason. How can FOX possibly be making any money from this show when they make production decisions like this? That's followed by the dramatic tension of reading a list of 40 names in about three minutes.

The Girls

Khaya Cohen, Bree Randall, Jamie Pineda, Simone Torres, Rion Paige, Danie Geimer, Rylie Brown, Primrose Martin, Ellona Santiago and Ashly Williams move on. Rion FTW, and the other nine can just quit right now.

The Boys

Carlito Olivero, Chase Goehring, Timmy Thames, Isaiah Alston, Tim Olstad, Al Calderon, Josh Levi, Isaac Tauaefa, Carlos Guevara and Stone Martin move on. Oh joy, Tim "Charisma Black Hole" Olstad, aka the world's least interesting man.

The Groups

Glamour, Good News, Yellow House Canyon, Alex and Sierra, Roxxy Montana, Wild Thingz and Girls United move on. If you have all your fingers, you know that's only seven. That's because the show is manufacturing three different trios for the competition from solo performers. There's a tween boy band (Emery Kelly, Jon Klaasen, Ricky Garcia), a trio of country dudes (tonight's Zach Beeken plus the unremarkable Colton Pack and Andrew Scholz) and a female threesomes (Celine Polenghi, Summer Reign and Millie Thrasher).

The Over 25s

Lillie McCloud, Jeff Brinkman, Rachel Potter, Kristine Mirelle, Victoria Carriger, James Kenney, Allison Davis, Denny Smith, Lorie Moore and Jeff Gutt move on. Hooray for Lillie and football Lorie! And Santa Denny.

The Judges' Categories

Kelly Rowland gets the Over 25s.

Demi Lovato gets the Girls.

Paulina Rubio gets the Boys.

Simon Cowell gets the Groups...again.


Based on this, I feel confident in assuming Paulina will not win. And I feel badly for the boys who have to suffer under her mentorship, whatever that looks like, since we haven't really seen her bring anything of value to the show. I'm also terrified that Simon is going to shove the country boy band down our throats until we swallow it. He basically just Tate Stevens-ified Emblem3.

Next week it's the Four-Chair Challenge! And two weeks of performances to figure out which four acts in each category will move on to the live shows.


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(Image courtesy of FOX)

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