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Someone was running late for X Factor.
It was L.A. traffic’s fault, swear, but it turned out to be a fortuitous delay — because since yours truly strolled in at five minutes to air, the only available open seat was at the end of row 2.
Or maybe it should be called the Crow row, since positioned near the aisle was none other than season one’s Rachel Crow, the spunky, 14-year-old belter who wowed America last year, but ultimately finished in fifth place.
PHOTOS: ‘X Factor’ Season 2: Meet the Contestants
Was there a future Rachel among the 16 finalists vying for a spot in the Top 12? Certainly, a few contenders stood out — we’re looking at you, Beatrice Miller — but time with tell.
Meanwhile, since this fabulous vantage point was ours for the night, copious notes were taken to bring you the 20 things you didn’t see on TV (for our full recap, click here). Read on…
- Paige Thomas made her presence known via a ginormous Wicked Witch of the West-like hat. We ran straight into it while rushing into the studio and it made a narrow hallway even more difficult to get by. Clearly someone on the styling team miscalculated with this choice of headgear. Even co-host Khloe Kardashian would later struggle to get the microphone underneath its giant flap and within vocal range.
- There’s not too much judge interaction while the contestants’ sing for their lives, but during CeCe Frey’s performance, Britney Spears and L.A. Reid were deliberating something at the judges’ table.
- The first break is clearly the time when the most makeup is applied. How else do you explain three guys simultaneously buffing and fine-tuning Britney’s face? Hair, however, only required one cheery dude.
- Khloe Kardashian is clearly still getting her hosting feet wet. To wit: she and co-host Mario Lopez would quickly huddle before each segment, seemingly going over what was coming next.
- Willie Jones looked pleased with his performance, but once he got the bad news that he was going home, not even the mosh pit’s hand formations of Ws could cheer him up as he skulked off stage.
- The gentlemanly L.A. Reid comes up to say hi to Rachel Crow during the second break. It’s a sweet reunion.
- The sound in the X Factor studio is not always ideal for contestant or judge. Case in point: Vino Alan reacted to comments Britney made about the previous night’s performance — namely, that he was boring — but she couldn’t really hear what he was saying, so instead squinted with a look of utter confusion.
- Vino was not only an audience favorite who garnered more screams than most, but clearly L.A. Reid is down. He was boogeying in his seat as the saved one sang. David Correy, meanwhile, put hand to heart in crushing anticipation of defeat.
- Indeed, a second later, David wipes away tears and shrugs on the side of the stage. His slowed down, “melodramatic” (Simon Cowell’s words) take on Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” clearly fell flat.
- In a strange Brazilian coincidence, at the moment he walks offstage, a fan from his native country is gifted with a chance to meet her idol: Demi Lovato. After all, the girl did travel far.
- Jason Brock also elicited enthusiastic applause (the biggest screams of the night go to Emblem3, hands down), but when he hit a bum note during “One Moment in Time,” L.A. Reid sneers ever so slightly, as if to say, “Ouch.”
- The elimination decision is usually a moment of dread, but not for Jason Brock — he gets to hang onto Khloe Kardashian’s arm!
- After blowing a kiss to the audience, Jason practically prances offstage while David literally drags his feet. Show biz can be a bitch.
- Here’s an awkward break moment: trying to keep the crowd engaged and energized during a break, the audience warm-up guy decides to do a quick interview with Rachel Crow. Namely asking her: “What have you been up to?” Shilling isn’t her style, but she plugged a Macy’s parade performance and told people to check out her website. Moving on…
- Young Beatrice Miller seems to have stolen L.A.’s heart. During her video segment, he pointed to the screen all chagrined and impressed. Is it the second coming of Avril Lavigne, whom L.A. Reid discovered, that he sees?
- Beatrice may be a favorite and it’s no wonder (voice aside, the adorable 13-year-old exits the stage by forming a Bieber heart with her hands), but it’s Carly Rose who gets the loudest cheers. No wonder she’s safe, too.
- Unlike Jennifer Lopez, who received a visit from producers during nearly every commercial break on America Idol, Britney doesn’t seem to require all that much one-on-one attention. Rather, fiancé Jason Trawick maycome over for a quick tete-a-tete (sometimes sitting in L.A.’s chair) and manager Larry Rudolph is always within earshot. In fact, the two of them are so attentive, that just before Britney’s final four appear, they both pat down flyways on the judge’s hair.
- Diamond White’s rendition of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” sounded stellar in the room. And while all acknowledged the difficult decision Britney had to make, Demi Lovato was literally gritting her teeth with anxiousness.
- Got to hand it to LYRIC 145, who had everyone at the table laughing with their comments about throwing shade, especially L.A. Reid who had essentially called the threesome posers the night before. No harm done, they’re going through.
- The final showdown of groups was a toughie for all to sit through for several reasons. First, Sister C have a unique and interesting sound that you can’t deny and, since they’re older than sing-off competitors 1432 (new name pending, thank goodness), may be better prepared for the road ahead. On the other hand, choosing Demi’s own “Skyscraper” and pulling it off was a gutsy move that in itself deserves commendation. In the end, it was the game-change that came down to the group with the name-change.
What did you think of Thursday’s results show? Did the right people go home? Tell us in the comments.
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