'X Factor' Recap: Divas Big and Small Are Born
Britney Spears went off script with a few zingers, while the contestants fought to stay safe from a double elimination.
Who let the divas out?
It was "Diva Week" at The X Factor on Wednesday, where some divas (including, apparently, Tate Stevens) soared and others, well, fell short.
Following last week's leader board reveal (aka bombshell), hosts Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez reminded viewers -- and the contestants -- that the slate had been wiped clean as each singer needed to fight for votes to stay in the competition. During Thursday's elimination episode, two acts will be sent home.
For what it's worth, last week's eliminated performer Jason Brock gave a diva-worthy showing of his own Wednesday. At the start of the broadcast, Brock tweeted out a link to a YouTube video of what he would have sang during Diva Week: "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston.
But forget the performances, the highlights of Wednesday's broadcast undoubtedly were Britney Spears' critiques. The pop diva appears to have woken up from her previously snooze-worthy comments of the past two weeks. Spears snapped at Simon Cowell following Beatrice Miller's performance, telling him that Miller "has more talent in her pinky than you do in all of your contestants combined." Later, she told CeCe Frey: "Sorry, I just don't get it."
And here we were starting to worry that she wasn't earning her $15 million paycheck.
Fellow judges Cowell, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid had their fair share of nasty quips at one another's expense as well, prompting viewers to wonder who had suddenly flipped on the mean switch. (Not that we're complaining! It's exactly what this competition needed.)
Below, find a breakdown of who performed what, and, more importantly, who said what.
Song: "Proud Mary" by Tina Turner
"Tina would be proud." - Britney Spears
"You have just arrived back in this competition." - L.A. Reid
"I have been critical of you over the last couple of weeks. … I have to say, you are back. … Like a different person. I'm glad you listened to me." - Simon Cowell
"What a way to kick off the night. … Together we nailed it." - Demi Lovato
Song: "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain
"Your performance was so heartfelt. Your vocals were amazing." - Spears, with a huge smile on her face.
"You're so good. You were very good." - Lovato
"Tate, this gonna be really really annoying for me to say because Mr. Smug on my right is suddenly happy. That was better than last week. I'll tell you why: I think the direction you were given was really good. I think you've got confidence now knowing you were No. 1. … The winner of this show is going to get $5 million; I would be happy to write you that check." - Cowell
"He can write that check, so I'm happy." - Reid
"Halo" by Beyonce
"I was concerned. You started out shaky. Three-quarters of the way through the song, you started to kick in." - Reid
"This week is kind of perfect for you because you are a total diva in the best way possible. You really give the rest of the competition a run for their money." - Lovato
"Don't walk and sing at the same time because that did bother you. The second half of the track was much better than the first. I think we're looking at a future star. … I'm so happy you've come back in this show." - Cowell
"You just keep getting better, and it amazes me every time." - Spears
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper
"How are you 13 and have that kind of voice? I don't think that was the greatest song choice because it didn't allow you to peak." - Reid
"You are so freaking adorable. I liked the song choice because I think it really showcased a different side of you that we haven't seen. I didn't know that you could sound so soulful, and your tone is incredible." - Lovato
"Better than last week. I disagree with L.A., I think when you push your vocal, that's when you don't sound good. I like you in the lower register. Having said that, I thought the song was boring. For some reason, Britney isn't quite getting the right song choice for you." - Cowell
"She has more talent in her pinky than you do in all of your contestants combined." - Spears
"E.T." by Katy Perry, "We Will Rock You" by Queen: Mashup
"Who was the diva? Was Queen the diva? It was good, it was better than last week, which I thought was a disaster. I think you guys have lost your way. This could be the last time we see you." - Reid
"Freddie Mercury was a diva." - Cowell
"I think Lyric Da Queen is the real diva." - Lyric 145
"I feel like they're a pop group, and they should be doing hip-hop tracks." - Spears
"I don't feel like 'E.T.' fit at all. I don't get it." - Lovato
"I did get it. I think people at home will get it. You had literally hours to put this together and … you never complain. You bring an energy that this show needs." - Cowell
"Crazy for You" by Madonna (Tech played the wrong song first, "We Will Rock You.")
