Simon Cowell and Mariah Carey
Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage; Jeff Vespa/WireImage
Will she take a rain check?
was supposed to fly
to Simon Cowell
's home in France to help him determine which of The X Factor
's top 32 girls would continue on in the competition.
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