Britney Spears, L.A. Reid Make Shocking Cuts as 'X Factor' Shrinks to 12

Judges pare contestants from 16 through dubious dismissals

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Did you hear that? That was the sound of our heart breaking as early frontrunner David Correy got the boot during X Factor's "Save Me" sing-offs. Yes, a terrible injustice has been done, and we're pretty sure that L.A. Reid has completely lost his mind. At the very least, he just dumped the one chance his Over 25s team had of winning the competition. Really, how far does he think Jason Brock is going to get? It's mind-boggling.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves, so let's back up. 

After unleashing the Top 16 upon the world Wednesday night in the season's first live episode, the judges – not the viewers – pared down the competition. Each judge chose two acts to put straight through to the Top 12, pitting the remaining two acts against each other to sing for survival. At the end, only one was left standing based on the respective judge's frustratingly inexplicable thought pattern.

During two hours of extreme kill-me-now padding, the judges made many a poor choice. The biggest was the loss of Correy, who shouldn't even have been in the bottom two alongside Brock to begin with. OK, so, he didn't have a knock-your-socks-off moment this week but, overall, he's a "star," as even L.A. acknowledged right before dropping the bombshell news. We still get those elusive goosebumps Reid's always talking about when we watch Correy's past rendition of Jessie J's "Domino." It's the kind of performance that Reid should have taken into consideration before making such a drastic cut. Now, unless there's some unforeseen wild card spot up for grabs next week (please, please, please), all L.A. can do is watch his geriatric team crash and burn. 

Another terrible loss was 13-year-old mega-watt smile Teens member Diamond White, who mentor Britney Spears tossed for second-try guy Arin Ray. Meanwhile, on Demi Lovato's Young Adults team, the tragedy wasn't who got cut – adios, R&B/country hybrid Willie Jones – but who didn't. The pitchy but pretty Rihanna wannabe Paige Thomas and her annoying big-ass hat (to no doubt hide the horrid buzzcut Demi forced her to get) sailed through to the next round while "unlikable" CeCe Frey had to sing for her supper. 

Simon came across as the only rational judge on the panel, pitting female trio Sister C and all-girl group 1432 (formerly Lylas, who changed their name for legal reasons and will thankfully do so again based on viewer suggestions) against each other, and keeping d-baggish boy band Emblem3 and show-stopping rappers Lyric 145. He didn't pull a self-sabotaging shock-and-awe move like the others by, say, tossing his best act. Someone had to go, though, and it was Sister C.  

On a positive note, the producers have quickly gotten a handle on some of Khloe Kardashian's nonsense. After her nipples practically hosted the show the previous night, she showed up in what can only be described as a blue vinyl trashbag under which her offending protrusions were probably duct taped down. 

And, in possibly the best moment of the night, tatted up Over 25er Vino Alan totally dissed Britney, who admittedly started it by calling his rendition of Nickelback's "Gotta Be Somebody" "boring." Backstage after his performance he dropped this truth nugget: "Britney saying it's boring, dawg? C'mon, man, get more creative than that. Crush officially over. Like that's gonna hurt her feelings, but whatever." Meow! 

Previously: X Factor Goes Live With Bleeped Simon Cowell, Underdressed Khloe Kardashian