The X Factor is a show of maximums. There's the maximalist stage, yipping with neon and bursting with light. Maximum time is devoted to "now! or never!" montages backed by maximally staffed choirs, to contestants trying to shill Pepsi without visibly dying inside, to recaps with all the maximally hilarious quotes edited down the hole, usually those by Nicole ("Michael Jackson? From the Jackson 5?" and "You could be a guest on a Jason Derulo track!")

There's picking David Guetta, truly pop's most maximalist if not maximally wanted producer, for the group number. Almost everyone but Astro and Melanie botched it to or near the max. (Sorry, Drew! Everyone else loves you. Sorry, Lakoda Rayne! Everyone else shouldn't.) Then there's picking Outasight to sing a song maximally flogged during commercial breaks.

And--as Popdust intern Samantha points out--the maximum possible number of people occupied the bottom two, between the Stereo Hogzz' five and Intensity's 10. Do you think this sounds like American Idol? It does! The difference is that the bottom two sing for the judges, who vote someone off--unless there's a tie, in which case the vote count takes precedent and everything before was completely pointless.

Those songs are new, by the way. Stereo Hogzz took the questionable tack of emulating Boyz II Men on "Emotions," because that worked stunningly for every other R&B boy band on the group so far, and Intensity did "My Life Would Suck Without You" in traditional Gleeful style. We'll save you many minutes of dithering and just tell you Intensity's gone.

But fear not! Intensity, thwarted in hanging together (if you've got DVR, check out the end of their performance: 10 different kids, 10 different postures), will hang separately. They have probably already disbanded and are embarking upon ten separate solo careers. Which brings us to...


Every results-night recap is gonna have one of these. This one's simple. Leave a comment predicting which one of these ten will get a record deal/Glee guest spot/separate reality-TV stint first. Ellona is obvious and doesn't count; we also suppose Ausem counts as one. They were both in Intensity, right? Jeez, we lost count. Anyway. The winner, should there be one, will get a shoutout in one of these recaps, bestowing bragging rights forever. Now go.

Random notes:

- Apparently Simon no longer thinks the Hogzz are the best band performing anywhere right now. Oh, the perils of hyperbole. Also, why does Paula always pronounce it the "Stereo--HOGZZ--"?

- Paula: It's OK not to win the X Factor $5 million contract if you've amassed millions of fans. Does this count as quantifying fan fervor? Is each fan only worth a buck?

- Steve sure has lots of ways to say "the next one who'll be going through is...." It's like his script is wandering through a lot of twisty passages, all different.

- First America won't vote for hip hop; now America can't identify with groups. This is a very picky country! Which not-all-that-threatening category of music will America pooh-pooh next?