The X Factor Recap: Did the Right Acts Go Home?

tate stevens x factorTension hung in the air, thicker and more pronounced than Demi Lovato’s ’80s-era eyebrows, on tonight’s X Factor Top 12 results show. Even Khloe Kardashian could feel it: “Live on stage we’ve got a sensational performance from the incredible Taylor Swift!” she declared, eyes burning with ennui (or was she merely distracted by a shiny object dangling in the distance?).

Whatever the case, the telecast took a hideous turn within its first 20 minutes. No, I’m not talking about this exchange in which the Kardashian woman and cohost Mario “yes my soul is in the Lost & Found” Lopez were allowed to abandon the teleprompter following Ms. Swift’s rendition of “State of Grace.”

Khloe: “Great job! Hey! Now you have been a young star. You started really young. We have a lot of young contestants on the show. What advice would you give them?”
Taylor: “I think the advice I would give people is to just, no matter how tired you are or no matter what kind of bad day you’re having, be nice to people. You know?”
Khloe: “Be nice! The Golden Rule! Abolutely!”
Mario: “Great advice! That’s great advice just in life, too! You’re exactly right! By the way, Taylor’s new album Red is out in stores now! And aftet the break we’re gonna find out which acts have made it through to the Top 10 and which two will have to sing for survivor [sic]! And later on we’re gonna reveal the rankings of the Top 10, so please do not move!”

Right before that meeting of the minds, Mr. Lopez revealed — without the slightest bit of fanfare — news that totally broke my reality-competition-lovin’ heart: Highly entertaining, high-energy rap act Lyric145 (and its sure-to-be-a-superstar frontwoman Lyric Da Queen) was the week’s lowest vote-getter, and thus was being shown the exit without even a last-chance sing-off. WHY?! THE?! FACE?!

Of course, this being a double-elimination week, there was more blood to be spilled. Here’s how the rest of the hour played out.

Arin Ray
Vino Alan
Carly Rose Sonenclar
Diamond White
Tate Stevens
Beatrice Miller
CeCe Frey
Fifth Harmony

Last chance sing-off
Jennel Garcia: A servicable albeit slightly tearful take on Hoobastank’s “The Reason.”
Paige Thomas: A butterfly-delicate, mostly on pitch cover of Coldplay’s “Paradise,” marked by hypnotically tossed-off phrasing.

Uh-oh. Despite the fact that Jennel had outperformed Paige every week on the show this season, she got outsung when it counted most. How would the judges vote?

L.A.: Eliminate Jennel
Britney: Eliminate Jennel
Simon: Refused to vote before Demi, invoking his role as Mario’s boss to get his way
Demi: Eliminate Paige
Simon: In “an easy decision,” Eliminate Jennel

Wait! If Simon had planned to send the Massachussets rocker to the guillotine anyway, why not just get it over with, instead of forcing Demi to publicly come out against one of the two acts she’s got left in the Top 10? That’s not keeping it real or entertaining, it’s just keeping it obnoxious.

Yep, just like that, two of the acts this season with a real-world shot at being chart-topping successes are out of the competition. Who exactly voted for Paige, CeCe, Diamond, and Arin? (Sorry, Arin, but “Crazy for You” was a crazy mess.)

And finally, our hosts brought the Top 10 back to the stage to reveal the order of this week’s votes:

10. Paige Thomas
9. Arin Ray
8. Beatrice Miller (who reacted to the news with a not-ready-for-primetime combo of bitterness and resignation)
7. Diamond White
6. Fifth Harmony
5. CeCe Frey
[Oh em gee! Just over three percent of the vote separates the top four!]
4. Emblem3
3. Vino Alan
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
1. Tate Stevens

Wait, they forgot to mention where Lyric145 is ranked? Oh…

And with that, let me turn things over to you:

Did the right acts get sent home this week? If not, who dodged the proverbial bullet? What did you make of the voting order? And who’s more painful: Khloe or Mario? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. clarijo says:

    Who voted for CeCe?


  2. Name That Tune says:

    If not for Michael’s recaps, I would be blissfully unaware of what a farce this show is. Seriously, are people actually watching the show?

  3. NoreenR says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Mario is worse than Khloe. But that’s not saying much.

  4. TT says:


  5. greysfan says:

    Seriously who in their right minds voted for Cece? I mean she was terrible and somehow she made it through. The biggest shock for me was Lyric 145 leaving. That was a total curveball in this competition. America have got this wrong big time.

  6. Jon says:

    How did Tate become number one again? Who exactly is watching this show? How old are they?

  7. Lisa says:

    For the people who are wondering why lyric 145 went home,it was more than their performance.the girl whatever her name is came off as rude and obnoxious. That never goes over we’ll with America. It almost ruined Haley Reinhart. These people need to show respect to the judges,regardless of whether or not they agree with it. They have been given a huge opportunity and should be grateful.

    • Didi says:

      Yes, I noticed this too. When the judges gave their critiques it looked like she laughed them off or didn’t take them seriously. Not saying it was that way, just saying it looked like it.
      They were also kinda really far out with their style and performances, so that prolly played a role too. Also, coming from Idol and The Voice, many people probably see this as a “singing competition” and Lyric145 didn’t really sing.

  8. JKR says:

    I haven’t seen this amount of commenting on an XF post before, so…well played, Simon. Well played.

  9. Go to 2:39 in this video and look at Jennell’s face when Cece is declared safe.

  10. scrutinizer says:

    look….i’m not a relative or friend of diamond, don’t know her or know anyone who knows her…,but something in my gut tells me that girl is going to go further in the music biz than any of the other acts. she has star quality and is already a good enough singer at only 13 to now have a record deal as an r&b/pop singer. given the right hit song, she could be charting right now. producers and songwriters are probably already gearing up to snatch her once america eliminates her, which they probably and unfortunately will. she definitely has more natural talent than paige, who is more the stunning beauty. words of advice to diamond…”you won’t need the x factor for stardom” :)

  11. Carrie says:

    The biggest problem here are the mentors trying to manufacture stars based on their own tastes versus who these contestants are and what kind of performers they want to be. If a contestant does not like their song, their mentor should be willing to change it as opposed to forcing it on them which always flops on stage. Lyric 145 should have fought harder to do real hip hop becasue Simon’s choices were horrible for them, NOne of the contestants are showing their own musical capability, they are too distracted by pretending to be something they are not. Where are the interesting arrangements of songs and unique spins on classics?

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      read some stories on today’s The Hollywood Reporter that has some contestants complaining that the show’s producers are making song choices and assigning them to people whether the singer is on board or not…I’m now basically viewing these contestants as Ken and Barbie dolls the tv people hang clothes and songs on and the manufactured results have little to do with who these people are as artists and performers…which doesn’t auger well for whoever gets the $5mil recording contract as they will be just a puppet on somebody else’s string

      • soundscene says:

        I thought the “manufactured” element of X Factor was basically its premise. American Idol does the same thing, they just pretend they don’t. X Factor lays it all out there–the judges and producers pick the song, the costume, the set design, etc. The singers have no choice. What you get (and what the judges and producers and record label is really looking for) is a marketable star, not an “artist.” In Beatrice’s first live show, part of her opening package was her saying she didn’t think the song suited her.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Yeah and she said she was afraid some might get bored and Lyric 145 all but stated that had badly wanted to do something had all ready, that would show their true selves, but had it yanked and stolen away from them at the last minute.
          And the way AI packages things and pushes and tries to bus others they clearly have certain production aims.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised. Oh well.

    • teatime says:

      @Carrie bravo.
      The best performances of this season were in the auditions and at the judges’ houses.
      I have my favorites but it is mostly because of what they did weeks ago.
      This show needs more remarkable performances than what we are getting. The only way to have those is for the contestants to have more influence.

