Everything you'll need to know about next week's X Factor, at least before we post our recaps:
- The theme will be "rock," defined by L.A. Reid as "the rock canon," i.e. the Rolling Stone 500 greatest songs of all time. It was going to be Lady Gaga / Madonna, but that was kiboshed as not suitable for Astro, who raps. Maybe he just didn't want to rewrite Wale, or explain the existence of hip hop artists outside of Eminem to The X Factor viewers, who as Astro and producers have taught us over the weeks, apparently need to be slowly introduced to hip hop like a new medicine.
- Next week's performer: Rihanna, perfectly timed to promote the probably-promoted-to-critical-mass Talk That Talk. This is an exponential improvement! Let's recap: Week one: Outasight, dissed by Simon. Week two: Willow Smith and Jessie J, who at least have cracked the charts. (Want a dose of woe? Go look up "Domino" on the Hot 100.) Week three: Rihanna. At this rate, they'll need an all-star cast of dozens afterward. But wait, America hates groups. Never mind!