‘X Factor’ Season 2, Episode 14 Recap: Top 12 Becomes 13 with Return of Diamond White

The X Factor judges brought back eliminated contestant Diamond White

On The X Factor season 2, episode 14, we see performances in four categories: Britney Spears’ Teens, Demi Lovato’s Young Adults, L.A. Reid’s Over 25s, and Simon Cowell’s Groups. We tune in expecting to hear the Top 12, but when hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian take the stage we learn there is going to be a Top 13 instead; the judges feel talented teen Diamond White shouldn’t have been eliminated, and they are bringing her back.  The other news is that this is the first week that the public, and not the judges, vote to decide who gets eliminated and who gets to stay on X Factor.

The first to perform is Arin Ray from Britney Spears Teens. He does Estelle's "American Boy" from Obsessed. He sings and pulls off some tricky dance moves while wearing a leather jacket with racing flags on it. There are lots of dancers behind him in corresponding outfits. L.A. says Arin has found his vocal identity, Demi tells him he was smoother than last week, Simon thinks Arin is turning into a pop star and that he was really impressive, Britney says he’s a true star.

Next up is Paige Thomas from Demi Lovato’s Young Adults. Paige sings Berlin’s “You take My Breath Away” from Top Gun. She begins her number floating above the stage in a flowing gown with a leather top. We think it's her best vocal performance in weeks, but the judges aren’t so sure. L.A. wasn’t completely blown away, but says it was good. Britney thinks the beginning was the best part. Simon tells Paige she is a fantastic performer, but he believes Demi should have done more with the song, perhaps turning the end into a dance track. We were thinking the same thing – it would have been a good update. Demi – who over the course of the past few shows is appearing to be someone who can’t take constructive criticism - strongly disagrees and tells Paige she was amazing.

Then we hear Vino Alan from L.A. Reid’s Over 25s. Vino does Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” from the film of the same name. Vino is fantastic. Britney says the stripped down production shows how special his voice is, Demi, once again, says she can’t see Vino as a pop star. We have no idea what's up with that, because Vino kicks a$$. Simon tells Vino he went from zero to hero, and says Demi said a stupid thing. He also says Vino is a good man, in reference to the work he does entertaining the troops. L.A. says Simon was right last week when he didn’t care for L.A.’s song choice for Vino, and complimented Vino’s strong identity.

From Simon's Groups we watch Emblem 3 execute a mash-up of the Temptations' "My Girl" with Katy Perry's "California Gurls" and a bit of One Direction’s "What Makes You Beautiful", and they are so, so awesome. L.A. says he really wants to be critical, but they are actually perfect. Britney is blown away at how they made the song their own, Demi didn’t like that they plugged One Direction, a band she think’s they’ll be compared to. Simon says every time they come out it’s energy and it’s fun.

Then Beatrice Miller from Britney’s Teens takes the stage dressed like Steven Tyler – that’s an observation, not an insult, we love Steven’s style. She sings The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" from City of Angels. We think it’s too sing-songy of a melody for a voice with so much depth. L.A. likes the tone of Beatrice’s voice, Demi praises the way she pours her soul into songs at such a young age and says, “I know I can connect to you.” Simon thinks Beatrice has an unbelievable talent for age 13, Britney tells her she has the best personality out of anybody in this whole competition, and that she’s really special.

Next from Demi’s Young Adults, Jennel Garcia does Joan Jett & The Blackhearts' "I Love Rock N Roll" from Britney Spears' Crossroads. L.A. calls it a Joan Jett parody, Britney says it was “hot, hot, hot”, Simon does not like the way Demi made over Jennel (neither do we), and says “You are better than this”. Demi says Jennel looks beautiful (she looks just like Demi now), and that she was amazing. We want the Jennel who blew us away in the auditions back; she started out as an authentic rocker, and was made over into a wannabe. Also, Demi keeps citing the fact that she’s 20 years old as the reason she’s right about every change she’s made to these contestants, as well as the choices she makes for their performances. She’s right too, because people who are 20 know everything.