  12. soundscene says:

    I tried to like Demi as a judge, but I just can’t. “I’m bored” is a lazy and useless critique and says more about her than the performance she was watching. She has done the absolute worst with her contestants, failing to understand that more stuff on stage does not equal a better performance. She really has no idea what she’s doing; she may think she does, but she’s obviously too young to get the business side of showbusiness. She just knows what she think is “not boring,” and that’s really not lining up with what the audience sees.

    That said, with the exception of Jannel, she had the least talented of the groups (partly her own fault, mind you). It’s strange how Cece sounded pretty good at bootcamp and now can’t seem to find a single correct note. Her performance on Wednesday was one of the worst I’ve heard out of any season of any singing competition show. She, perhaps, sang two notes on key and those were her money long notes. I’m struggling to understand how voters could overlook all those other bad notes for the two money notes.

    Paige will not win, and perhaps that is why the other judges voted her to stay. She’s not marketable because there are too many other artists who are exactly the same, except better. There’s nothing that makes her stand out.

    I was fine with Lyric 145’s elimination. I like some melody with my rap; I’ve never been a fan of music that is just entirely rap with no change in intonation, tone or melody.

    Emblem3 gets on my nerves. Simon should understand that they’re not #1 because they acted like a**holes during the audition rounds. People don’t like a**holes.

    The best: Cary, Tate, Beatrice, Fifth Harmony (hate the name, though). Vino has a good voice, but he’s just not my bag.

  13. Clau says:

    Quick question: All of you who have a lot to say in here, do you even vote? :)

    • teatime says:

      Good question.
      I voted this week. I regularly vote on these shows when I have some contestant(s) I particularly like over the others who are left. If I am not motivated enough to vote I might still watch and comment about various aspects of the show including which contestants I thought should have placed better.
      Given recent ranking information, it looks like I will vote furiously for Beatrice until she gets the boot. I split my vote this week but might need to focus on Beatrice next week especially if she kills it. By the time she leaves I might have lost any particular enthusiasm for anyone left, or I might have others that I think have been kicking a** and who deserve my support.
      I thought Lyric 145 was one of the more talented acts and I think they should have careers in the business. I did not vote for them because I have other acts I am more interested in and I think they just shouted too much this week so it was not some great performance that demanded that I throw them some support this week. I think they should not have left so early but I am not beating myself up about not helping them this week. They were the only hip hop group in the competition. If they did not have the dedicated fans to keep them out of 12th place I guess they were not going to go far in this particular competition. I still have strong opinions that others I did not vote for should have left before them.
      I think Jennel should not have left so soon, but I was not voting for her and probably never would. I also was not voting for the 3-4 acts I feel clearly should have left before her.

  14. FreeHaley says:

    Unfortunately sounds like Beatrice may be in trouble. She said one little thing about being worried how the producers were dressing her and the songs they were making her sing and now I hear that all the Britney fans are on her case as well as all the ones who are like don’t dare say a thing ever and kiss the feet of the producers and judges at all times are all saying they won’t vote for her any more and also saw lots of offensive garbage where they were calling her a sad little man-faced (and come on she has about as girly as face as you can get) anti-gay slur. Pretty sad. So between Middle America apparently not being to handle her family or even a hint of not kissing production’s feet, ever, and the apparently over the top touchy Britney fans…. hopefully they are not enough to matter…..

    • FreeHaley says:

      Although i shouldn’t use “Middle America” since that isn’t being fair, who knows where they were from and that was using the label in an unfair way, sorry.

  15. teatime says:

    Once again, the contestants with dancers on stage finished last. They finished 10th, 11th, and 12th out of 12.
    Cece dropped the dancers this week and bumped up to 5th place.

  16. @JennyS714 says:

    This show..sigh…it’s so bad but I can’t look away. Cheesy, overblown productions, Demi needs to leave, she has ruined her artists, Britney needs new lines but she has star power. Love Mario, Khloe doesn’t bug me but they don’t need her. Only watching to see Carly Rose win.

  17. Tim says:

    The themes on these shows are terrible. Diva week, really? So overplayed. Almost as lame as “movie week” or “songs from when you were born”. How about doing something interesting for once like jazz or indie rock. Or anything that requires an ounce of imagination.

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