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OCT
10
6 MOS

'X Factor' Recap: The Top 16 Are Revealed

Simon Cowell's creations took the lead and swapped swagger for soul on the final night of the four-chair challenge.

X Factor chair challenge 2013 L
Michael Becker / FOX

Thursday's one-hour episode of The X Factor finally completed the four-chair challenge after two weeks of singing and switching. 

Paulina Rubio looked relieved to be out of the hot seat, and Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato seemed anxious to get going on the rest of the groups. Simon Cowell couldn't continue his soft streak with all four of his chairs already filled.

The six remaining groups are stronger than the first four bunches to coax seats from Cowell on Wednesday, promising some suspenseful swaps.

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Girls United, Glamour, Wild Thingz, and Restless Road were sweating in their seats before the night's first contender struck their first note -- and for good reason.

Sweet Suspense and their cutesy brand of pop perfection were paired up by Cowell after the teens failed to impress as solo auditioners. Their strong vocals and fresh-faced looks make them a marketing dream. Then they hit the harmonies effortlessly and proved the Brit right again. Their version of "Wishing On a Star" got them through in a heartbeat, ousting the obviously outgunned Wild Thingz. 

When Yellow House Canyon hit the stage, the gal pals were in sync, but the duo from Texas couldn't quite make their rendition of "Hell On Heels" work. Lovato admitted that one voice was stronger than the others and she didn't think they "have what it takes to sit in one of those chairs."  Cowell concurred that they're "not the best singers in the world" and ultimately gave them the ax. 

Forever In Your Mind slid into their chairs after their version of "Lovebug" got slammed by the girls on the judge's panel. The boys were hand-picked by Cowell, and it was clear he has a soft spot for his own creations. The vocals weren't great, but these boys are adorable, and Glamour was gone in a hurry. 

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Good News got some bad news after their version of "Landslide" left much to be desired. The judges looked bored during their lackluster performance, and their smiling faces fell fast when Rubio told them they're not ready. Cowell cut them quickly without drawing out the drama after admitting their showing was "boring and dreary". 

There was something so charming about Alex and Sierra and their corny but cute performance of "You're The One That I Want" from Grease. It was clear they would score seats as soon as they started singing. Their slowed down, acoustic version of the classic earned rave reviews from the panel and prompted a dust up between Cowell and Lovato over the prospect the couple could break up one day. Cowell was confident they will stay together, and he's certain the country will fall in love with the cute couple. They've advanced to the live shows, forcing Girls United to hit the road. 

Roxxy Montana were already riding high after Cowell called them "one of the best groups the show has ever had" following their "Toxic" audition. The sister act killed the crowd and the judges with Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror," and sealed their fate in the Top 16. Cowell could hardly contain his excitement. "We could make you incredible," he said.

His final picks covered all bases with country cuties pitted against pop princesses, and divas set to battle the love birds.  The dynamic bunch could guarantee the groups get the win again. On to the live shows!   

Cowell's Final Picks: Restless Road, Sweet Suspense, Alex and Sierra, and Roxxy Montana.