The X Factor Exclusive Sneak Peek: The 'Four-Chair Challenge' -- There Will Be Tears!

The X Factor unveils its new middle round, the Four-Chair Challenge, tonight (8/7c on Fox), and from the following exclusive video preview, it looks like tensions will run higher than a stalled elevator full of Republican and Democrat legislators.

VIDEO | Reality Check: Your Deep Dive into Early Standouts on The Voice! Plus: Are the Coaches Really Flying ‘Blind’?

Press play below to get the scoop on how category by category, contestant by contestant, the Season 3 Top 40 will take the stage — and either get sent to a “chair of safety” or be eliminated on the spot. The twist? Even contestants who score chairs won’t be safe until after the final act from his or her category has performed. And from the looks of it, the audience isn’t exactly reticent with its opinions.

As Mario Lopez’s voiceover promises: “It’s never been so dramatic, so emotional and so intense.” So check out the sneak preview, then hit the comments with your thoughts.

Are you excited for the Four-Chair Challenge? Is there a particular Season 3 act you’re really hoping will make it through to the live rounds? Sound off below!

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. MB says:

    This looks nerve racking. I am excited to watch. At least it is something different.

    • DAKOTA says:

      Yep lets enjoy making people cry. Thats exactly why people have turned to the Voice. Its nice to see in this world, positivity is winning for a change

      • beth says:

        “Yep lets enjoy making people cry.” – it’s especially enjoyable when they’re minors. smh.

        • sarcasm says:

          Even better when the little ones collapse in a heap on the stage as they’re crying. By all means xfactor, bring it on!

          • Timmah says:

            The problem is that they’ve completely tapped out the talent pool so now they have to rely on gimmicks to get people to watch. The best thing that could happen to these shows would be for all of them to take a couple of years off.

  2. Liz says:

    I am from the UK and was watching this with the UK version on the weekend (don’t worry, you aren’t missing ANYTHING, ours is just as crap as yours!) and it was a DISASTER. I can only see ratings going even FURTHER down.

    • David says:

      actually UK version has the highest ratings ever with the 4 seat challenge and is one of the highest rated shows on British TV for the past 10 years in general so not I am sure where you are getting your info from. Great twist to the show (from an entertainment side) and I am sure the Americans will love it too

      • David says:

        BBC celebrity dance show Strictly Come Dancing again beat ITV’s The X Factor Saturday night in this season’s second showdown of the British hit programs.Strictly, which is in its 11th season here, kicked off its live episodes Saturday, drawing an average audience of 9.1 million viewers. That marked the show’s highest-rated start of its live episodes in years and was up nearly 400,000 viewers from last year.Meanwhile, Simon Cowell’s X Factor dropped about a million viewers from last week amid Strictly’s return, even though the shows only overlapped for 5 minutes. ITV had pushed the start time from 8 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.
        An average of 7.8 million watched X Factor, the smallest average audience of the current 10th season.

  3. Lili says:

    Well, we already knew that “The X Factor” audience is the loudest crowd on TV, so I’m happy that they were given something to do. Hopefully, now they’ll be quiet and let us hear the singers during the live shows.

  4. Steve says:

    This new format caused tons of criticism when it aired in the UK last week. Everything from cruel and inhumane…Everyone from the media critics, journalists, viewers and former contestants hated it. IT may be drama for Simon but it sounds like it will be painful for the contestants, and with talent that is sub-par, its not going to goose ratings much. You look at XF and The Voice, and the differences are stunning. Voice has proven that good singing and positive attitude can work. Have you ever heard a contestant on a Fox show thank the judges for their comments after they failed an audition? No FU on The Voice. Plus what the xF did by passing 200+ auditioners and then cutting most of them down without even giving them a chance was awful way to do it. It just showed that the producers had their fixes in – get the backstory of the girl with the hands, lets put together our annual groups, lets get the cute Beebs look alike and the 50 year old woman who looks half her age, and the contestant who is making a comeback after being in that awful InTENSity. What does it say about the judges that they passed 150+ contestants who they immediately cut?
    And the audition round was awful again — and where was the host with the families and behind the scenes. People like to see that and the journey – The Voice has done it right . XF just isnt going to improve…and Paulina RUbio was the biggest casting misfire since Britney Spears. No one knows who she is and no one can understand what she says. And the auditions always had 4 NO or 4 YES so there was no battle on who passed anyway

