Simon Cowell humbled?
After the live episode of The X Factor wrapped taping on Thursday, the show’s judges, hosts and eliminated contestants chatted with press backstage, and the show’s creator was captured in a rare low-confidence moment. Read on to learn what the show’s talent had to say about notable moments from the episode — including some that didn’t make it on-screen — and check out EW’s report on the eliminated contestants for scoop on how they believe their mentors could have done better by them. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
1. Simon was insistent that Demi Lovato announce her vote first because he really did want to see Demi suffer a bit. Thursday’s show featured another mini-battle between Simon and host Mario Lopez about how to proceed with elimination announcements. This time Simon won: He cajoled Mario into making Demi announce her pick first – her pick between two of her own contestants. “I knew that I was going to keep Paige [Thomas], which meant she wouldn’t have to make a decision [if I announced my vote first],” Simon told reporters. “I wanted to see which one’s career you’re going to destroy.”
2. Simon says he was genuinely worried Fifth Harmony was going to be in the bottom two. Before the reveal of the final safe act, Simon, Demi and the acts in the bottom three of America’s rankings were left to wait onstage until the commercial break ended. Simon had already said goodbye to Lyric 145 when they were sent home earlier in the show, and now he was facing the possibility that two of his acts would be in the bottom. Simon, who typically looks so suave and smooth during commercial breaks as he shakes hands and fist-bumps fans, had a rare moment of looking awkward and anxious. At one point, he threw up his hands and mouthed to Britney and L.A. at the judges table, “I don’t know.” In the press tent after the show, Simon revealed what he was thinking at that moment: “I had a horrible feeling that they were going to be at the bottom,” he said. “Two groups, that’s not going to be a great night for me. So it was a relief.”
3. Mario got a little time to catch up with Taylor Swift after her performance. After Taylor wrapped up her live TV debut of “State of Grace,” Mario ignored the stagehands waving them off stage for as long as he could and took some time to chat with the pop/country star. “I’ve actually known her since she was 15,” Mario said. “She was trying to talk to me before, in the rehearsal when I got pulled away, so [after her performance], I was just saying, ‘Hey, I got pulled away, sorry. How’ve you been? How’s your mom? Come by The Grove, come be on Extra.”
4. It’s not easy to console an eliminated singer while production is yelling in your ear. New host Khloe Kardashian says one of the most difficult parts of her job is having to see eliminated acts go – not just because of how tough that is, but because while she’s trying to comfort an ousted singer, she’s usually receiving directions from production in her earpiece. “It’s hard to ignore someone yelling at you, ‘We’ve got to run on time!’ Like, screaming, screaming, screaming!” Khloe said. “It’s hard, and I don’t know if I’m going to get in trouble for not pushing them out fast enough, but I was like, ‘I’m just going to finish hugging.’”
5. Just as the show is entering new territory with its reveal of the rankings, it’s also new territory for the hosts. The X Factor is now announcing how all of the acts ranked in audience voting each week, and, as the show never fails to remind us, that’s something no music competition show has done before. So it’s also something a reality TV host has never dealt with before. Mario talked about how he handles that moment in the show: “I just try to take my time and let it build. It’s sort of a weird thing because they’ve made it through and they still sometimes feel a little conflicted on how to feel because ‘Oh I made it through, but I came in 10th, so am I gonna go home next week?’”
6. The judges and hosts have a few different opinions on how Britney Spears has managed to keep all of her acts in the competition. Last night, as the judges stood onstage with their contestants awaiting the rankings results, Britney had the most company by her side. She is the only mentor who hasn’t had any acts eliminated during the live shows. Khloe credits the pop queen’s success with the Teen category to the fact that, well, “it’s Britney Spears. She definitely knows that genre… She was a phenomenal teen pop star.” In what just might have been a nod to a single from Spears’ second album, L.A. Reid said, “She’s a really lucky girl. She’s been right from day one, and I think the universe is on her side.
But Simon was not so quick to declare Britney’s brilliance. “She’s not doing it that right,” he told reporters. “She’s got one act doing well. She’s going to lose a couple in the next few weeks, trust me.”
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome
Read more about The X Factor:
‘The X Factor’: Jennel Garcia and Lyric 145 sound off on where their mentors went wrong
‘X Factor’ recap: The Top 10
‘X Factor’: Khloe Kardashian and Simon Cowell talk about that nipple-revealing first live show