"This is a $5 million prize, and I didn't get a $5 million performance." - Reid
"I agree with L.A. I was honestly really bored watching it. I feel like you have a tendency to not go the soulful route." - Lovato
"It looked like you hated it, as well. I know we had that false intro, but you taking on that song is like asking a cat to eat a tiger. It's just not right for you. Wrong kinda song. And it did sound a bit boring, and I think you could be in trouble tonight." - Cowell
"I disagree with everyone. The song is one of my favorite Madonna songs, and I thought you nailed it." - Spears
"Last Dance" by Donna Summer
"OK, you get a pass. That was your best yet." - Reid
"It was like a disco ball exploded onstage. The best disco throwback ever." - Spears
"I'm actually with L.A. here. I think that was probably your best performance so far. I think the choreography and what was going on behind you was very distracting. You needed to be in the spotlight." - Cowell
"I wanted something totally different onstage. But with your performance … hopefully if America votes for you, they'll see the fun side of Paige in the next couple weeks." - Lovato
"Hero" by Mariah Carey
"There's something really lovable about all of you. You picked a really tough song, and I think you struggled in the beginning, honestly, but somewhere in there, it turned into a really great performance." - Reid
"I was extremely impressed. I think Simon is doing amazing with you guys." - Spears
"I was really worried that I was gonna be bored, but your vocals just killed it." - Lovato
"Maybe this isn't a one-horse race, maybe there's a chance that five girls with brilliant voices could actually win this show. I want America to pick up the phone and vote for you because I think that you're absolutely brilliant, fun to work with, great vocals and you all love puppies." - Cowell
Carly Rose Sonenclar
"My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
"Britney, it pains me to say it … we could be looking at the winner." - Reid
"Oh you are so good, and honestly, it just doesn't make sense. I don't believe that that's your voice. I feel like Celine Dion is here and she's hiding." - Lovato
"I don't believe you're a human being. You can't do that at 13. Your control on that song, I thought I was gonna hate it, and that note at the end was absolutely incredible." - Cowell
"I have chills all over my body. You're spectacular, sweetie." - Spears
"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
"Your voice is so soulful." - Spears
"No doubt about it. I liked this performance better than last week's, but at the same time I have to admit I was a little bored. You sounded amazing, but I thought it was boring." - Lovato
"I was actually happy to see you so high up last week. Your voice is designed for what I call a moment. One of those songs that you can just kill. That song wasn't that song. It wasn't as good as last week. I promise you. I'm trying to be constructive. You need bigger kinds of songs, and, in fact, I think the song which you wanted to choose yourself would have been a better choice." - Cowell
"Despite what the diva said, you put your soul into that. You sang it so strong. You have a classic-sounding voice. One of the very best voices I've ever heard on this stage, and that song was a great platform for it." - Reid
"No One" by Alicia Keys
"Everyone at home should know they saved some kittens in the lake this week." - Cowell, before the performance.
"You guys have the perfect vocal blend. It is the perfect song. You are complete superstars in my opinion, and you're exactly what this show needs. I'm glad we have you." - Reid
"I totally get why the girls are swooned by you -- you guys are complete heartthrobs." - Spears
"You guys are genuinely happy, and you have such a great energy. Definitely better than last week, definitely an improvement." - Lovato
"There is no way you should be that low in the competition. I think this time, on the back of that performance, we're gonna see you back at the top because it was absolutely brilliant." - Cowell
"All by Myself" by Eric Carmen
"I'm just at a loss for words. You sang the song really well, it's an improvement, it really is. I don't like your dress. She'll be at the bottom again." - Reid
("Sorry she was better than Vino," quipped Lovato in response.)
"Sorry, I just don't get it." - Spears
(Asked by Reid why she wouldn't respond to Spears, Lovato answered: "You don't say anything to the queen.")
"I like you, but the song was awful by myself, and I think you would have been better off singing it on your own without anyone else in the room. It was very cabaret, the wind machine, the gimmicks. For whatever reason, you're not getting it right together you two. Something isn't working." - Cowell
I think tonight of all the nights, you nailed it. I feel like they're being way too hard on you. Of all the people in this competition, I know you want it the most, and hopefully they'll see it too." - Lovato
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci