The X Factor announced its Top 21 this week, put us through some incredibly fake drama before revealing the true Top 24, continued with more faux anger when L.A. Reid was given the Over 25s... and finally concluded with some singing on Wednesday!
This year's categories are different from last season. We have the Young Adults (roughly 18-24), the Over 25s (what I will affectionately refer to as the Old Geezers from here on out), the Groups, and the Teens (17 and under).
Who made it through? Who got the cut?
Nick Youngerman - Who?
Jillian Jensen - She broke Demi's heart.
Hold the phone! I was questioning the idea of Tate Stevens making the Top 24 BEFORE I knew Jeffrey Gutt was out. How is it possible that that dude didn't make it?
Here's where they attempted to make us believe only three groups would be in the Top 24. Silly.
Carly Rose Sonenclar
Diamond White - Future 2012 Champion
And that was when the fake drama began. Like last year, when they wanted us to believe that Simon eliminated Melanie Amaro and then decided to bring her back, The X Factor wants us to believe that their plan was to have only three acts in the groups category, and six in all of the rest? Hmmm, maybe the fact that you told all of the returning contestants to wait just outside the door was a giveaway.
"Hey guys, you're all out, but would you wait right there? We're not done with you yet."
The unbearable behavior continued when the judges found out their groups. Of course there was the forced trash talk between all four of them, but L.A. Reid was particularly terrible. We all knew it was coming, but when he smiled, hit the phone against the table, and said he wasn't talking to anyone, I laughed in embarrassment for him AND the show.
Britney - Teens
Simon - Groups
Demi - Young Adults
L.A. - Old Geezers
When the contestants got to the judges' houses and/or met their helpers, there were two classic quotes. First, one of the guys from Dope Crisis said that he had "been a big fan of Marc Anthony since 'I Need to Know.'" Oh you mean one of only two of his songs that were ever popular? You're such a huge fan mister.
Later Jennel commented that she "always loved [Demi's] music." Always? Demi's first album was in 2008, so Jennel is playing fast and loose with the word "always."
Finally, the contestants were once again put to the test. Beginning with Demi, Nick Jonas, and the Young Adults, and ending with Simon, Marc Anthony, and the Groups, we were able to see 12 performances in a more intimate setting.
The Young Adults
1. Cece Frey: As crazy as she is, I find it hard at times not to lover her determination. Yeah, it sometimes comes off as absolute arrogance, but others I just think she wants it that badly. Her performance of "I'm Sexy and I Know It" was clever and showed off her pipes.
2. Willie Jones: Nicky Jonas was right in that Willie needs to find what genre he wants to be in, but I think the answer to that may be R&B. He did a very nice job with that Babyface Kevin Sharp Tony Rich Project track.
3. Paige Thomas: I don't care if she just really wanted to go to sleep after - and maybe during - her performance, there is something so likeable about her. Maybe it's the love for that adorable daughter of hers, but I know I'll be rooting for her.
4. Jennel Garcia: I'm not sure about the song choice of "I Kissed a Girl," but she pulled it off.
5. Jillian Jensen: It would be tough to eliminate any of these first five, but Jillian may be left out. If she is, it will be Demi that broke Jillian's heart this time around...and not in a good way.
6. Nick Youngerman: Was this a joke?
1. Emblem3: That kid can mess up and they still make the top of my list. They have a great vibe, and the lead has a great voice. Again, when they think everyone else is terrible, it's funny.
2. Sister C: I don't know why the judges keep having issues with these girls' personalities. They seem lovely to me. And that third sister's voice? Fantastic.
3. Dope Crisis: They took a dance type of song and made their voice shine on the track. There wasn't anything all that great about this performance, but it was more interesting than the rest.
4. Lylas: The first of three Frankengroups, they were all very good singing separately. The problem is that that's basically all they did. It didn't seem like they would bring much to the table as a group, but their individual talents get them my last spot in the category.
5. Playback: I'm with Marc Anthony. Just because One Direction is working, it doesn't mean that a carbon copy of less talented singers will work.
6. Lyric 145: Stop yelling at me! Oh and for their information, a long list of people have made it out of Queens, most notably Donald Trump.
Next up will be the Teens and the Old Geezers. For now, let us know who you want to see move on from these groups. Which was your favorite? Which was your least favorite? And, most importantly, how awesome was Nick Jonas?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.