melanie amaro x factor noth 'X Factor': Judges and participants talk about the first night of live performancesIt was an emotional first night of live performances at “The X Factor.” Tempers flared, tears flowed and the audience roared.

Last night we saw five acts get voted out. This means only 12 finalists remain. But before we close the book on this week, here’s some post-show reaction from the judges and singers following the two-and-a-half hour musical extravaganza.

Melanie Amaro on having been voted out only to be brought back:
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster. And right now I just need to
keep my head on and remember I’ve been given a second chance.”

Marcus Canty on performing Culture Club’s “Do you really
want to hurt me”: “I heard it on ‘Shrek’ and all I knew was the
Gingerbread man singing it. So when I went and researched it and was
looking at the video, I was like ‘Ok L.A. Reid. Is this what you
want me to sing? Are you sure? For the first show?’ But he was trying to
get me to transform out of being this typical R&B (singer)…”

Simon Cowell on his favorite subject, himself: “If you ask them
(the contestants) quietly who they want to be their mentor, they’d all
say me. I mean genuinely they would…I’m better at this and I’m more fun
to be with.”

Astro on having pyrotechnics as part of the show: “It definitely made me feel like more of a star, it was awesome.”

LeRoy Bell on being the oldest person in the competition at age
60: “I do think I have a lot of experience…life experience and I think
that can’t help but come out if you get the right song with the right
lyrics and you just connect in a certain way.”

The Stereo Hogzz on who they compare themselves to: “As far as talent The Jackson 5. As far as style, The Rat Pack because we’re so different but we all come together so cohesively, and it works.

Drew Ryniewicz on working with Simon Cowell: “I’ve always dreamed
of getting to just meet Simon, but to have him working with me and
being around me so often, is the best gift of the show, I would say.”

Paula Abdul on the overall talent level of the competition: “Only
one act wins $5 million, but there’s a couple of handfuls of artists I
think most definitely could be signed to record deals.”

Nicole Scherzinger on having to vote off Dexter Haygood: “It broke my heart that I had to let [Dexter] go.”

Josh Krajcik on Cowell saying he could be a male-version of Adele: “That’s an unbelievable compliment. She’s an amazing singer…If he’s feeling that way about me, it makes my heart just soar.”