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Simon Cowell returns to enlist three more industry heavyweights to find the next great pop act.

Recaps by Chico Alexander & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host Steve Jones
Judges Paula Abdul
Simon Cowell
Antonio "LA" Reid
Nicole Scherzinger
Creator Simon Cowell
EP Andrew Llinares
Rob Wade
Simon Cowell
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Richard Holloway
Siobhan Greene
Packager Syco TV
FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web thexfactorusa.com
Airs 8p ET Weds & Thurs, Fox
@The X Factor (USA)

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Judges' Houses Part 2
October 16

Last week, eight guys, eight girls, eight groups, and eight elders were given tickets around the world to see who would go to the live series. Sixteen of them have flown like cardinals, leaving another sixteen action rangers to fight it out for the pennants. Who'll hit a grand slam, and who'll ground out? It's the new Fall Classic, and this... is judges' homes.

... bullpen.

As a reminder...

- The judges have already been given their mentor assignments: LA has the boys, Simon has the girls, Paula has the groups, and Nicole has the over 30s.
- Each judge has selected something for the acts to perform, either to live music or a backing track.
- Each judge is assisted by a superstar act: LA has Rihanna, Nicole has Enrique Iglesias, Paula has Pharrell, and Simon WAS supposed to have Mariah Carey, but that didn't work out, so he's riding solo (with a few of the show's vocal coaches, of course)
- Two of the groups - Intensity and Lakoda Rayne - were formed from acts that auditioned as soloists.

Continuing with the Home Round and...

- Jazzlyn Little (G): "I Will Survive", the Chantay Savage version. Interesting risk to take an all-too-familiar disco classic, and do the remix of it from the mid 1990s. Yes, this actually happened. But it only works if you nail it. The coaches say it's a little "high-school talent show".
- Brennin Hunt (B): "Like a Star" by Corinne Bailey Rae. Rihanna thinks that he's beautiful, but he is "a little bit corny", almost to the point of a 90s boy band vibe.
Hogzz (GP): "(I Heard It Through The) Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye. It's a caricature of a mid 90s R&B ensemble. Pharrell is reminded more of Ginuwine. "They have to be a constellation. They can't be just one star."
- Josh Krajcik (30): "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack. Very raspy. He's "relatable" and "typical", but is he a star?
- 2 Squar'd (GP): "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. ... REALLY, PAULA?
- Tim Cifers (B): "Dance with My Father" by Luther Vandross. He could cut that and have a moderate country hit. But will it stand up to the eventual pool? It was good, but LA wants MORE.
- Rachel Crow (G): "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys. JC Chasez would say, "the meat is there in the sandwich." She still has that robust voice for her age, but it needs polish.

... from the youngest, we go to the oldest...

- Leroy Bell (30): "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan. Nicole thinks that he's nervous and he's holding back.
- Illusion Confusion (GP): "Hot Stuff (Let's Dance)" by Craig David. Pharrell says they have more drive than talent.
- Tiger Budbill (30): "Don't Give Up On Me" by Solomon Burke. Nicole doesn't think Tiger is marketable enough.
- Marcus Canty (B): "All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo. Rihanna got chills.
- Tiah Tolliver (G): "No Diggity" by Blackstreet. Simon thought it was good, but "off-kilter".
- Christa Collins (30): "No Surprises" by Radiohead.... fun fact: she was the first child solo artist to sign to Disney Records. It was a little bit whiny. Enrique likes her, though. Nicole wanted more pain in her performance.
- Intensity (GP): "That's Not My Name" by the Ting Tings mashed with "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates. It sounds as it is expected... like a group of ten not-yet-fully-matured kids.
- Chris Rene (B): "People Everyday" by Arrested Development. Both call him "special", saying that the $5 million isn't important to him.


- Melanie Amaro (G): "Will You Be There" by the late great Michael Jackson. She doesn't just sing the song, she makes it her own... and makes Simon's decision THAT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. But can she nail something a little more contemporary?

And now... the hardest decision that these four judges have EVER had to make. Sixteen acts will compete for your votes. The other sixteen are going home. And each judge can only take HALF of their pool. Spaces at the live show are only reserved for the VERY BEST. They will come at a premium. Each judge has more than pride on the line. With $5 mill at stake, we need a field of 16 who can bring it EVERY WEEK.

Decisions... have been made. You and I will learn the identities of your Final 16... NEXT TIME.

To see extras from this episode and a Pepsi Precap of the next episode, visit thexfactorusa.com.