'The X Factor' results: And then there were 11
It turned out their mothers couldn't save them after all. The act sent home by America on "The X Factor's" first voter-results show Thursday night was … InTENsity -- that sprawling group of kids thrown together after their individual Boot Camp eliminations, the one Simon Cowell kept comparing to "Glee" as the rest of us thought "Disney."
(Were there 10 group members? Is that why the "TEN" was in all caps? I never bothered to count. And now, really, I suppose it hardly matters.)
As the young members of InTENsity sobbed onstage, even host Steve Jones felt compelled to avert his eyes as he urged them ("Guys, I know it's hard …") to watch the tape of their time on the show. Later, as the episode wrapped, he declared InTENsity to be "inconsolable."
Poor kids. You couldn't say they'd lacked commitment and optimism. Or, for all I know, talent. But I guess America cares about the groups on this show about as much as I do. Which is to say not much at all. Because InTENsity had landed in the bottom two with an act that was not just another group, but the one of which Cowell had said, on Wednesday night, "I don't think there's a band in the world right now who are as good as you." Low results indeed for a group that had garnered such (absurdly) high praise.
So after what appeared to be a lip-synched number performed by all top 12 acts, we were treated to an interlude in which all the acts gushed about how incredible it would be to be in a Pepsi commercial. ("Not just anybody gets to be on a Pepsi commercial!" "Maybe we can make it rain Pepsi!" "To have this opportunity is such a huge blessing. This is once in a lifetime!")
Then, just in case we hadn't adequately caught the Pepsi spirit, we were presented with a live performance of the song currently being used by the soft drink on its commercials: "Tonight Is the Night" by a singer who calls himself Outasight.
But alas, soon it was "time to get serious" Jones warned us, by which he really meant it was time for us to watch him struggle to read 10 ways of saying "the next act going through to next week is …" and make it sound interesting.
Jones told us he was reading the results in no particular order, but here's the particular order we learned about them: Marcus Canty, Drew, LeRoy Bell, Astro, Lakoda Rayne, Rachel Crow, Chris Rene …
At which point I started to worry a little about Melanie Amaro. Would this show grind her hopes to dust again?
Then Josh Krajcik and (thank goodness) Melanie Amaro made it through. Leaving only three acts: InTENsity, the Stereo Hogzz and … Stacy Francis.
Had the voters punished Francis for those gossip-blog reports that she'd had some singing success before? (So has LeRoy Bell, you know.)
No, she was safe.
And after showing off their harmonies fronted by a lead singer wearing his pants in a peculiar manner, the Stereo Hogzz were safe, too.
Ultimately, only Cowell, that knee-jerk contrarian, chucked his vote InTENsity's way. And when Simon Cowell is your only friend, you know the Pepsi challenge has passed you by. Sigh.
On the bright side, next week the show's writers have to come up with only nine ways for Jones to say "the next act to make it through is …" So there's that.
What did you think of the results? Did America get it right?
-- Amy Reiter
Photo: The final 12 perform on "The X Factor." Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox