The X Factor Recap: Bad Chair Day [Updated]

photoNovelty acts, not-as-funny-as-you-think fame-seekers and the mentally/emotionally unstable, your time is up!

The X Factor‘s Season 3 auditions have come to their inevitable end, making way for something called “The Four-Chair Challenge.” (Cue a Christina Aguilera side-eye as she realizes this phrase sounds like what happens when all four coaches press their buttons during The Voice audition rounds. We’re with you on this one, Xtina, even if the X Factor’s new substitute for “Boot Camp” and “Judges’ Houses” has nothing to do with rotating seats or “blinds.”)

Tonight’s audition installment once again found Simon Cowell stretching to the breaking point the definition of words like “extraordinary” and “incredible.” (His exaggerations would be akin to my mom calling this recap “Pulitzer-worthy” — except my mom isn’t paid millions for her opinion.)

Anyhow, since I’ve got a Glee recap to write tonight — and because almost all of latest folks to advance to the Season 5 Battle Rounds were shown in super-brief snippets — I’m gonna refrain from ranking ’em tonight. (Though you can do it in the poll below!)

Also revealed, which mentors got which categories — and which 10 contestants in each category advanced to the Four-Chair Challenge:

Girls: Demi Lovato
Khaya Cohen
Bree Randall
Jamie Pineda (who!?)
Simone Torres (yes!)
Rion Paige
Danie Geimer (yes!)
Rylie Brown
Primrose Martin
Ellona Santiago
Ashly Williams

Boys: Paulina Rubio
Carlito Olivero
Chase Goehring
Timmy Thames
Tim Olstad
Isaiah Alston
Al Calderon
Josh Levi
Isaac Tauaefa
Carlos Guevara
Stone Martin

Over 25s: Kelly Rowland
Lillie McCloud (fab!)
Jeff Brinkman
Rachel Potter (yes!)
Kristine Mirelle
Victoria Carriger
James Kenney
Allison Davis (no pants?)
Denny Smith (him?)
Lorie Moore (shoulder pads!)
Jeff Gutt

Groups: Simon Cowell
Good News (bad news…they haven’t shown you singing yet!)
Yellow House Canyon (woot!)
Alex & Sierra (yay!)
Roxxy Montana
Wild Thingz (kidding, right?)
Girls United
PLUS…a trio of pre-fabricated groups
* a boyish trio featuring Emery Kelly from this Wednesday’s show
* a girl trio
* a country-guy trio featuring cute but vocally dubious Colton Pack and Andrew Scholz

I’ll be back overnight to list the 40 acts still with a chance at Tate Stevens’ crown and sash — bookmark this URL and refresh it later, yo! — but until then, let me turn things over to you. What do you think of The X Factor’s Season 3 Top 40? Who were your favorite wannabes this evening? Did you disagree with any of the judges’ decisions? Who got robbed? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments! (And remember, as I said before, I’ll be back overnight to update this post with intel on the Season 3 Top 40!)

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. Eric says:

    The 4 chair challenge is nothing like what the voice does, the chairs are for the acts, not the judges, and they look really good and intense.

  2. Waterbug says:

    I was not impressed with anyone that went through tonight. X-Factor just seem to attract the kooks.

  3. Max says:

    I got bored and watched this: ! Haley Reinhart sighting!!!!!!

  4. M. says:

    Didn’t simon get the groups last year? How about giving him the over 25s?
    Guess it won’t happen this year.

  5. Chablis says:

    I liked some acts tonight. From what I remember from those that went through I think they hit a good percentage right. This show is trying. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but if one dislikes the show so much , why watch and why bother commenting? The same goes to Slezak . If you dislike it so much stop recapping it.

  6. Eric says:

    You guys should listen to Fifth Harmonys new music they have improved so much, and they have some really good songs. They also have an Ep coming out in early October, it’s really something.

    • Jasmine says:

      I saw Fifth Harmony open for Cher Lloyd in NYC earlier this month, and they were really something! I pre-ordered their EP on itunes because it was only $4 and some change, so why not. They perform their songs really well live…and their vocals and harmonies are so much more powerful than they were on X-Factor. Look up their cover of Lorde’s “Royals.” The change in them is astounding! Normani, who people saw as the “weak link” actually has an incredible lower range as well as a whistle register. And the older one, Ally, who was also given the shaft on the show, can really hit some high notes. Who knew? The X-Factor really does a poor job of servicing its talent with the disinterested mentor/mentee dynamic. That is its biggest failing.

