Simon Cowell was quite pleased to learn that new "X Factor" judge Britney Spears is "suprisingly mean."
Sure, plenty of these contestants have shown X Factor-ish qualities. But who got a free ticket to Britney Spears' house? (Or Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato or L.A. Reid's house?)
The X Factor's top 24 were revealed tonight, the lucky two dozen getting split into four categories and shipped off to the judges' pads to work with--and perform in front of--guest mentors will.i.am, Marc Anthony, Nick Jonas and Justin Bieber.
And, for the record, the judges apparently looked beyond the boot camp duels in making their decisions, because some of their picks most definitely didn't put their best vocals forward in the last round.
The 24 will be whittled down to 16 before the show goes live this season--but first things first. Who made it and where did they go?!
CeCe Frey, Willie Jones (as we said, no big deal that he muffed his duel), Jennel Garcia, Nick Youngerman, Paige Thomas (her duel with CeCe obviously had two winners) and Jillian Jensen made the young adult (ages 17-24) category and scored an invite to Demi Lovato's Los Angeles home to work with the 20-year-old judge and Nick Jonas.
L.A. Reid was visibly (and vocally) disappointed to get the over-25s, who ironically got to work with the Biebs upon arrival at the record producer's Beverly Hills mansion.
But despite slamming the phone down in frustration when he first got the news, L.A. pulled himself together and set his sights on winning with the talent he has: Jason Brock, David Correy, the theatrical Tara Simon, Daryl Black, country singer Tate Stevens (who thoroughly out-dueled Willie Jones) and Vino Alan, who had been so sure he had completely tanked his duel.
P.S. That meant it was the end of the road for inspirational preacher Freddie Combs and single dad Jeffrey Gutt (honestly, we were surprised he didn't make it).
Diamond White, Carly Rose Sonnenclar, Beatrice Miller, James Tanner, Reed Deming and Arin Ray--early standouts, all--made up the teen group and ended up at Britney's place in Malibu, where will.i.am was awaiting.
The groups were the only ones who didn't end up in Southern California. Instead, sigh, it was off to Miami Beach for a meeting with Simon and Marc Anthony.
While Sister C, Emblem3 and Dope Crisis were the only group acts from boot camp to be selected, other solo singers were plucked from the pack to form boy band Playback (we spied platinum-haired Austin Corini in the mix), coed hip-hop trio Lyric 145 (welcome back, Lyric Da Queen) and girl group Lylas.
Tomorrow night, Britney's teens and L.A. Reid's over-25s will battle it out one last time and four singers from each group will make the top 16.
Who do you want to see go on to the live round? Sound off in the comments!