    • David says:

      “Everyone from the media critics, journalists, viewers and former contestants hated it”.

      hahahaha not everyone. Enjoy it this weekend, I am sure you will be still tuning in

      Also everyone knows your “tabloid” papers are just filled with drama for sales

    • Kaitlyn says:

      They actually only needed 3/4 judges to say “yes”. I love the show, sorry you have to get your hate on so much. They saw potential in Intensity, as well as some other contestants, so they told them to sing a different song so they were able to have a second chance to make the finals. I think that is a good thing to be able to know you have talent but are just not singing the right song for yourself. Clearly they can’t be doing too bad if they have groups with songs on the radio. I love Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony and am in my mid-20s. :)

    • Kendrick says:

      There was a plan for a full Bootcamp, however, the news of Simon’s babygate broke about the same time of the planned bootcamp, thus the producer decided to cut it.

      I don’t know why people still watch the show when they hate it. I get it, the Voice features more accomplished singers, but that is the niche of the show. I watch both shows with different expectations obviously. The Voice could get boring too with their never-ending battles. The X-Factor is obviously cater towards more providing entertainment and over-the-top staging.

      IMO, this season is already infinitely better and entertaining than last season. I think they finally get the right mentors/judges for this show. The 4-chairs elimination is probably going to be very intense and the 40 acts that they chose were pretty legit (minus 4-5 acts). Obviously with the big cut, some acts are going to get shafted, and like any other singing competition (including the voice), there are obviously few picks made by the producers.

  5. Maxx says:

    OMG. The set is in the shape of an X. Hold the presses. Millions of people who have never watched are going to turn it on tonight.
    OMG. Simon is going to f-ck around with contestants emotions again to create fake drama. Lets devastate those teens again. Lets make them cry. America wants to see that…not like the Voice where everyone is supported and encouraged.
    Oh, and they tried this on Saturday on the UK version, where ratings have also been slipping (although ironically it still gets more viewers than the US version) , and people were horrified at how cruel it was. Google the stories from the UK newspapers. People hated the change. Theres enough negativity in this world. We dont need more fake drama playing with people’s lives.

    • AR says:

      Yep, sounds like they chose the same exact format in the UK version. Sounds like gladiator fights. KILL KILL KILL
      The X Factor has been chewing acts up and spitting them out for years, so I’m always hesitant about any feelings of outrage or anger I have towards the way the show treats contestants.
      However, the argument that ‘the music industry is meaner’ fell apart this week. Yes, the music industry drops acts. Yes, the music industry dumps people who are great. And yes, it dumps on people, who have been told they’re great and that their music is more beautiful than a naked supermodel smothered in melted chocolate.
      But I refuse to believe that anyone in the music industry has even been given a contract, told they’re brilliant and then forced to watch 15 other people sing and have that contract ripped up in front of their faces. And even if they have, I bet they didn’t have an audience of 4,000 people chanting at them to be on their way. This was reality TV at its most cruel.
      The X Factor has twisted and turned and been cutthroat in the past. The show’s never been afraid of delivering hyperbole and promises of stardom to teenagers before dashing their dreams in a momentHowever, watching Karen Harding, Lydia Lucy and Sheena McHugh get put into the Top 6 and then have the dream of a spot at Judges’ Houses snatched away from them felt needlessly mean. Whether the trio deserved to make Judges’ Houses or not felt irrelevant. The audience finger-pointing and the chanting of “Swap! Swap! Swap!” made the whole process terribly ugly.
      This is an immensely popular TV show that is already a tough process for all the competitors. Why did the producers feel the need to make it even more vicious? Did they really think seeing acts have their dreams made and then crushed in just a matter of moments is what viewers have been screaming out for?it definitely undermines the credibility of the show’s judges.