    • HTGR says:

      Should’ve been Carly and 5th for the finale. Tate wasn’t even in the same league as either.

  7. TJC says:

    What was the point of saying yes to 200 acts only to cut them before they had a chance to improve? Also, giving Kelly the overs is a huge mistake. Isn’t she part of the biggest girl groups in the last 20 years? Let’s at least hope for some banter this year.

    • Kaba says:

      Honestly the Over 25s is the most interesting group imo. Such strong performers.
      Can Simon and Demi get something different? Demi practically had the “Girls” last season and Simon certainly had groups.
      It’s uninteresting. I was almost certain Simon was going to get the over 25s this time. Whatever

    • js says:

      I’m legitimately angry about the whole choosing 200 acts thing. It’s really kind of ridiculous. At least with the boot camp and judges’ houses, the acts had a chance to perform and improve to earn their spots in the competition. This year, they were just like, “You did awesome! Good job! But you’re going home before you can even do anything.” The whole audition process seems pointless now. What was the point of showing us all the auditions if only a fraction of them ever get to perform again? They should’ve done a ‘Voice’-style audition where the judges each get to pick a certain number of acts to go through. Or something. It was just really frustrating.

  8. GrumpyOleLady says:

    I missed the episode where the guy that looks like Santa sang..was his name Denny Smith? Was he any good? Can’t find a video of him.

  9. Jenny says:

    Demi is gonna ruin the girls.. Simon groups again?

  10. Pattygale says:

    I love Simon but after 15 min of watching X-Fac for first time, yuck. I hate novelty acts and the fake gushing. I stopped watching Idol with any regularity few years ago, unless Adam is on for some reason, because the judges were trying to promote the show with their critiques. Randy with his “best ever” and “you’re READY” for people, like JD and others, who were NOT ready and crashed and burned once they got out into the real world. They are not doing the contestants any favors with their lies. I often disagreed with Simon during Idol, but respected that he spoke his mind. Anyway, with the oversaturation of talent shows, the networks had better have something honest and worth watching!!

  11. Patrick says:

    This process is ridiculous as a whole and the groups in particular. You’ve gotta be kidding me. That group AKNU does an awesome version of “Valerie”, the judges all love it, Simon says they “may be on the forefront of smoething new here” and said he wishes he could watch the whole audition all over. Then they don’t even make the Top 10 groups or get a chance to perform again!?!?!? And to make matters worse, they throw together groups of people who literally probably just met each other that day? With no boot camp or further rounds to prove they belong or not, they are now automatically in the Top 40m when they’ve never even sang together!!.. Absolutely absurd, and I officially feel like I’ve wasted a lot of hours of watching this show.

    Oh, and a lot of these acts get 4 yes’, and then just like that they’re gone. I’ll never watch this show again. No wonder the Voice is kicking the hell out of them in the ratings.

    • Bill says:

      That’s true, I forgot about AKNU. Would have totally wanted to see them instead of the groups they threw together.

      The Voice’s process is better in that the ratio of contestants you see vs. the ones that go through to the real rounds is higher. Or at least you know right there and then. So I think viewers feel like they didn’t waste their time investing, what 10 hours, in watching contestants who won’t ever get a real shot.

      The format and editing X Factor goes through (stadium of people, get on stage, judge, mix in silly singers) is a repeat of AI’s process that we’ve all been seeing for over ten years. X Factor does have good moments, enough qualified contestants, and I do like the bigger “event” productions vs. the Voice’s smaller venue but imo it’s the overall format that’s stale. Viewers are worn out.

      • Dennis Garced says:

        AKNU was in line to win the 2013 X Factor competition. What happened? I just watch the groups auditions tonight and was surprised at the performances. AKNU was far better and fantastic showmen.

        • JMC says:

          Can only agree with that. The whole show has lost his interest for me. What a shame! Looking forward to see those guys again.

        • David Acham says:

          I do agree, my wait was worth it when these young men came on the stage, by far and wide AKNU had my attention from the word go, wonderful stage presence a fresh look, though the sound is a bit familiar, but when you put it all together, there you have it, the xfactor, I implore you to give an account of what happened to AKNU.

          David Acham

      • Olivia says:

        They didn’t advance them forward because AKNU got signed after that audition.

    • Neta says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for acknowledging the absence of AKNU in the top 10 groups. I still cant believe it! Maybe they were approached by a record exc interested in signing them. that was the case for Pia Tuscano from American Idol. Gotta love Hollywood!

    • Jude says:

      Totally agree with you too!! I was so mad last night that AKNU not only did not get one of the top ten spots in the groups but nothing was shown of them not getting picked in that large group. Simon obviously knew he was going to be the groups’ mentor before all the people were picked for the top 10 in each category and he did not really like this Motown-like group. To me they were the best of all auditions, bar none. So that’s it for me and X-Factor. Boring show now. I’m just going to watch The Voice from now on. Stuff it Simon!!!

      • Bert says:

        I agree with you 100%

      • So so annoyed with xfactor. Wasted my time giving yet another singing show my time AKNU is way better than the week groups they threw together! Only it her group with actual talent is freedom road. The rest are a waste of time and very hard on the ears! All seems staged. Over it!

        • Kesha says:

          I kept WAITING and WAITING for people to post something about the absence of AKNU. Was there some type of scandal??? There had to be something! Cause they were just too good and enjoyable to not even get shown not getting picked! So weird and the groups are SO disappointing this year. I fast forwarded through most of the acts last night because I was bored to tears. Only Alex and Sierra can actually sing.

      • Ashley says:

        I agree a 100%.

      • Russ says:

        Baloney. Simon DID like AKNU and he specifically said that he would enjoy seeing their audition again and that they were refreshing – maybe on the leading edge of something new. I have no doubt they are gone for some other reason. Simon alone can’t can anybody, and he did not want to can them.

    • Sedi says:

      totally agree, AKNU was better than all the groups that went through

    • Joe says:

      Took the words out of my mouth. They were so amazing to watch. Best group I have seen on show from a pure entertainment standpoint. I have watched their audition over and over again. Jude’s got it so wrong. Trying to create another boy band out of nothing talent when AKNU is sitting thee right in from of them.

    • Amelia gibson says:

      I agree!!!!

    • karen says:

      i just realized tonight 10/9 with the groups that aknu wasnt one of them. very very dissapointed. i think they were one of the best. the only thing that will make me happy for them is if someone good already scooped them up and we hear from them soon on the radio

      • judy says:

        I kept waiting and waiting for AKNU to get called up for the groups and it never happened. Simon needs to explain why to people who watch X Factor. I want to know!!!! They got cheated and so did we.

    • Best mobile says:

      Spot on .. We love aknu and Simon is a prik

    • karen says:

      AGREE. Been trying to find out what happened to AKNU. They were the most memorable performers of the whole show.

    • judy says:

      Amen! I just loved, loved AKNU. When they did not make the groups I thought WHAT!!!! You have got to kidding me. I bet I have watched their audition at least 50 times. That’s how much i liked them. You would think after the crowd’s response they would be in the top 10. I would have loved to see what else they could do. I think they could have won this hands down. Something is very wrong with this picture.

    • Shana says:

      Their act, which I loved, turned out to be a totally rip off of the Bruno Mars performance he did at at the Amy Winehouse memorial concert in London. Look for it on YouTube, I was so disappointed they plagiarized the act. I really liked them.

    • Alherns says:

      I’m a big fan of Alex & Sierra, but totally understand the outrage with respect to Aknu. I chose them at the auditions to be one of the best and was disappointed to learn they didn’t even make the four chair challenge, yet the only group that had any chance against them is Alex & Sierra (because they’re so different). Aknu would have definitely made the finals for sure!

  12. Akdar says:

    What I find _completely_ ridiculous is that in the initial auditions the judges were giving to so many people four big fat yeses and thousands of yeses and were telling them how absolutely incredible they were and that they were guaranteed to become superstars, and after that they just went and cut that big crowd they ended up with to mere 40 people based on a quick review of the video of their initial audition, without giving them a chance to even perform one more song. Not to speak about providing them with some mentoring to see how much they might improve. Not only I feel bad for all those who got led on by the judges and then got cut in such a cruel manner based on the same performance that got high praise before, but I also feel angry remembering all those “suspenseful” segments where judges decided to let somebody through after all. When in fact it didn’t make any difference whatsoever. Only the singer got the bad news a little later, after first getting some false hope. It seems the producers need to save money really badly. But they could sure do it in a less cringeworthy manner.

