'The X Factor' determines its Top 40 acts and reveals each category's mentor
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/27/2013
The X Factor revealed its Top 40 acts during Thursday night's Fox broadcast of the reality singing competition's third season.
The X Factor mentors Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio narrowed down 218 acts, who made it through their initial live onstage auditions, down to 40 -- ultimately determining which artists should either advance to the competition's new Four Chair Challenge Round or get sent home.
Prior to the acts learning whether they had made the cut, the judges deliberated and decided who would be the show's Top 40 acts -- 10 of which would be placed in each of the new "Girls," "Boys," "Over 25s" (ages 25 and up), and "Groups" categories.
However after revealing the competition's 10 acts for the "Girls," "Boys" and "Over 25s" categories, the judges only selected seven group acts and decided to form three additional groups comprised of nine contestants who had failed to make the cut as soloists in one of the three other categories.
"I want to first explain why we decided not to put you through, because all of your auditions were great," Cowell began.
"We really enjoyed your audition. We think that you guys could be actually something special as three. So we've got this bright idea of putting you guys together as a group," Rowland explained.
Colton Pack, Zach Beeken and Andrew Scholz formed a group and were told by the judges, "We think there is a gap in the market right now for three male country artists."
Emery Kelly, Jon Klaasen and Ricky Garcia were joined to make another group and the mentors told them that girls are going to love them. Lastly, Millie Thrasher, Celine Polenghi and Summer Reign joined forces for an all-girl group after individually giving the judges "goosebumps."
Once the 40 acts were determined, The X Factor's producers decided which judge would mentor each of the four categories of contestants. One at a time, the mentors walked out of an auditorium to be greeted by their anxiously-awaiting acts.
Cowell was given the "Groups," Lovato will be working with the "Girls," Rowland was given the "Over 25s," and Rubio received the "Boys."
The X Factor's next episode on Wednesday, October 2 will feature the beginning of the new Four Chair Challenge Round.
"This is a brand new section of the show and we had no idea what to expect when we filmed it," Cowell said in a statement released by Fox.
"But it became obvious very quickly that it really raises the stakes -- for the contestants, for the judges -- and especially for the audience. It's a cross between Musical Chairs...and a Roman Coliseum. At one point, the audience totally disagreed with the judges and was so out of control we actually had to stop filming. What happened next was extraordinary. It's like nothing you've ever seen before."
In the Four Chair Challenge, the Top 40 acts will perform in front of a passionate and vocal audience of thousands, and then each mentor must choose only four acts to advance to the live shows.
The chosen four acts in each category will be given a chair on the new "X"-shaped stage, and the others will be sent home. However, just because an act is given a chair, it does not mean they are safe. Each judge will ultimately have the choice to replace one of his/her already-seated acts with a new act or send that act straight home.
The Four Chair Challenge Round will continue on through Thursday, October 3 and Wednesday, October 9 and will conclude on Thursday, October 10. At that point, only 16 acts will remain.
The X Factor's first third-season live show will then air on Tuesday, October 29 and feature the Top 16 acts -- four in each category -- performing.