7:29pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
'X Factor': Over 25s Battle in the First Four Chair Challenge
The Over 25s are headed to the live shows.
The four chair challenge made its debut on Wednesday's episode of The X Factor, and Kelly Rowland was the first mentor tasked with whittling her category down from 10 hopefuls to four. No easy feat.
With four chairs placed at each point on the giant X-shaped stage, each of the 16 seats will ultimately represent the girls, boys, groups and overs set to compete in the show's live episodes, kicking off later this month.
After promising a "pressure"-filled 120 minutes in its ominous opening (declared Simon Cowell: "I wouldn't want to be in your place right now"), the episode really didn't gear up until about 30 minutes in, after Rowland promptly filled her four seats with the first four contenders: Victoria Carriger, Kristine Mirelle, Jeff Gutt and Rachel Potter.
Then came hopeful number five: former football pro Lorie Moore.
Even with an underwhelming performance of Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You," Rowland still had the confidence to find a seat for Moore. So who got booted?
By the end of the episode, James Kenney, Lillie McCloud, Gutt and Potter -- who had fallen ill and noticeably botched her country-infused rendition of Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" -- were slated to continue in the competition. "You can't send her home," Demi Lovato urged of Potter, and Rowland agreed.
While Allison Davis (aka Ke$ha lite) and Denny Smith (aka Santa Claus) were cut immediately after their respective performances, Carriger, Mirelle, Moore and Jeff Brinkman were all seated at one point and later booted. C'est la vie! But to be fair, anyone who watched the auditions already knew that the final two (Kenney and McCloud) were shoo-ins for the final slots.
Then came the girls, each vying for a spot on Lovato's team. While the 21-year-old pop star filled her four chairs by the end of the broadcast, she still has six singers to sift through before finalizing her lineup.
At the conclusion of Wednesday's episode, Bree Randall, Khaya Cohen, Jamie Pineda and Ashly Williams had all found themselves in a chair, but if we learned anything from the Overs, they shouldn't get too comfortable.
Thursday's episode should feel less like a marathon and more like a jog, as Lovato rounds out her final four in the hour-long broadcast.
What do you think of Rowland's choices? Hit the comments below with your thoughts.
Kelly's final picks: James Kenney, Lillie McCloud, Jeff Gutt and Rachel Potter.