  13. Jim Welker says:

    AKNU was the best audition so far bar non! But, they have been on MTV, Vogue, Ebony magazines among others! They were possibly going to open for MJ’S tour, had he lived! Their debur album is almost ready to be released! I think they just wanted exposure on X Factor…not to continue on show! Did anone see them present on the Sept. 26 show? I don’t believe they were there! Thank you! JW!

    • Neta says:

      They showed them in the back,on the left side of the crowd when simon was giving the “sorry you didn’t make it” farewell crap.

    • Jude says:

      I just typed almost the same thing you said – “they were the best of all auditions, bar none” about AKNU (and I hadn’t yet read your comments). Anyway, if you PVR’d the show the other night when the top ten so-called groups were picked, you had to pause it to see AKNU standing on the right hand side of the camera way off by themselves at the end of the back row looking like they already knew they weren’t going to get picked. They weren’t shown once waiting to hear if they were picked or not. And Simon, that idiot, only picks 7 groups (most of them boring or untalented) and then makes up 3 groups of absolute strangers! So fed up with this show!

    • judy says:

      They were there when they picked the groups. It barely showed them right at the very end of the group picks. You could see them standing together on the far right of the screen but you had to look fast. Simon should bring them back. He needs a do over really bad. He made a BIG mistake. I WANT MORE!!!

  14. CoolandDeadly1 says:

    Why did “X-Factor” even air AKNU’s audition (“Valerie”) if they were never going to include them in the groups OR even mention them again? (Unless they’re going to have them back as Wild Card or something,) STUPID since AKNU’s audition was far superior to almost any other performer across all categories. Something FISHY going on here.

  15. Jim Welker says:

    I commented earlier on group AKNU! I thought they weren’t present when they didn’t make it through! Thanks for setting me straight! It proves this show is ridiculous! Does anybody notice that it’s either 4 yes or 4 no! At least A I and A G T, there are many times mixed votes from the judges! This show, the mentors always pick their own no matter how poor they perform! Last year Simon kept picking his girl, and he was heartbroken when she was eliminated ( may have been season 1 )! On one Audition few days ago, Rowland liked a performance and she commented to simon, “you don’t like this song”? Simon said no! So she voted no, just because KING Simon didn’t like it! That is why this show is crap! Also, want to comment that I feel best audition ( next to AKNU ) was the 16 year old girl, SANTIAGO! What do other’s think about my comments! Thanks for any feedback! Thanks…J W!

    • Ashley says:

      Something wrong with this show. Everyone thinks AKNU was the best and they weren’t even there today. Won’t watch X-factor anymore. I hope the bring these brothers back.

  16. Sarah says:

    I watch American X factor all the way from Australia… And it truly broke my heart that AKNU didn’t make it through! Such a huge mistake… They need to be brought back! 😢💔

    • Lyla B says:

      can we start a ‘BRING BACK AKNU’ campaign…

      • jj says:

        I would love to see AKNU. They are the best and I’m sure would win. There should be an explanation why they are not on the show anymore. Everyone loved them and they were put through. What happened?

  17. Barbara says:

    Tonights Xfactor so cruel. First they are excited to be picked only to be heartbroken when they are kicked off their chairs. Terrible. Those poor girls

  18. Jim Welker says:

    I think, reguarding AKNU (again), I think Simon deep down doesn:t like Mowtown, and he said he hated song Valarie! He influenced the other judges! I think AKNU not making it is the biggest mistake in talent show history! On top of it all, the winner in these talent shows are usually the wrong pick! JESSICA SANCHEZ on the OTHER show, losing to anyone, was larceny…such a talent! I always pick very early 3 people on every talent show that I feel could win it all! One of them is always the runner up (never have won yet)! I chose AKNU, SANTIAGO OF THE GIRLS AND WILLIAMS OF THE GIRLS! I beleive Santiago is the front runner now, With Ashley Williams a close second! I’ve never had such a great act I’ve liked (AKNU),been eliminated so soon….BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! Also, I think Simon should stay behind the scenes and not be a judge! Maybe Simon will go to AKNU’S house and say he made a mistake and bring them back (like he did with M. Amoro (not sure of spelling))! That was a load of crap, her winning….not fair bringing her back, to other eliminated contestants! Once you are gone, you should stay gone! But, there was NO REASON FOR AKNU TO BE GONE! Another ridiculous thing is 3 sets of 3 contestants, who were eliminated, get a second chance…..absurd! Had 10 groups been chosen instead of 7, AKNU would have made it! Oh well, we’ll see what happens! Thanks…LW!

