'X Factor': One Direction Join the Press Corps, Plus 15 More Things You Didn't See on Thursday's Broadcast

One Direction Harry Niall press room L
Shirley Halperin

They chopped Brock on Thursday night’s X Factor, sending L.A. Reid’s “Mr. Entertainment” back to the sparkly lights of San Francisco, his adopted home. There were few tears, however, as Jason Brock gave the 1983 Bonnie Tyler hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” everything he had -- without veering accidentally into the Old School version, as many would be wont to do.

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No, with a smile on his face and a kick in his step, Brock returned to reality and, from his viewpoint, it didn’t looks so bad. After all, standing mere feet away were One Direction’s Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson along with Khloe Kardashian and mom Kris Jenner and he’d just gotten a cheery pep talk from rival judge Demi Lovato. It was a good night after all.

What else didn’t the X Factor cameras show? We’ve got ears and eyes in the studio, the parking lot and the press tent where all the post-show action happens. Read on…

  1. With such high-profile stars sitting in the judges’ chairs, you’re bound to have few VIPs in the audience, too. On this Thursday night, Columbia Records chairman Rob Stringer was in the house, as was Dana Walden, chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Television, seated a few rows back from Glee star Lea Michele, who, we later learn, is a “big Carly Rose fan.”
  2. It’s screamsanity in the studio every time the words “one” or “direction” are uttered. Of course, to rile up the crowd, the warm-up guy says it as many times as humanly possible.
  3. The first signs of boy band bonanza were undoubtedly the old school British phone booths tilted like dominos, but up above, nets of balloons pointed to a colorful finale.
  4. Mario Lopez nearly missed his entrance. He later tells the press corps he had to pee.
  5. One Direction delivered a near flawless performance of “Live Like We’re Young,” and with the crowd volume reaching deafening levels, Simon Cowell shoots a smirk and knowing glance to fellow Sony label head L.A. Reid. As if to say, “Now that’s what you call a hit.”
  6. Naturally, Cowell led the judges in a standing ovation for 1D, but Britney Spears was last to get vertical for the world’s biggest boy band.
  7. A quick kiss for Khloe Kardashian and Harry Styles shuffles offstage along with his groupmates.
  8. While this one-hour elimination episode flies by, the audience is warned during a commercial break: there’s going to be a lot of standing, then sitting, then standing… “like Catholic church.”
  9. It seems the pace of the results show has some lagging -- like Reid and Spears, who are late in returning to their seats… and then they’re gone again a minute later. It’s time for the mentors to come out with their teams and hear their fate.
  10. L.A. Reid graciously walks over to the groups Fifth Harmony and Lyric 145 to wish them luck.
  11. Fan favorites emerged as finalists were called off. Getting huge screams? Jennel Garcia, Carly Rose and, of course, Emblem3.
  12. One by one, act after act is led to safety, eventually leaving only CeCe Frey and Brock. Bracing for a showdown, Demi Lovato holds tight onto her contestant’s hand.
  13. Frey looked none too thrilled to have to defend her position and come in dead last. She gives the song “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” every last ounce of passion she had left, but leaves the stage with a stone-faced strut and barely a smile towards fans in the front.
  14. Brock’s elimination comes with a collective “Woah,” though many are not surprised considering how he stumbled on R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” the night before.
  15. Brock kisses his fellow finalists goodbye while Paige Thomas helps her groupmate Jennel keep herself together. With the Top 12 ranking about to be revealed, Emblem3 pump up the people in attendance for maximum effect. Turned out they didn’t have all that much to worry about, coming in sixth, but aiming for first.
  16. An unexpected arrival: 1D's Harry and Niall join the print press corps in the middle of an interview with Khloe Kardashian, even attempting to lob a question themselves. Trust us guys, the other side of the velvet rope is not nearly as fun.

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin