On November 9, 2012, “The X Factor” U.S. revealed the Top 12 contestants of 2012, after “wild card” contestant Diamond White re-entered the competition. (Click here for a recap of the episode.) For the first time in U.S. TV talent show history, “The X Factor” revealed the rankings of the Top 12, based on who got the most viewer votes and who got the least.
One Direction, the boy band that was created by “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010, made its “X Factor” U.S. debut in this episode by performing “Live While We’re Young” and “Little Things.” (Click here to find out how the episode did in the U.S. ratings.)
In Los Angeles, “The X Factor” held its usual post-episode media gathering at the show’s CBS Television Studios press room. Here is what “X Factor” stars said in the press room on November 9, 2012:
Before the show, One Direction spent some of their free time playing soccer in the CBS Television Studios lot, where the show was filmed. After the show, in the press room, One Direction’s Niall Horan told “Extra” it was a bit strange but nice” for the group to be performing in front of “X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell seated at a judges’ table again. The last time that happened was in December 2010 at “The X Factor” U.K.’s season finale. (Cowell was One Direction’s mentor on “The X Factor” U.K., and he signed One Direction to Syco Music, the record company that he co-owns with Sony Music.)
In an interview with Sweety High, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik commented on the group’s performance:
When he was asked what goes through his mind when he hears all the audience screaming for One Direction before walking on stage, Tomlinson replied: “At that point, I think you acknowledge the cheers … but when you get into focus mode, you cancel all that noise out.”
Payne added, “It’s nice. It made us feel really at home. We were on stage enjoy ourselves. As soon as they started screaming we thought, ‘It’s going to be a good one.’ So just go for it.”
Malik said, “It’s great to come back to ‘The X Factor.’ This is where we started and stuff. It’s amazing to come back and get that kind of reaction over here the U.S.We’re just really thankful to all of our fans who turned up.”
Carly Rose Sonenclar came in at No. 2 this week in votes from the public, but Spears (who is Sonenclar’s “X Factor” mentor) told “Extra” that Sonenclar “should’ve been No. 1.” Spears also told “Extra” how thrilled she was to have “wild card” contestant White (who was No. 4 in votes this week) back in the competition: “I was so excited. It just goes to show that she has to be on the show.”
Cowell said on the show that he had expected Emblem3, a male trio that he is mentoring this year, would be ranked No. 1 in votes from the public. Instead, Emblem3 was ranked No. 6. “I’m very worried,” Cowell told “Extra” after the show. He commented on how surprised that Emblem3 wasn’t the top vote getter: “On a scale of 1 to 100: 1,000.”
In an interview with Young Hollywood Network, Cowell said about Emblem3 not being No. 1 in getting votes this week: “I’m not happy about it, but in a weird way, it’s good to know. And it means we’ve got to try different things, because otherwise I would’ve gone in there thinking we were winning, and I would’ve carried on doing the same thing. And obviously, we’ve got some tough competition.”
Cowell also expressed no regrets about harshly criticizing judge Demi Lovato for how she is mentoring her contestants, including the makeovers that she’s given to contestants Jennel Garcia and CeCe Frey. He told Young Hollywood Network: “I want to be tough on her because the job is that you’ve got to mentor your artists properly … Personally, I think on a show like this, she’s gone too far with Jennel and CeCe. And I think she might take my advice next week.”
And even though Spears is the mentor to “wild card” contestant White, Cowell said that bringing White back into the competition was all his idea. “Being a producer, sometimes you get to change the rules,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
Cowell also said to Entertainment Weekly that revealing the contestants’ ranking in public votes is not guaranteed to be a weekly feature of the show: “This is something we’re going to consider week on week, whether we do it or not. We can always bring it back in. But I think certainly this is the right thing to do this week, because now we know where we stand.”
Lovato commented on her contestant makeover choices to Young Hollywood Network: “If it helps them get them get into a zone that they need to be in, if it helps them boost their confidence, if it helps their performance, then it’s definitely important. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We may have some re-evaluating to do with some of my contestants, maybe bringing them back to who they are. It’ll be interesting to see how things go next week but I have a good idea of what I want to do with my contestants.”
She was less confident when she said to Entertainment Weekly: “This is my first time mentoring. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. I do think I need to think about what Simon said and take it into consideration. Obviously what I’m doing isn’t working, and it’s still an opportunity for me. Maybe we just have to consider some different options and re-evaluate what we’ve put out on stage and maybe take it down a notch.”