At this point, we’re all wondering: who of X Factor season two’s Top 12 is the real diva -- and not in the complimentary sense. Turns out she’s been sitting right under our nose: Ms. Britney “I just don’t get it” Spears, whose sass was all the rage in the X Factor studio, judging by the audible audience gasps every time she snapped at head judge, Simon Cowell. As for the finalists? They’re mostly a gracious bunch, but one was awfully snippy following a harsh critique from the judges. Read on to find out who wins the night for diva-tude and 19 more things you didn’t see on TV…
- With one minute to air, a piece of paper is placed at each judge’s seat -- presumably, the performance order for the night?
- The furthest the judges will have to walk is roughly 75 feet, from the giant open sesame screen in the back of the stage, to the seats in the front. Still, those see-through chairs are tricky to navigate and Britney, for one, takes her time. Little help, L.A.?
- Jennel Garcia is first to go with the talent show staple “Proud Mary,” but all that running around the stage leaves her slightly winded by the end, panting to catch her breath.
- You have to hand it to the X Factor crew -- not only do they “strike the stage” (stagehand speak for change the set) in record time, but they have the crowd chuckling as plumes of smoke descend on touching images of Tate Stevens and family. It was all so… dramatic.
VIDEO: 'X Factor' Top 12 Sound Off on Their Mentors: Red Carpet Interviews
- You could say the same of Tate’s performance of "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain. The cowboy let the tears flow and any nervousness gets washed away by a tug-at-the-heartstrings dedication to his high school sweetheart-turned-wife.
- Also strangely heartwarming: Simon is spotted returning from a commercial break with former fiancé Mezhgan Hussainy in tow. Seems the stunning makeup artist is still very much in the X Factor creator’s life, according to various reports -- and thine own eyes. No surprise there, though -- another of his former flames, Extra's Teri Seymour, is a set regular.
- American Idol bonus: season eight semifinalist Todrick Hall is one of six backup singers sweetening vocals for the contestants.
- Ever the jokester, Simon leans over to Demi Lovato for a photo opp, then gives her the bunny ears.
- X Factor season one finalist Chris Rene is in the house, taking it all in from an audience seat. “She’s pretty,” he says after being handed the microphone and pointing to Demi.
- The technical snafu before Arin Ray’s performance of “Crazy For You” seems to throw off everybody in the room. But give credit to the crowd for being good listeners: the instant the “We Will Rock You” beat kicks in, the audience begins stomping and clapping in unison as if in a Pavlovian experiment.
STORY: 'X Factor's' Jason Brock on His Elimination: 'I Think Being Gay Is a Wild Card'
- Those in the higher bleachers know there’s a big production coming when chandeliers are lowered down from the ceiling. Sure enough, it’s another Paige Thomas special as the singer adjusts her disco triangle microphone and seamlessly nudges her dress down half an inch.
- Armed with a bottle of water and what looked like a cup of tea, all handled by a minder, Carly Rose gets ready to launch into her most ambitious undertaking yet, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”
- Another commercial break brings out Vino Alan’s mom who says she “couldn’t be prouder” of her boy. “He just keeps amazing me,” she added. “It’s in his blood.”
- And the award for loudest cheers of the night goes to… Emblem3, who immediately harkened back to last week’s deafening screech when One Direction took the stage.
- Britney Spears’ five-word assessment of CeCe Frey’s “All By Myself” elicits a collective gasp from the audience, and several hearty cheers, as if to say, “You go, girl!”
PHOTOS: Inside Simon Cowell's 'X Factor' Trailer
- You can really tell who has their fans in mind during the recap portion in the last minutes of the show. That’s when Emblem3’s Keaton Stromberg makes a heart with his hands, Vino Alan high-fives his supporters, and Carly Rose blows kisses as a show of appreciation. Lyric 145, on the other hand, are working out a new dance step and paying much attention, while others simply stare out at a sea of faces blankly.
- With the show wrapped, the Top 12 are ushered to a receiving area in an adjacent tent where press is also gathered. First one in: Beatrice Miller, who makes a beeline for the trays of food and scarfs down a mini-sandwich. Her only comment to the hordes of handlers: “I love food.”
- Vino, on the other hand, is staying away from anything that might cause him to have bad breath. It’s not the close-talking journalists he’s concerned with, however. “I have a date,” he tells THR, his tattooed face blushing.
- Carly Rose was on self-imposed vocal rest, opting not to talk between interviews (or unless absolutely necessary). Fellow teen Beatrice Miller, however, had the opposite problem: unfiltered running of the mouth. Clearly annoyed by the less-than-stellar critiques she received, the 13-year-old told reporters and pretty much anyone who would listen that she hated the song chosen for her (Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”) and said as much to her mentor Britney. Beatrice also hated her outfit, and threw on a cap at the last-minute, presumably to feel more comfortable, but possibly as a middle finger to the show’s styling team as well. Now who’s the diva?
- Our Idol buddy Todrick comes back to the press area to snap a few pictures with the finalists. It seems several remembered him from season eight, including Fifth Harmony and Paige Thomas, who mentioned that she too had auditioned for Idol that year. It’s a small TV talent world…