“The X Factor” sent home five contestants during its first night of the singing competition.
Simon Cowell served as a judge alongside Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, and Nicole Scherzinger.
The FOX network episode lasted two-and-a-half-hours and saw Dexter Haygood, a once-homeless contestant that lived on Los Angeles’ notorious Skid Row, eliminated.
Scherzinger described the performer as a “funky phenomenon."
However, after his elimination, Haygood said he was “kinda confused.”
Haywood was dismissed after performing a remix of Katy Perry and Britney Spears songs.
“Right now I’m in the boggle zone, said Haywood after realizing he’d been axed.
Tiah Tolliver, 20, was also sent home. Only Cowell seemed to like her performance. Phillip Lomax, 22, was booted after singing, “I’m a Believer” during the episode. Simone Battle, 24, was then sent home, despite making a music video. The Brewer Brothers also bid farewell.
Twelve finalists remain in the running, including performers from many backgrounds.
Contestant Melanie Amaro wowed the audience and judges after performing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”
“We really did save the best for last, because honey, you were unbelievable,” said Judge Reid to Amaro.
LeRoy Bell, 60, remains in the competition after singing “Nobody Knows.” Burrito-maker Josh Kracik is also a strong contender, after Abdul told the performer that his voice was her “favorite.”
Another highlight included 14-year-old Drew Ryniwicz who performed “Flashdance… What a Feeling.”
“This is why I wanted to be back on American TV, was to find someone like you,” said British Cowell to Ryniwicz.
Contestants are judged each week in the battle for the largest prize in television history: a $5 million recording contract.
“The X Factor” will continue the competition on FOX Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. EST.