After performing live for the first time Oct. 31, four of The X Factor's top 16 were eliminated Nov. 1 by the celebrity judging panel.
Britney Spears, 30, Demi Lovato, 20, Simon Cowell, 53, and L.A. Reid, 56, each selected two contestants from their respective teams to be in the top 12. The two remaining acts from each team then had to sing for one of the coveted spots.
Lovato, who oversees the young adults team, saved Jennel Garcia and Paige Thomas. Contestants CeCe Frey and Willie Jones duked it out for the final spot, with Frey besting the Louisiana native with her rendition of "Out Here On My Own."
"I feel it went really great," Lovato told Us Weekly after production wrapped. "I am so proud of my category."
Adult mentor Reid saved Vino Alan and Tate Stevens, forcing David Correy and Jason Brock to go head-to-head for the final spot. Brock performed Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time," triumphing over Correy.
"I like it when people lose themselves in their little moment instead of thinking it through about how they're going to think and look and walk," the music exec explained to Us. "It's just too mechanical for me. I like it when people are free; I call it 'footloose and free,' and that is Jason Brock."
Spears decided teens Beatrice Miller and Carly Rose Sonenclar should move forward, meaning Arin Ray and Diamond White would have one final shot to convince the "Till the World Ends" singer they deserved to remain in the competition. In the end, Spears sent 13-year-old White home. "I'm happy I made it this far and I'm going to keep smiling," White told the audience. "I still love you, Britney!"
Post-show, Spears told Us it was "just dreadful" sending White home. "I love Diamond, but one had to go, so you have to make that decision. It's really tough because they're so incredibly talented, you know? She has an amazing voice for such a young age and it's really hard to do that."
"I was looking for that eye of the tiger, that it factor, that something that just kind of wows you and takes you in and you just kind of know," the pop star explained. "So that's why I made my decision."
Cowell was tasked with cutting one of his four groups. "I loved all four of them -- genuinely loved all four of them," he said on-air. "Even up until five minutes ago I haven't made my mind up." The acerbic Brit saved Emblem3 and Lyric 145, while Sister C and 1432 tried their best to prove the have what it takes to win.
"I can make an argument for both of these groups," Cowell said. He eventually decided to keep 1432 but asked the public to pick a new name for the girl group on the show's website.
"It was just crappy," Cowell told Us of the quintet's name. "And I just couldn't say it week after week. I think the public will get it right. It doesn't have a natural flow to it. Emblem3, Lyric 145, 1432 -- just too many numbers."
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This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: The X Factor Judges Select Top 12 Performers
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