The X Factor Top 17 Perform: Follow Along With Our Snappy Judgments!

If you’ve already overdosed on bittersweet tears from Stacy Francis and Dexter Haygood, then please be advised that tuning in to Tuesday night’s live-performance episode of The X Factor — at the end of which five of the Top 17 will be unceremoniously sent to the guillotine — may be detrimental to your health. On the other hand, if you’re like Destiny’s Child and think you’re ready for this jelly (I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly), then please consider this live blog post as your pithy, mildly inebriated viewing companion.

As the episode rolls on, I’ll update you on who’s performed what in all four categories — Girls Under 30; Boys Under 30; Over-30s; and Groups — and offer my opinions of said performances in five words or less. So keep refreshing the page for all the good, the bad, and Nicole Whozywhatzit ridiculata. Full recap will post early Wednesday morning, but until then, hit the comments and share your own opinions! And for all my X Factor news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Boys With L.A. Reid
* Astro, Kris Kross’ “Jump”: Hate that he’s so talented
* Chris Rene, Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”: Pitch problems galore, but compelling?
* Phillip Lomax, The Monkees’/Neil Diamond’s “I’m a Believer”: Honest critique is dead.
* Marcus Canty, Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”: Solid vocals. Wonky dancing.
Final Verdict: Nicole is a foolio. Phillip Lomax is eliminated.

Groups With Paula Abdul
* Stereo Hogzz, Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness”: Does pork go with cheezz?
* The Brewer Boys, Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl”/George Michael’s “Faith”: Away, dancebots! They must advance!
* Intensity, Cupid’s “369”/Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose”: No lie, I just siezed.
* Lakoda Rayne, Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come on Eileen”: Paula, those lyrics!?!? Not awful.
Final Verdict: Nicole gotta stop with the “honey” business. The Brewer Boys are eliminated, and Paula may be crazier than I’d ever anticipated.

Over 30s With Nicole Swiffermakalit
* Dexter Haygood: Britney Spears’ “Womanizer”/Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”: Ol’ Crazy Bastard?
* Leroy Bell, Pink’s “Nobody Knows”: He seemed a little nervous.
* Stacy Francis, George Michael’s “One More Try”: That crazy power needs harnessing.
* Josh Krajcik, Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”: Awesome.
Final Verdict: Steve Jones needs a charisma infusion, pronto. Dexter Haygood gets the boot; declares self “kinda confused.”

Girls With Simon Cowell
* Simone Battle, Beats International’s “Dub Be Good to Me”: Legendary song; legendarily troubling vocal.
* Rachel Crow, Justin Bieber’s “Baby”/the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go.” Styling/staging debacle. Can sang.
* Drew (dropped the Ryniewicz): Irene Cara’s “What a Feeling”: Heading to iTunes to purchase.
* Tiah Tolliver, Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”: More Kool-Aid, please.
* Melanie Amaro, Whitney Houston’s done-to-death “I Have Nothing”: MONSTER voice. I have nothing (else to say).
Final Verdict: Simone Battle is releasing a song called “He Likes Boys”? Grrrl, you know your audience. Simone and Tiah are sent packing in favor of Shirley Temple 4.0.

What did you think of the judges’ decisions? Who’s your favorite from the Top 12? Sound off below, check back at on Wednesday morning for my full episode recap, and for all my X Factor news, interviews, and recaps do follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. MaineGirl says:

    Astro- Really good.

    Chris Rene–really pitchy kind of dull

    • Paula says:

      Astro was amazing!! He’s incredibly obnoxious, but he’s crazy talented. Chris Rene did a good job. I really agree with Simon, he’s one of the best recording artists in the competition, but he is not the best singer. I hope Simon stops telling L.A. who to pick, though.

      • Lisa says:

        have to agree!! Astro is way TO full of himself!! for that reason i would of left him out!

        • Angel says:

          One day people will understand that Brian’s (Astro) obnoxious is needed and respected for the style he is in. He’s a rapper arrogance and obnoxiousness to a certain extent are the staples of rap/hip hop. I think for his age he is hugely talented and he shows and proves it. Sorry his attitude doesn’t work for Apple Pie America.

          • Sputter Butter says:

            Hey Michael Slezak. Time to dance with the one that brung ya. Get yourself sat down in front of a camera and start giving us our Idoloonies-type of show. I dont need it to be edited all fancy with clips from Buffy, just sit down and have a dialogue with somone (preferably not via skype) about what you observe about this show. Your text recaps are fine, but they arent what we look forward to. That lights-camera-magic that you did over at EW is what brought EVERYONE here to follow you to Ausellio’s little empire. But, honey, you arent delivering and you’ve been silent on the issue too long. Time to give us what we want, not 1 and 2 word reactions while your attention is on Nancy Grace doing the cha-cha.

          • Paula says:

            I totally understand where you’re coming from, and I agree with a lot of what you said. What gets to me though is that if he is *this* arrogant now, imagine what it’ll be like in the future? I mean, he’s really talented, I think he might go far. But I don’t want his obnoxiousness to grow, it could really interfere with his likability.

          • Noelbelle says:

            I second Sputter Butter. Dude, you’re a natural in front of a camera when talking about this stuff. And although I absolutely LOVE Jason’s packages, I’d totally watch ya just sitting in front of a camera. Hell, even a podcast would be cool and that’s sooooo 2007.

          • Medic says:

            Funny, Will Smith made a fortune by not being obnoxious and taking himself somewhat less than seriously.

            As for the show, are you kidding me? The show is disjointed and lacks any semblance of continuity. The host is an absolute dimwitted joke selected for his eye-candy value. I never thought I’d say this, but, Ryan Seacrest is a genius compared to this gem.

            The show will never run smoothly with a motley crew composed of a weak (very weak) Welsh front-man, British lead critic, beatboxing record executive named LA from the hood in Cincinnati on bass, choreographed by a nice Yiddish momma from LA and backing vocals by a Pussycat Doll from Honolulu.

            The show is now a bunch of segments that have no cohesion. Plainly it sucks. I’ll stick it out to see the winner of $5MM but without major changes (a new host and the replacement of the rack..I mean judge with a rack) this show is done.

          • Amber says:

            wait… so there’s something wrong with me, because I don’t “respect” Astro’s obnoxiousness? Okaay

    • Jake says:

      As of fan of the original British original and this show feels weirdly off. It seems the original feels bigger and somehow the only thing that remains is the set. Hard to explain. Also the host is horrible…he seems so stiff and serious…the current British host is so relaxed and seems genuine…I don’t know…I think the US has more talent but somehow this is a bit of letdown

      • jamie says:

        agreed…ive been watching the uk show on saturdays online

        the us has better talent by far

        but the uk show seems better
        the uk host is so much better; I’m surprised they didn’t give him the us job – steve jones is stiff- and doesnt have much interaction with the contestants…maybe that will get better…wonder how the original 2 host format would’ve gone

        the eliminations were very predictable…i chose them all before the show – and it did seem like some contestants (philip) were sabotaged by their judges.

        Its weird how they’re supposed to judge and yet they want their own contestants to win (supposedly) – they’re gonna need more faked drama like in the us so that they generate buzz, drama, controversy…and i wanna know if the judges are gonna choose based on viewers bottom 2 like in the us

      • anon says:

        The whole show is turning into a failure. I can see the worry in Simon’s eyes about the show. It’s not going as well as he thought and the audience isn’t going as crazy as he’d hope. IMO, the show is looking desperate. They want to make a concert feel out of it, but in reality, the seizure causing lights are overdone and distracting. Simon must be really kicking himself for selecting the girls he did.
        I genuinely cannot see anyone worth $5 mill dollars (maybe Stereo Hoggz , but that’s it at this point)

        • Sputter Butter says:

          Very well put. I agree completely. This is why slots should never be wasted on people like Nick Voss or Dexter, at the end of it all, its a talent show. Each time they put through someone undeserving from even the lowest level of audition, its a waste and winds up with the cream not rising to the top. Its their bed and now they can lie in it. They pumped expectations to the celing, but now as decent as some of the contestants are, not one of them has that x-factor. Its a patchwork cast designed to fit archetypal molds, not seek the best of the best.

          Imagine a show where we hear the real backstage delibration between Network & Producers regarding who goes through, not reheresed lines from a bored Rhianna or Simon and his ring of kneeling yes men. Why cant they give us something real. In this day and age it woudl be possible and even EASY to put 5000 auditions on youtube and hold a contest, let US find the best ones. Make it truly about talent. Not about how precocious Rachel Crow can pretend to be or how long Nicole Scherzasdfhasfh can preen in front of the camera.

        • Daniel D. says:

          Completely agree. As I was watching (and actually looking forward to the over 30’s and the girls — my two favorite categories) I was at the point where I was turning my head in embarrassment and couldn’t watch, as the execution of the show was getting increasingly worse. For starters, too much zany stage production and way too many dancers. Very distracting. Secondly, very awkward melodic changes to many songs, that just didn’t work. Thirdly, became blatantly obvious that half the judges picks were just wrong. Very much “I told you so” predicaments. Fourth, too much rehashing of past biographic material (which we have seen already numerous times and only serves as “filler”), which didn’t allow enough time for both judges’ and contestants’ coments. WHich leads to the fifth issue, which is that Steve Jones is just terrible — stiff, clinical, comes off rude, and impersoable. To his defense, however, he is the MC, and has to keep on schedule, afterall, they “only” have 2.5 hours good grief! But back on point, they all have to realize that to avoid thsi hurry-up awkwardness and allow for meaningful commentary, they have to cut out some of the other crap. Sixth, the banter between judges on American Idol has always been a bit ridiculous, but geez-louise, X-factor judge banter and sniping was just downright criminal. Not good television. Seventh, I am not sure what the real target demographic of the show is — I would have to guess a bit older crowd than that of AI — but does the viewing American audience really enjoy that much hip-hop? I think not. Eighth, the look of worry and concern on Simon’s face over how the show was progressing was as obvious and plain as the day is long. It’s a good thing he finally relented on Tia and Simone, and didn’t select them to spite the other judges (which I had assumed was going to be what he would do), otherwise that would have sunk the future of the show, I think, right then and there. Finally, it will be really interesting to see if, in the next episode, they have cleaned up their act, so to speak, and deliver a better product.

      • Joline says:

        Am I the only one who thought the production of this show was WAY over the top?! I literally got a headache watching the light show, excessive backup dancing and giant random green screen images behind performances. While I understand the desire to see how contestants can be marketed in the mainstream, the top 17 should not be treated like it’s the VMA’s. I found the entire show incredibly distracting from the vocal talent and took away from the stripped down performances from judge’s houses. The format is not conducive to developing talent or giving anyone a chance to grow. If this is what they are doing for week 1 of live shows, what in god’s name are they going to do for the finale?

        • anon says:

          I think Simon has overthought EVERYTHING to the point of destruction. He seemed to think he had the magic formula to making this succeed, but it failed. He wanted the best judges but is stuck with judges that have mediocre chemistry – fail. He wanted cheryl – fail. He wanted Simon/Paula chemistry – fail; he wanted cute british host – fail; he wanted likes of lady gaga so he put on Simone and Tiah – fail. He wanted massive viewers – fail; he wanted the live shows to be like concerts -fail. He wanted the audience to get hyped during the live shows- fail. I bet pepsi is already worried about who is going to win.

          • Sputter Butter says:

            You must have noticed how I did where Steve Jones very deliberatly left out the fact that the winners Pepsi commercial was going to air during the super bowl. Pepsi may alredy be covering their tracks as polarizing as some of the contestants are and as underwhelming as the ratings will be. Are they really going to spend a few million to go up against Coke’s best effort and symphony of iconic CGI using the face of Astro, Josh Burrito or Stacey Francis?

            Bets are already being hedged against the outcome of this show.

        • karenb says:

          No, you’re not the only one. I thought the sound was terrible-all you could hear on several of the performances was the music. Very distracting.

    • Joline says:

      Thank you TV.Line/MS for finally giving us posters a place to chat during the show!!!! Please keep it up. LOVE.