  19. Jim Welker says:

    Last comment from me, JW, sometimes I use middel name! Thanks!

  20. Jim says:

    They eliminated AKNU which was the clear cut winner and the only act worth tuning in for. I won’t be watching the show anymore.

  21. deadchucky says:

    Bring back denise weeks she’s better than the old man

  22. Elly says:

    AKNU was at the end of the line of groups. You can see them briefly walking away after being told they eliminated. They were eliminated because they were considered “professional” and under contract. It’s too bad the show didn’t explain that, because the judges look like a bunch of idiots for not picking AKNU, but they had no chocie. AKNU’s popularity has skyrocked from being on the show, they surely would have won, but only amateurs are allowed to compete.

    • Sally Clark says:

      If your comment is true then why is Lillie McCloud who I like in the over 25’s still in the competition. the story on her is that she has had several hits (even though I’ve never heard of her until now) on the Billboard charts? Not mad at Lillie for making it…just asking.

  23. Elly says:

    This show is now officially WORSE than American Idol. The Voice and America’s Got Talent rule. Whoever is producing this show should be fired. I am sick and tired of the long, drawn out pauses, where Simon pretends he is going to be nasty, only to say “Heck yes.” There are also way too many clown acts, and mediocre talent being sent through. The worst singers on The Voice could win X-Factor. Simon is trying too hard to find a boy band.

    • Russ says:

      Worse than American Idol? No way. Idol has a talent for choosing contestant after contestant who would barely suffice in a high school musical. Years ago the attracted better talent, or at least were better at identifying it. What have they given us lately? Scotty McReary, okay hes a nice kid but a great singer? Not really. Lee DeWize? Give me a break. I don’t even REMEMBER who won last year. The judges on Idol are lousy at picking talent.

  24. Coopie says:

    Why was AKNU not included? That was the best clear cut top notch performer in X Factor! What were the judges thinking? It’s so disappointing to sat the least.

  25. Pat says:

    What the heck happened to AKNU? They were an awesome group?

  26. Sally Clark says:

    Sorry, but I think AKNU should have been included in the Top 10 Groups. An injustice was done to these 178 contestants and to the viewers. Some of the contestants the viewers saw their entire audition and they got eliminated while the ones that only received a short intro got through to the Top 40. Something is wrong with this picture.

  27. jl says:


    Why do you bring everyone back to Hollywood just to tell them they didn’t make it? No bootcamp? No judges’ house? Not even a second chance to sing?

    I’m done with this show!

  28. CBear says:

    I work with AKNU’s sister and she said “They have been pursuing a singing career for a while now. No contract issue from what I know. They will keep pushing forward anyway. Thanks so much for your support and follow up regarding my brothers.” So, if there’s no contract on the table, I would wholeheartedly agree that something’s fishy here. It’s like they mysteriously disappeared from X Factor. I hope that someone will indeed scoop them up so that they can entertain us for years to come. :)

  29. Olga says:

    It’s unbelievable! To watch mediocre groups put through to the Top 10 is disturbing. What games are the producers playing dismissing the one group that viewers truly enjoyed watching? Bring back AKNU. AKNU had the “X FACTOR” in spades; their charisma and talent was infectuiosly “REFRESHING”. You will lose ratings, you can take that to the Bank.

  30. Bette says:

    I agree , AKNU was the best audition on the x-factor. I have watched their videos on YouTube. They are not under contract according to their sister, so no problem. There are many others in the final 40 that have done work in a professional manner, including Josh Levi and Lillie McCloud. What a huge mistake the X-factor made. They need to explain why AKNU was taken off the show.

