"The X Factor (US)" judges narrowed down the contestants to 40 as they picked 10 contestants for each group in a Thursday, September 26 episode. Before that, some singing hopefuls showed up on stage for a chance to land a spot on the show during the last part of auditions.
Neal Macomber stroked Demi Lovato's hair while singing Neon Trees' "Everybody Talks". Simon Cowell said, "It was like something out of a lunatic asylum," and compared the performance to horror movie "A Nightmare on Elm Street". He added, "You're the slasher that sings while they slash."
Good singers began flooding the stage afterwards, starting with a trio who calls themselves Glamour. The group of tweens, who sang "The Star Spangled Banner", was dubbed "a baby Destiny's Child" by Kelly Rowland.
Girls United made it through as well after delivering an a capella version of "Price Tag". Victoria Carriger got emotional as she covered Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" which Simon called "extraordinary."
Denny Smith, a 69-year-old with raspy voice, was sent through, and so was Keith Beukelaer, who was rejected in season 2 of "American Idol", during which he sang "Like a Virgin". He was deemed the worst singer by Simon 10 years ago but somehow his performance of "Baby Got Back" won the heart of the judges.
Not all of them, however, made it to the Top 40 which was announced toward the end of the episode. While Glamour, Girls United and Denny Smith are among those who stay on the competition, Keith didn't score a place in the Top 40.
As they were divided in four groups, the contestants learned who would be their mentors. Kelly will mentor the Over 25s, Demi will oversee the girls, Paulina Rubio will mentor the boys, and Simon will guide the groups.
Next week, the show will continue with the new Four-Chair challenge.
"The X Factor" Top 40: