What’s it like inside a “X Factor” live show? Loud.
And also a lot of fun, at least from the seat Zap2it had during the first live results show. Here are nine quick things we observed inside the studio when the cameras weren’t rolling:
Demi Lovato’s close encounter with a fan
When Lovato heard that a fan had flown all the way from Brazil to attend the taping, she happily waved the excited girl up to the judges area… even though there was less than a minute left in the commercial break. They shared a long hug and Lovato quickly signed an autograph as the seconds ticked down. The fan returned — thrilled and shaking — to her seat just as the cameras started rolling again.
Britney Spears prefers to wave
Spears turned to acknowledge cheers from the crowd a couple of times, but when she heard that there was a fan in the audience from Australia she spun around in her chair and… waved again. Sorry, but Britney prefers to keep her personal space to herself.
Rachel Crow was in the audience
Last year’s teen favorite was introduced during one of the commercial breaks. When asked what she’s up to now, Crow told everyone to watch for her during this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — she’ll be one of the featured performers.
The group that got the loudest screams was…
Not Emblem3. The Huntington Beach bros were unquestionably popular with many of the young girls who made it into the taping, but no one could top the support for 1432 in terms of pure volume. With friends and family there to root on five unrelated members, they had numbers in their favor. Sister C, meanwhile, was the only act to elicit boos from the audience. (It was no coincidence: The jeering came from some of the same people cheering for 1432 during the sing-off.)
Britney had a last minute hair malfunction
Shortly before the show returned from one of the commercial breaks, a few girls gathered around the judges’ area started frantically motioning to Spears that her hair was a little messy. L.A. Reid noticed too and helped her put the stray locks back in their proper place before the cameras started rolling, narrowly avoiding a million awkward screen caps in the process.
The slowest judge to return during the commercial breaks was…
The judges mostly stayed put during the breaks — chatting or (especially for Demi and Britney) getting their makeup and hair retouched — but during the four longest breaks all the judges briefly left the studio. Despite concerns that Spears would be difficult to wrangle, she was usually the first one back in her seat. L.A. Reid was always the last to sit down, usually settling into his chair mere seconds before air.
The judges watch the highlight packages too
All four judges were mostly quiet and attentive as the four category highlight reels played throughout the night. But everyone was laughing during the playback of Jason Brock’s take on Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again” and Spears definitely made one of her “That’s crazy!” faces. During the teen reel, Lovato laughed and clapped when Arin Ray said he might do a “dance breakdown” next week just for her, and Lovato and Spears both cracked up at Diamond White’s adorable realization she had just performed on live TV.
Khloe Kardashian’s weird break toss even confused some of the crew
No one seemed to realize a break had happened after Kardashian repeated twice that Cowell would have to wait until after the ads to reveal which group he was letting go. A few awkward moments passed before several crew members stormed the stage and one member of the production team announced, “I’m pretty sure this is a break, or we’re messing up the live show right now.”
The Top 12 celebrated after the cameras stopped rolling
Arin Ray ran straight for Reid and gave him a big bear hug, followed by another hug for Spears. The boys of Emblem3 were practically crowd surfing as they enthusiastically greeted as many of the screaming girls in the pit as they could reach. Ray also worked the pit along with CeCe Frey and Jennel Garcia, who were crying and hugging each other as well. Some of the members of 1432 ran out into the audience to say hello to their families, while Vino Alan found time to chat with Spears (obviously there’s no more hard feelings about her calling his performance boring).