  31. Rick says:

    Kelly Rowland sucks bigtim. She doesn’t have a fricken clue!

  32. gabriel says:

    Hi, i am from Brazil and i used to see the x factor at sony. Many people from here are so disapointed about AKNU. BRING THEY BACK!!!!!

  33. Eric says:

    AKNU being kicked off almost made me quit the show. Then last night, Demi kicks Ashley off of her group. Ashley was her only chance to make the final three. The 4 chair challenge is a huge disappointment. The judges houses were a great part of the show. X Factor is now #3 behind the Voice and Idol.

    • Russ says:

      I never thought the time at the judges’ houses was very good other than the pretty scenery. I much prefer the 4 chair challenge. And I hope Demi does a better job this year than she did last year with that super hot young girls who she tried to turn into Pat Benatar and RUINED her.

  34. Belinda says:

    I am from Australia and cannot believe that AKNU was not selected. They were the best group by far and they were “So Refreshing”. Please bring them back!!

    • Pam says:

      I loved AKNU I was shocked they did not get selected. I too believe something smells fishy here!!
      People don’t give up, let them know how unfair this was and make them explain what happened!

  35. larry says:

    simond wanted ashly gone so his group has a chanch to win an he has group again not by chanch demi does what simond says ashly was the best singer of any group an her going home smell like a simond set up everyone who liked ashly should email text an call fox an demand ashly back or they will not tune in to a crooked show i did

  36. dan says:

    idiotic show.
    simon is an idiot.
    aknu not being on the show? wtf!!!

    • dan says:

      I just thought about this right now.
      If you ask me right after that audition aknu understood that this show isn’t for them,plus after their great audition they probably got million of offers and just decided to quit.
      if that is so.good for them!aknu is classic!

  37. Jim Welker says:

    How can AKNU be working on their debut album if they aren’t signed to a contract?

  38. JOE M says:

    AKNU are fantastic!!!! Wishing them all the best and GREAT times ahead!!!

  39. Larry says:

    AKNU eliminated!!! Ridiculous! I’m through with X-Factor!!

  40. tina walker says:

    I just want to know what the heck happen with Aknu. This is why I even wanted to continue watching the show. I didnt know till tonight that Aknu wasnt in the grouos. So sad so sad. What a way to start the season. AKNU WAS BY FAR THE BEST HARMONY GROUP!!!!!

  41. carl says:

    AKNU not in top 10, we’ve all just been ripped off!!! They were a shoe-in to win, the producers undoubtedly had to let them go to keep the show “suspenseful”. With AKNU in the competition, no one stood a chance! All the best to AKNU! We will be hearing from them soon. I’m done with Xfactor.

  42. Steven C says:

    I am from Singapore and I really think AKNU is the best!! Watched them again and again on Youtube and really wonder why the rest of the mediocre groups can be there. Waste of time!!

  43. Matt says:

    There must be a reason why AKNU didn’t make it. One of them must of failed a background check or something.

  44. Carey Kitzens says:

    AKNU probably the best new act out there. They could open in Vegas tomorrow. What a mistake for X-factor. Just another reason why this show will not make it

  45. jonathan says:

    Can’t believe AKNU didn’t make it through! Simon, please explain!

  46. watched x factor AKNU best group ten fold what a farce simon

  47. Marty t says:

    Just want to know what happened to aknu, all the previous comments r on point and we all want an explanation cuz it makes no sense right now, that aknu is not competing!!

    • Shana says:

      Look for Bruno Mars’ performance of Valerie on you tube. You’ll see AKNU totally ripped off his act. I’m all for second chances, come up with something original and try again guys!

  48. mack says:

    I can’t believe that this group never made it even though the judges loved it….I’m watching something thats real and not comtrolled by one person!

  49. Canuck43 says:

    With Ashly Williams and AKNU gone, it’s Lillie McCloud’s to lose…. Not that I care anymore anyway… WHAT HAPPENED to Aknu???? And why oh why did Ashley lose her seat? If the judges checked out Youtube at all, they would know that Aknu and Ashly were sure bets from the people who really matter, their audience and the voters! Rooting for Lillie won’t matter anyway, because another undeserving country group or singer is going to win anyway…

  50. T dag says:

    The best fresh faces were Emery Kelly and his two partners