‘The X Factor’: The final 16 – uh, 17 – revealed

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READ MORE | Catch up on all of our “X Factor” coverage this season

imageI have to hand it to “The X Factor.” They did a little bit of a mindfuck on America with their choices, and singers you thought were guaranteed spots in the live shows were sent packing with little fanfare.

Performers seemingly whizzing through the audition and boot camp rounds that were stopped in their tracks on Tuesday’s special edition of the show included Tora Woloshin, Jazzlyn Litttle, Brennin Hunt, The Anser and Caitlin Koch.

Those that remain are an interesting bag of WTFs, like Mick Jagger-wannabe Dexter Haygood, vocally erratic Simone Battle (top photo) and thrown together groups Lakoda Rayne and Intensity.

imageOf course, there were a few obvious choices: the Bieber-obsessed Drew Ryniewicz, burrito slinger Josh Krajcik (whose mom must have taken her meds just before he called to give her the good news), annoying little rapper Brian Bradley (who is now being called Astro), former drug addict Chris Rene (middle photo) and Simon’s personal favorite, the pitch-challenged Tiah Tolliver.

The rest going through: the hair-flipping Brewer Boys, crooner Philip Lomax, 59-year-old Leroy Bell, R&B singer Marcus Canty, R&B group Stereo Hoggz, Stacey “My man told me I wasn’t good enough, but how do you like me now, asshole?” Francis (bottom photo) and Rachel “I need my own bathroom” Crow.image

In a bit of over-staged, overheated high drama, Simon declared he’d made a mistake not selecting Melanie Amaro, so he flew to Florida and surprised her at home. That means instead of the final 16, it’s 17.

The live shows begin Tuesday. Those of you who’ve let me watch the pre-recorded audition rounds so you don’t have to can safely tune in then.

imageCollin Kelley is the author of the mystery/suspense novels “Remain In Light,” out in eBook format Oct. 1, and “Conquering Venus.” He’s also a poet, activist and editor of Atlanta INtown. Visit him online.

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