    • Medic says:

      Are you kidding me? The show is disjointed and lacks any semblance of continuity. The host is an absolute dimwitted joke selected for his eye-candy value. I never thought I’d say this, but, Ryan Seacrest is a genius compared to this gem.
      The show will never run smoothly with a motley crew composed of a weak (very weak) Welsh front-man, British lead critic, beatboxing record executive named LA from the hood in Cincinnati on bass, choreographed by a nice Yiddish momma from LA and backing vocals by a Pussycat Doll from Honolulu.
      The show is now a bunch of segments that have no cohesion. Plainly it sucks. I’ll stick it out to see the winner of $5MM but without major changes (a new host and the replacement of the rack..I mean judge with a rack) this show is done.

    • karenb says:


  2. gagirl says:

    Astro- predictable . Chris Renee- Genuine !

  3. Gailer says:

    I’m new to the show so not sure what is going on but Chris Rene couldn’t sing–was he nervous?
    Are these the best guys?

    • seattlejohn says:

      Chris’ audition tore the place up with an original, heartfelt, audience-pleasing rap about being newly clean and sober and he got like 2 million hits on YouTube as a result but, imo, the song choices tonight were by the mentors and instead of playing up his rap music he didn’t do well with trying to be more of a straight-up singer…I really like the guy but he didn’t sing well tonight at all

      • Daniel D. says:

        Yes, he is a likeable guy, and his story touching and compelling, and I would certainly hope he, and anyone in his same predicament, keeps on the straight and narrow. BUT, I don’t get the appeal for his style or singing. He’s just not that good — at any point of the show. He dows, however, seem genuine in his approach.

  4. MaineGirl says:

    Lomax looks like Donny Osmond and was just as cheesy. Simon is bossy.

  5. katherine says:

    Chris Rene = Chris Richardson. I’ve said it before, I’m going to keep saying it.

    • xfactor says:

      Chris Richardson is much cuter than Chris Rene. No comparison.

    • Sputter Butter says:

      Chris Renee = Andrew “Straight Up” Garcia. He was terrible but he is not going anywhere for a long while. Lousy singing but with his story and scumbag hats he’ll get all the undeserved luck.

  6. DookDood says:

    Only 88 days left until Idol premieres!

    Can’t believe one of these “artists” is to win $5 million! None of them are worth that. And with these ratings, they’ll only be able to award a winner this year.

    • Owen says:

      Yeah, somehow this show made Idol seem classy…

      • Tusk says:

        I was thinking something similar about the production and choreography, XFUS is to Idol as Simone is to Drew, lots on flash not so much on the substance.

    • GingerSnap says:

      Actually, I’m only reminded how boring and predictable Idol has become.

      Wondering about the voting system. If a someone under the age of 18 wins this thing, I’m done.

  7. silkrose says:

    I can’t see this cuz no tv, but how was P Lomax? I heard he had performed.

    • Sputter Butter says:

      Lomax got done dirty by the producers and was given a horrible Ricky Martin on a cruise(y) ship type of production and track. It was rushed and dreadful, I dont like him at all, but there was nothing he could have done with that. It was rushed and insincere, the best you could say is that he didnt forget the lyrics and kept smling.

      In comparison, Chris Renee was gifted with a sappy song right in his limited wheelhouse, he still dropped a deuce on stage, to the point where the judges avoided commenting on his actual singing in-ability. Inexplicably, but expected as it was pre-ordained, Chris Renee and his ill-fitting clothing went through.

      • Owen says:

        I know. Where is this “I miss Simon” Simon Cowell, you know, the one where he wasn’t mimicking JLo softball critiques?

  8. Cathy says:

    Thank God for Marcus!

  9. MaineGirl says:

    Love Marcus, but he has a crap song to sing tonight. Bah.

  10. Gailer says:

    I’m still confused……these are the best?
    Simon isn’t being that honest.

  11. Holly says:

    LA Reid’s song selection is dreadful for these guys.

  12. Victoria E says:

    Marcus had crazy ptch problems, but I’m pretty sure he’s staying.

  13. darcy's evil twin says:

    I need rehab after listening to Chris Rene.
    the only one I could even tolerate was Phillip Lomax, who is going home, of course. Once again, I’m too old, too white, too female.