      The new super-size audition process already made them seem incredibly fickle. (Audition 1: “You’re a-mazing, you’re through to the next round.” Yay! Audition 2: “You’re not good enough!” Oh.) This new-look Boot Camp has added to the confusion.We’ve had the producers and Sharon Osbourne doing their very best to make us cry about acts. One stage later in the competition and the same acts have been given the elbow. Add in the judges egging on the acts to beg, plead and shed tears for the final spots in the competition and I found myself with a nasty taste in my mouth by the end of the show.

      They may as well have told some of the singers to come back in a year’s time when they were ready to cry on demand and when they had a dead relative that they’re willing to use to make them more interesting for television.

      The whole twist felt contrived and unpleasant, and I hope it won’t be returning in 2014.

      • Kendrick says:

        “But I refuse to believe that anyone in the music industry has even been given a contract, told they’re brilliant and then forced to watch 15 other people sing and have that contract ripped up in front of their faces. ”

        Such fallacy and over-exaggeration. It’s not like the act won the show and then the judges decided to “rip” their contracts. Even if they make it through the bootcamp round, that stil doesn’t equal to “given a contract”.
        Plus, music industry is definitely cruel. MAny artists were dropped even before they releases any album despite being in the company for many years. That is just one of the small examples.

  6. You know…the X-Factor has its obvious flaws, BUT I have to give credit to the show for its attempt at trying to stay fresh and I find it no more cheesy or tormenting than The Voice.

  7. tess says:

    Looks lame

  8. Titina says:

    This format seems very exciting! Can´t wait for tonight!
    Plus I think the X Factor has way mroe talented and exciting contestants this year.

    I really really hope Carlos Guevara makes it into the live shows. He is awesome and I am rooting for him.

  9. Timmah says:

    There will be tears… of boredom.

  10. GIGI says:

    I for one Love the UK X Factor I watch the US version but do not get as emotional over it. THe Voice US i watched one series and never looked back. It was okay but not compelling or fun like UK X factor. However i find it interesting how in the US The voice is the big show and X factor struggles to find and audience while in the UK it is completely the opposite. The Voice UK has now dumped Jessie J for Kylie is hopes for more ratings. Their judges are much better than the US ones I must say(Love Tom Jones and Will I Am-even Danny, but he is out as well) I find the UK versions have a heart or something much more emotional that all these US talent show severly lack…..I loved Simon in X Factor but have not missed him since Gary Barlow took his place, still miss Cheryl, although it nice to have Sharon back

  11. xfactor dude says:

    my favorites are khya( a nice girl with good looks), denny smith, lori moore, danielle geimer(looks cute, and heard her sing a little, pretty good), tim,

  12. DC says:

    Absolutely DISGUSTING format. Can’t believe they do this to people. Especially the youngsters. So disappointed. Watching it now and I can’t believe that football chick is up there.

  13. Pamela Compton says:

    VERY DISAPPOINTED. WORSE X-FACTOR EVER. Who’s idea was this 4 Chair Challenge? Honestly , they need to be fired immediately . I have been watching X-fator since it started ( and I mean the past few years!), and I had to walk away just now, it’s absolutely the worse process I have ever seen. It’s like a joke really. Thank God we still have The Voice!

  14. Pamela says:

    OMG, Demi just let someone through that couldn’t even hold a note, I sure hope she’s still not sitting there in the final 4 seats…okay that’s it I cannot watch anymore….why didn’t they just leave well enough alone. The past two years were great!!

  15. they did this with our one last weekend but insted of 4 seats it was bootcamp and they had 6 seats to fill
    tbh though i liked the twist i thought it was quite cruel to give an act a spot to take it away if they needed to
    4 seat challenge sounds quite dramatic and serious but hope it works out

  16. Sandy says:

    I have watched X-Factor from the beginning.. The 4 chair idea is like being on death row. I do not care to watch your show anymore and see how you treat the contestants. Shame on whoever came up with this disguising idea. How can you give someone something then take it away? I did not realize X-Factor was sadistic. show. You have to be sick to enjoy watching the contestants being tortured by the 4 chair idea.

  17. Mama Young says:

    That’s it. I’m done. This is just plain mean.