Annie Barrett
September 13, 2012 AT 08:17 AM EDT

The X Factor

TV Show
Current Status
Reality TV

Now that I’ve been sing-humming “Toxic” for five hours, it’s probably safe to start the recap.

Welcome, bitches, to Britney’s new castle! Demi Lovato also lives there now, along with her father/brother figure and sex/romance consultant Simon Cowell. A silent hero still sits all the way on the left, working out the kinks of his rusty seated dance moves. Step it up, L.A. Reid! You’ve got a lot of magic to make from now until December.

Wednesday’s X Factor premiere took us to Austin, San Francisco, Providence, and a long and lonely highway across which presumably someone other than axed season 1 host Steve Jones was now in charge of driving the giant X Factor truck. O Stevecrest, where art thou? It barely occurred to me all week to wonder who will be the new X Factor host. Turns out The X Factor doesn’t really care either. (Kevin McHale or Khloe Kardashian are rumored possibilities.)

No complaints about Demi or Britney so far, and I even found myself wondering something completely foreign to me, which was “Is Demi Lovato…delightful?” Can’t quite wrap my head around that one just yet, but I’m digging it. What I like about Britney on this show, besides everything, is her succinctness. She’s brutally honest, never rambles, and — if we’re to believe the carefully edited clip series of some of her best letdowns — often just says “No.” one, two, or three times to get her point across.

And then there are Britney Spears’ X Factor faces.

The smile-through-the-cringe:

The Oops!…:


It’s quite possible that Britney will never need to actually voice her judgements. That’s how succinct she is.

I’m also VERY excited that they’re playing Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger” as super tramps like Kaci Newton exit stage right…forever. All in all: a strong start!

NEXT: Only six promising acts so far — let’s breeze through them

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