  14. Sybil says:

    Only saw Phil and Marcus, but it was clear that Phil was getting the boot. This is what I don’t like about X Factor — the judges can pre-select who gets the boot by giving them a crap song. And once the live voting starts, they will presumably start sabotaging the contestants they aren’t mentoring by telling them they sounded DREADful.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Hey, “I’m a Believer” is NOT a crap song! Sybil, what’s wrong with you?

      • Kevin C. says:

        “Crap Song” here means “impossible to perform well live on a show like this.

        See also “Dream On” and “Against All Odds”, both of which are far better songs then you’d ever imagine from seeing any of the performances on “Idol”.

        • Noelbelle says:

          I think “Dream On” is just waiting to be blown out of the water by someone really stellar (i.e. not Danny Gokey).

  15. MaineGirl says:

    Wow, was dreading the groups and StereoHoggz just knocked my socks off. Great job.

  16. missy says:

    any one have a live link?

  17. Kelly says:

    Thought the boys was an easy choice Phillip sounded okay but looked awkward on stage. Astro by far the best boy.

  18. Gailer says:

    This show is a cheap American Idol

  19. Betsy says:

    I loved that Marcus made a cheesy old song current – he was great. Poor linac got stuck with doing a bad copy of an old song.

    Stereo Hoggz rocked!

  20. MaineGirl says:

    The tweenyboppers will keep them alive, but didn’t like the Brewer Boys arrangement.

  21. MaineGirl says:

    The kid group–yuck.

  22. Alex says:

    I thought the sterohoggz were horrible. The singing was so far off pitch it hurt. Don’t get the raves at all.

  23. MaineGirl says:

    The girl group was really good. The little kids should go home.

  24. Aymee says:

    Poor Brewer Boys. So much talent!

  25. darcy's evil twin says:


    Are you kidding me? The Brewer Boys? Seriously?

    • Sputter Butter says:

      Seriously speaking, they were very limited as a harmonized duo that couldnt move around comfortably on a stage, they werent terribly charismatic outisde of having excellent manners and they were perfoming in an environment that makes the vegas strip look tasteful and refined. They had soft voices and meek personalities in a format that pretty much demands big voices and stage presence. It wasnt the contest for them, its natural that they’d be eliminated.

    • jw says:

      Looks like “Paula” tried an Avett Brothers type arrangement with the Brewer Boys, to amp up the energy…but you can’t do that with those dancers or whatever they were…completely fake addition. These boys are authentic when they’re on their own, this staging killed the performance.

  26. MaineGirl says:

    Brewer Boys were robbed. Now we have to watch the little kids again next week. Ugh.

    • Jenny says:

      UGH! The bad Kidz Bop group got through. I really hate the music business these days that thinks everything needs to be in your face with an overproduction to get your attention.

  27. Christina says:

    Is Lakoda Rayne supposed to be a country group? If so Paula might want to start choosing some country songs

    • Tess says:

      Sugarland and Sara Barielles were covering “C’mon Eileen” on tour together so I would guess that is where Paula got the inspiration for the Lakoda Rayne number. I kinda thought they should’ve been singing Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me” though, seeing how they were using the same background that ran in her video for that song.

      I knew Phillip was a goner before the show even began. LA just made sure he gave him a lousy song to back up his choice. Chris should have been sent home instead, but they think he’s more marketable so that’s why he’s still there. Obviously, all those youtube hits have influenced the producers’ collective thought process. The Brewer Boys were damned with a bad mash-up too. Seemed like an easy choice based on that. I can only hope that crazy mash-up they had Dexter do will lead to him going home as well. Fingers crossed on that.

  28. Jenny says:

    Is it me or is all the flashy lights and the size of the stage distracting? I feel like lights are flashing into the camera constantly. The camera angles/shots are being put together for people with the attention span of a gnat.

  29. MaineGirl says:

    What the heck was that? Don’t know what to make of the Mr. T chains and the song was just a bunch of yelling. Not sure Dexter. Hmmm

  30. JVC says:

    So far all the right guys made it through but L.A. Reid needs to pick more recognizable songs, the only one i recognized was “I’m a believer”. As for the groups, Paula really? Intensity should’ve been sent packing. Brewer boys I was starting to warm up to, and they were the easiest to manage as there were only 2 of them. 10 is TOO MANY!! Well i’ll through my support to the stereo hogzz. Slezak give them credit for given them a performance. But still when watching them did anyone think we jumped to americas best dance crew?

