A spectacle like “The X Factor” — 12 acts performing on live TV with different backup dancers, backup singers, and intricate stage setups in just two hours — requires a lot of effort to pull together. While the final product that aired on FOX might’ve looked seamless, there’s plenty of work going on behind the scenes that you never see. Here are five things Zap2it observed in the “X Factor” studio that you never caught at home.
1. The Warm-Up Guy. Most live television shows employ a warm-up comedian to tell jokes and get the crowd’s energy up before the cameras roll, but “The X Factor” guy takes a different approach and recruits audience volunteers to sing a cappella. It’s a recipe for disaster, but luckily three out of four people chosen on Top 12 night were decent singers. The fourth, however, was like a live-action version of a cringeworthy joke audition: a rapper named “Big Stats” who performed his own “original flow” about overcoming learning disabilities and other inspiring things. It wasn’t good, but at least it wasn’t a total disaster and the audience got into it.
2. Weird Dancer Lady. That weird stripper dancer lady who took the show to commercial after Lillie’s performance? Even weirder to watch from the audience, especially since she got into position and stood still by the lone guitar on stage throughout Lillie’s entire critique.
3. Air Drums. Sarah Hyland really does love Tim Olstad, and, as he told Zap2it after the show, she also really loves the Phil Collins song he covered, “Against All Odds.” Girlfriend was so into the performance that she totally air-drummed during the breakdown, and her boyfriend was the first to boo — loudly — after the judges gave their new friend less-than-positive critiques.
4. Fire. The air in the studio smelled like smoke long after the fireworks went off during Rion Paige‘s performance. And that fire during Sweet Suspense‘s “Hey Mickey” was no joke — you could feel the heat all the way in the back row every time a flame erupted from the stage.
5. Ellona’s fall. Many of Ellona Santiago‘s fellow contestants didn’t know that she fell during her performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and guess what? Half the audience didn’t either. It was so subtle that whoever didn’t have a full view of her during that split-second didn’t even see it, and it was so fast that no one really gasped or anything.