After so much talk about how L.A. Reid really, really, really did NOT want the Over 25s, we had wondered what he would actually say to his category once he got them over at his Beverly Hills, CA, house along with guest mentors Justin Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun.
Well, L.A.'s an honest man and he told his acts exactly what how he felt. "When I found out that I had the Overs, I was a little bit disappointed," he admitted to them. "I'm here to find a star. You're already the underdogs so I need you to go out there and really prove to me that you're worth my time." Talk about pressure!
The tone at Britney Spears' house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, CA, was a bit lighter. She called her Teens "sweetie" a lot and she and guest mentor will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas even clapped after every performance to show her support for the youngest contestants of the competition. Awww. Lots of sweetness in the 'Bu.
Take a look at how the final Judges' Homes performances played out...
Judges' Homes: L.A. Reid
Jason Brock: Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry": This big-voiced singer certainly has nothing to cry about. We wondered how anyone could step up to the mike with confidence after their mentor just told him that he really didn't want their group, but Jason did just that. "I felt so good about that," said Jason in his performance after-glow. L.A., Justin, and Scooter totally agreed. "That was a really strong vocal performance," said L.A. Justin agreed. "He didn't hold back at all," he said.
David Correy: Jessie J's "Domino": Don't you just love when dudes do girl songs? Fun song choice, David! And it was nice to see his tender side. "There were some notes that were just, I don't know, they were giving chill bumps," said L.A. "I thought he was great. I think the voice was there. I think he's got a look to him. I think he could go far," said Justin. "Talent isn't the question, viability and the marketplace is the question," added the still skeptical L.A. "I saw pure passion," added Scooter.
Daryl Black: Hall & Oates' "She's Gone": This was another goose-bumps-worthy performance, or "chill bumps," as L.A. likes to say. L.A. and the gang dug this too. Hmmm. Is the judge already being proven wrong? We think so! "I put my heart and soul out there," said Daryl. True dat. "You felt that," L.A. said to him, but wasn't sure his vocal tone was unique enough. "I feel like it was strong," said Justin.
Tate Stevens: Brian McKnight's "Back At One": The lone hat-wearing country crooner of the competition continues to deliver that strong, solid, deep country voice we loved at his first audition. L.A. liked his song choice, but wondered, "Do you think he's a keeper?" Justin answered, "I think he's charismatic and I think he has a great voice." True, but L.A. pressed, "If you had to go into that bank account and write a check for $5 million, would you give it to that guy?" "I'm not sure," answered the Biebs.
Vino Alan: Pink's "Sober": Arguably the most surprising and moving performance of the Over 25s came from Vino, who revealed that he was "tortured" by his mom's abusive boyfriend as a child. He delivered a super-intense version of "Sober." This was a man singing for his life. Chills. Big chills. "Emotionally, I felt it," said Justin. "Great voice. All that soul, right? But then I'm looking, okay, the package, the package, the package," said L.A.
Tara Simon: Hoobastank's "The Reason": Tara's confidence came through loud and clear when she declared "I feel like I will win the whole thing." And, why shouldn't she feel that? The girl's got some pipes and hit quite the long note at the end. Afterwards, she did a little happy dance and declared, "It was a near perfect performance." Did the judges agree? They all agreed that she has a "big voice," but Justin said, "She should make sure to have more sweet moments with her voice" as well.
Judges' Homes: Britney Spears
Diamond White: Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You": It was another wise-beyond-her years performance for this young teen who delivered a very moving take on this song. The Black Eyed Pea said, "She sings amazing," but felt she cares about her moves too much. Her competitor Beatrice Miller said, "Flawless to the point where it's not fair." Likewise, Reed Deming said, "How do you compete against that?"
Reed Deming: The Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah": "It's amazing. Holy cow. Whoo!" said the Teen cutie as he stepped outside of Brit's house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. His performance was sweet, but Britney noticed his nerves. "I think he could deliver a little bit better than what he did," she said. He knew he rushed it a bit due to nerves, but was happy overall.
James Tanner: Shop Boyz' "Party Like a Rock Star": The only hip-hop kid of the category got his groove on to "Party Like a Rock Star." He got the usual claps from Britney and will.i.am, but Britney wasn't so sure. "I thought he was entertaining," she said. "I'm just not convinced it's strong enough." Pre-performance, James admitted, "I'm just anxious a lot."
Arin Ray: Nicki Minaj's "Starships": He got his wish - a second chance at THE X FACTOR and his first shot at the $5 million prize as a solo artist. After coming in Top 12 last season with the group InTENsity, Arin had a thing or two to prove. Looks like he got the job done. "He has something," said will.i.am. Britney thought he needs to work on his vocals a bit, but added, "I love watching him." Ditto that.
Beatrice Miller: David Guetta (featuring Sia)'s "Titanium": "Did anyone else feel, like, sick to their stomachs before they went," she asked her competitors, and then cried a bit before walking out for her big moment. And, a big moment it certainly was! It was yet another chilly moment in Malibu. "That was fresh," said will.i.am. Britney seemed to like it but said she needs to control the loudness of her voice a bit.
Carly Rose Sonenclar: Karmin's "Brokenhearted": Uh, we don't think she'll be brokenhearted after that great performance! "She just killed it," said Arin. "She's possessed," said will.i.am. "She's definitely possessed," agreed Britney. "She's like a little caterpillar and then you think she's gonna turn into a butterfly...Dragon! Scorching the town," added the guest mentor.
Well, that's it, folks! The Judges' Homes performances are done. It's safe to say, they ALL really left it on the stage. But which two acts from each category will go home? Which Top 16 will move onto the Live Shows? Tune in next WEDNESDAY at 8/7c on FOX to find out!