    • Noelbelle says:

      Seriously? You don’t know “Jump”? Where were you in the early 90s? That song was a number one for like months. And no Culture Club either? Maybe you just didn’t recognize it because of the arrangement?

  31. says:

    Goddamnit that could have been Elaine Gibbs or Christa Collins

  32. Ali says:

    I can’t take another Dexter performance….

  33. Betsy says:

    I agree that the Brewer Boys should have won over Intensity.

  34. Bonnie says:

    DEXTER….very bad. He has to be the one to go tonight

  35. darcy's evil twin says:

    Okay Mr. Slezak, thanks to yet another name for Nicole (Nicole Swiffermakalit) I’ve instituted the drinking game – DOWN THE HATCH goes the shot!

  36. MaineGirl says:

    Love Leroy!!! Sexiest 60 year old. Beautiful

  37. darcy's evil twin says:

    HA! Paula just said Leroy sounds like Michael Bolton, which is what I’ve been saying. Not that it matters since she’s crazy – good grief, I’m comparing myself to Paula. I need to back down on the drinking game.

  38. MaineGirl says:

    I like Stacy, hope Nicole bought her some waterproof mascara.

  39. Aymee says:

    Dexter must go. End of story. I can’t!

  40. Alan says:

    Holy smokey …. That host/presenter should totally be ELIMINATED.

    He’s not up for this job. Sorry.

    • jrs says:

      Oh, c’mon Alan…he’s hot!!!!

      • Noelbelle says:

        NOOO!!!! Making fun of his Welsh accent is endlessly entertaining. Plus he’s pretty. Although, I am getting really sick of that low camera angle they keep using. And he probably shouldn’t walk across the stage with the camera. That’s ok if you’re employing a dwarf like Seacreast, but his strides are too long. It looks awkward.

  41. Sputter Butter says:

    Hey! Josh Burrito’s hair looks clean finally! Ok, maybe there is too much mouse, but this is still cause for celebration.

    Oh wait, the song is terrible and his vocals are dull. There isnt a single hook in his song. Cant wait for nicole to choose Dexter over someone.

    • Bonnie says:

      LOL, I was thinking the same thing. He looked clean tonight!
      He has great potential but the song choices tonight were brutal.

  42. MaineGirl says:

    Josh has a beautiful voice–haunting performance.

  43. jrs says:

    NO MORE DEXTER…thank god!!!

  44. Victoria E says:

    She picked horrible songs, but at least Nicole made the right decisions in the end.

  45. Sputt Butt says:

    Simon or someone on his team cannot resist putting his girls in red pum-pum shorts. Not that Simone-ay ever dressed tasefully, but Im willing to bet we’ll see them again thrice more this season.

  46. jrs says:

    Don’t even need to listen to the next 4 girls…Simone must go.

  47. Aymee says:

    Rainbow Brite???

  48. Bonnie says:

    I’m so happy they kept Josh. I was at his Chicago audition and he is unbelievably amazing. I had heard Simon express concern that they aren’t looking for a “Taylor” who wins the show but is not a star. I think this guy is more in the Josh Groban camp, and that guy makes A LOT of money and has a place in the market.

    Also, they really need to do something about the Stevebot.

    • Noelbelle says:

      I’m not really sure who is audience is either. I’d like to hear him sing something not solely targeted to baby boomers. From what I’ve gathered, he’s in a band. Maybe a rock song?

      • Shindig says:

        You can find some of his songs online (forgot the names), and there were definitely some rock songs in there – it was amazing, I’d buy it. I want to hear him nail a rock song on tv — preferably 90s (oh man, if he sang some intense Pearl Jam song..) I’d be SO happy. I love the way he’s been singing so far, but I want *more* variety, and I know he does have it.

  49. says:

    Don’t care who he cuts really, we all know Drew and Melanie make it.

  50. MaineGirl says:

    Simone– horrible production. Like cake covered up with a whole lot of frosting so you won’t notice the cake is bad. But that doesn’t excuse LA Reid’s rudeness.