updated 10/14/2011 AT 9:05 AM ET
•originally published 10/14/2011 AT 9:25 AM ET
Will she take a rain check?
But Carey’s flight was grounded when Hurricane Irene marched up the Atlantic Seaboard in August.
“The good news is I have chosen myself to be my head mentor,” Cowell told his disappointed charges. “It’s like having me twice.”
Meanwhile, the boys faced L.A. Reid and his mentor Rihanna in the Hamptons; the contestants over 30 traveled to Malibu, Calif., to perform for Nicole Scherzinger and Enrique Iglesias; and the groups joined Paula Abdul and Pharrell Williams at her home in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Half of the 32 remaining contestants – including standouts rapper Brian Bradley (a.k.a. The Astronomical Kid), wedding singer Elaine Gibbs, single mom Stacy Francis, rugby player Caitlin Koch and 14-year-old Drew Ryniewicz – performed poolside for their respective judges, who will determine which four of their eight will continue on to the live shows. The emotionally charged decisions will be made on Sunday’s episode of The X Factor.