SLIDESHOW: X Factor Cuts Down to Top 12

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And then there were 12.

Last night's X Factor episode was a two-and-a-half hour musical romp, that ended with 17 finalists being whittled down to a mere dozen competitors. This was the first week of live performances, and judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid both coached and critiqued. 

Here's a recap of the show.

• The Boys

The boys sang their hearts out. Astro, aka Brian Bradley, took his performance old school with a rap, and the judges were impressed. Cowell said he "killed it."

Chris Rene perched on a stool and attempted to woo the crowd, but Scherzinger thought maybe that wasn't the best way for him to go.

Marcus Canty sang a new wave ditty, and did just fine.

Phillip Lomax, who usually sings jazz, took a leap out of his comfort zone. Cowell's response to his rendition of "I'm a Believer"? He 100 percent failed and ended up being booted from the show.

• The Groups

The groups also showed some skills last night. Stereo Hogz had a "solid" Motown performance; InTENsity took a cue from the big screen with their rendition of the "Footloose" theme; and  Lokoda Rayne wowed judges with their country interpretation of "Come on Eileen." 

The Brewer Boys failed to impress, and were sent home at the end of the night.

• The Over-30s

The over-30s seemed to try to emphasize their youth in their performances. Josh Krajik sang "Forever Young," and owned it.

Cowell wasn't a fan of Stacy Francis's dress or performance, but Scherzinger disagreed.

And LeRoy Bell's used his "magical voice" to croon "Nobody Knows."

Dexter Haywood sang Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" with less-than stellar reviews, and ended up with a kiss goodbye.

• The Girls

Two of the girls were sent home last night. Thirteen-year-old Rachel Crow was safe with her rendition of Diana Ross's "Baby Love."

Melanie Amaro belted out Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" and had rave reviews. And Drew Ryniewicz, who will now be known simply as Drew, connected with Abdul over her version of songs from Flashdance.

Sadly, Tiah Tolliver and Simone Battle failed to impress and are heading home.

The show will air again next Wednesday, and Americans will get their own chances to vote via Facebook and Twitter.