Cutthroat Teens Duke It Out on ‘The X Factor’

Contestant Reed Deming performs in front of Britney Spears and Guest Mentor on "The X Factor" (Ray Mickshaw / FOX)

LA Reid told his group of Over 25s on last night’s “X Factor” right to their faces that he didn’t want to mentor them. But what’s the problem? Surely a little worldly experience helps eliminate some of the over-the-top melodrama that the Teen contestants over at Britney Spears’s Malibu “house” were spouting.

Reed Deming was the worst of them. The 13-year-old seemed to think he was competing on “The Hunger Games” with rhetoric like this: “This is going to be a fight to the death.” And “I’m not fighting to save myself, I’m fighting to win.” And “I feel like my entire life has been in preparation for this moment.” It’s a bit much, kid.

Meanwhile the oldsters seemed generally supportive of one another, crowding around the window to the terrace and commending the performances, like that of Jason Brock, the flamboyant and wonderful 35-year-old, singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

Tara Simon was really the only diva in LA’s group, which might explain why he likes her. This girl is really a hot mess, and she has a good voice but uses it too much with too many riffs, on “The Reason is You.”

The best Over 25 was probably Vino Alan, who sang Pink’s “Sober” inspired by the abuse he grew up with at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend. He’s a super passionate guy. But does he have “the package, the package, the package”? That’s what LA asked his guest mentors, Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun.

The other Over 25s: Daryl Black, Tate Stevens, David Correy.

Over in Malibu, Britney and started with Diamond White, who kicked off a string of extremely confident little performers. But some of that confidence is deserved. “How is this girl 13?!?!?” is all I was thinking during her performance of “I’m With You.”

The most surprising was Beatrice Miller, who unlike Diamond and Reed, had a more realistic experience: she was sick to her stomach with nerves and cried on the way out to the pool. But her performance of “Titanium” was gripping. “That was fresh,” said Will.

Carly Rose Sonenclar, the 13-year-old who auditioned with the very adult “Feeling Good,” was saved for last. She sang “Brokenhearted” flawlessly. Britney (with whom Demi Lovato has been sharing hairstylists?) and Will agreed: “She’s possessed.”

The rest of the teens: Arin Ray, James Tanner.

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