Simon Cowell had admitted his girls were the underdog and said it would literally take "a miracle" to see them in the top 3—and then it happened!
Could the Rihanna look-alike been more relieved to get outta Dodge? The talented but moody singer didn't make it out of the top eight—and then she said she was excited to go home so that she could show everyone she had "bitter"—oops, make that "bigger"—"things to do."
Sure, she got a lot of heat from Simon Cowell about her new look--but most of his criticism was directed at her mentor, Demi Lovato. We never suspected the ulta-talented singer wouldn't make the top 10!
We were shocked when Britney Spears put Arin Ray through to the top 12 over the crystal-voiced 13-year-old!
The heavily tattooed (yet not as much as Vino Alan) didn't make it to the top 12, despite the made-for-prime-time sublot of him finding his birth mother!
During her hosting debut, Khloé Kardashian-Odom had a slight wardrobe malfunction with her see-through blouse that left little to the imagination while the air conditioning was blasting. "I think I had a little nip action earlier," Khloe good-naturedly tweeted after the show.
The 27-year-old diva made it to the final cut at the veteran producer's house and commented on how L.A. was "the only thing really holding me back." Yup, he sure was.
We, personally, were shocked when the adorable 13-year-old didn't make Britney's final four in the teen group.
12-year-old Jordyn Foley, sporting a Britney-circa-1999 look, belts out "Tomorrow" and makes it to boot camp—but not with any help from Simon Cowell, who abhors musical theater.
Carly Rose Soneclar, a mere 13 years old, blew the judges away with "Feeling Good" during the first round of auditions.
The crafty Simon Cowell took a leap of faith and hired the untested Demi Lovato and perennial wild card Britney Spears as judges for season two. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
The 13-year-old was the one sobbing and screaming onstage and going home, but it's possible judge Nicole Scherzinger felt worse after refusing to cast a vote against anybody, resulting in Rachel's shocking ouster (and perhaps sealing her own fate).
How many times does a contestant on one of these shows impress the judges with a song of his or her own? Exactly. But the fresh-from-rehab trash hauler from Santa Cruz took his "Young Homie" all the way to the finale.
Nicole Scherzinger's ouster wasn't that much of a shock, but we were surprised to see Paula Abdul go after Simon Cowell thought enough to bring his former American Idol pal onboard in the first place.
The necessary Seacrestian factor must have gotten lost in translation, because the dashing Welsh host was shown the door after one season.
After only a couple of audition stops (which, in the early episodes, proved that she was a perfectly good fit), the British singer and longtime X Factor U.K. judge was given the boot under mysterious, perhaps-she-and-Paula-didn't-get-along circumstances.
The self-proclaimed singer-writer-producer-musician—whose NSFW audition was the first of the entire series—wasn't just a quadruple threat, unfortunately.
Paula was a-Paula'd when Simon Cowell informed her that the dress she had so adamantly dissed was his contestant's own design.
The 15-year-old rapper may have been a hip-hop phenom, but he didn't win any fans when he objected to the idea of performing for a crowd that, in his eyes, had abandoned him.
The single dad and eventual season-one runner-up pulled ahead in the race the night he devoted the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" to his teenage daughter.
Katherine Jackson brought grandkids Prince, Paris and Blanket to watch the contestants perform their dad's tunes.
From almost not being on the show to being named the first-ever winner of the U.S. X Factor, it was one heck of a ride for the supremely talented diva.
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