Tate Stevens from L.A.’s Over 25s talks about how his family has sacrificed for and supported his singing career saying, “It's no longer my dream, it’s my family’s dream.” He does an outstanding version of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead Or Alive" from Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. We think he could make this a hit all over again. Britney calls him a true cowboy, Demi thinks he has what it takes, Simon says that Tate is back in the competition and that he like giving guys like Tate a break, and a proud L.A. says, “If America's in a voting mood I hope they vote for you.”

From Simon’s Groups, Lyric 145 does a phenomenal hip-hop version of Julie Andrews’ "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins (see the video posted at the end of this recap). L.A. says he hated it because it’s not his cup of tea, but compliments Lyric 145 for being inventive and says it was really good. Britney calls the theatrics intriguing, Demi says she was hyped and that they nailed it, Simon says it was a brave song choice and that they were “bloody fantastic.” Have you noticed from previous recaps how much we love Lyric 145? It's true, we love them.

Then we have Diamond White, the previously eliminated contestant from Britney’s Teens. During the video shown before Diamond sings, we see her giving what she thinks is her exit interview for the show. Instead, she gets a phone call from Britney telling her the judges have decided to keep her on the show. Upon hearing this Diamond blurts, “Oh my gosh, I’m back in Mom” and starts to cry, and she’s such a genuine kid she has us bawling. Diamond does Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" from The Bodyguard, and though we would have preferred her to sing it a key lower, it was good. L.A. says she brought it home, Demi tells her as a Whitney fan it tugged at her heart (our nickname for Diamond is “Little Whitney” – we think she’ll be playing her in a movie when she’s older). Simon says dreams can come true, and that he’s happy she’s back. Britney thinks Whitney would be very proud.

CeCe Frey from Demi’s Young Adults sings Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky. She dressed as a lion tamer, and her painted on leopard spots were back on her face. Poor CeCe. She should be in full diva mode singing soulful ballads and catchy R&B-tinged pop tunes, instead Demi’s got her tricked out as a rock/pop circus act. It’s a waste of CeCe’s talent. L.A. says it was the right song, right energy, and great production, but the sum total didn’t blow him away, and Britney says she brought it. Simon says, “Anything recognizable about you from the beginning has been thrown away, and this song choice was horrible - you should be making your own song choices”. In an uncomfortable moment, Demi gets CeCe to agree that she was “...transformed into someone you know you want to be”, but CeCe looks miserable. We think she may be the one going home.

The next performer from Britney’s Teens is Carly Rose Sonenclar with Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. She looks great in a cool leather dress, and of course she sounds great. It's nice to see her without last week's dancers and hoopla. L.A. says her performance was heartfelt and honest, Demi thinks Carly Rose is in her element, Simon says she could have a hit with a song like that and that we’re watching a star in the making. Britney says Carly Rose should have gone last because nobody can follow that.

Jason Brock from L.A.’s Over 25s does R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" from Space Jam. He is backed by a choir, and he wears a shiny red suit. Britney says it’s an improvement from last week, but it still feels like a Vegas lounge act. Demi says Britney took the words out of her mouth. Simon doesn’t believe Jason can fly (a unnecessary and not-at-all constructive criticism) and goes on to say Jason has a good voice and is likeable, but that he looks like a singer in an Italian restaurant. We like the suit, but there may be a little truth to that – we totally dug Jason’s cool goth-glam style in his first audition, and we’d like to see that again. L.A. tells Jason it’s not up to the judges, it’s up to America, and also that he can fly. We are Jason fans (Brockstars!), and we agree. We hope L.A. has him fly over the stage next week.

The final act of the night is from Simon’s Groups, the girl band who were first called Lylas, then re-named 1432, and then last night re-christened as Fifth Harmony. We just think of them as the group that will never have a good name. They can definitely sing, though. They do a gorgeous rendition of Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years” from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. L.A.’s take on the new name, like ours, is “wah wah”, but he was imperessed with their singing. Britney says they shined the whole way, Demi calls them powerful, and Simon tells them they were stunning and he couldn’t be more proud.

On the next show – tonight – one act will be eliminated, and One Direction will perform.

The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on FOX.

To read more of our X Factor coverage click here.

Photos and video ©Talkback Thames, FremantleMedia, SYCOtv

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 1:00 PM