Two acts face elimination, Taylor Swift performs, and can you guess how a Mario Lopez vs. Simon Cowell face-off turned out?
X Factor B
Credit: Fox
Simon Cowell, American Idol

Welcome back to The X Factor…THE RESULTS!

Lyric 145, we hardly knew you. The hip hop trio (who’d been singing mostly pop and Disney songs) headed home less than halfway through the hour with little fanfare and no chance to sing for survival — or “sing for survivor,” as Mario Lopez said — following Wednesday’s truly bizarre mashup of Katy Perry’s “E.T.” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Lyric Da Queen acknowledged that the group “didn’t get an opportunity to show what we really had” when prompted non-delicately by Khloe Kardashian to share her thoughts. “We had a hip-hop song snatched away from us at the last minute.”

Major boos all around the red planet! I was sure CeCe Frey would be a goner, but maybe singing last on Wednesday (a.k.a. “the pimp spot”) kept her in. Or maybe she threatened to wield her wind machine on everyone’s weaves unless they made sure she’d live to shout another day. It’ll be interesting to see if she’ll once again morph into a leopard for next week’s THANKSGIVING SPECTACULAR. I mean, it won’t be that interesting.

CeCe’s fellow Young Adults Paige Thomas and Jennel Garcia ended up in the bottom two, with Jennel coming up short in the end. The entire elimination scene was a tense, tepid mess, with Mario attempting to assert lordship over “Mr. Cowell” (then ceding power because duh, Simon’s the boss) by asking repeatedly for his decision between the two ladies. Suddenly Mario’d switched the target of his bossy pants from Mr. Cowell to Ms. Lovato, scolding her for wasting even more time and showcasing her cross-sign hand tattoo a little too hard.

“Demi, Demi, Demi — these are people’s lives and careers on the line here. We really can’t wait any longer.” LOL, as if anyone on The X Factor cares about any of the X Factor contestants and their general livelihoods! These people are treated like doggie too on a regular basis, right up onstage in front of us. It’d be fascinating if it wasn’t so darn real!

Anyway, Simon forced Demi to make her decision first: She’d like to send Paige home instead of Jennel. Britney and L.A. had already voted against Jennel, and after Paige’s uncommonly stirring rendition of Coldplay’s “Paradise” — filled with tons of original phrasing and a subtlety I’d forgotten she could pull off — Simon had to vote with his favorite organ. NOT THAT ONE, you gross out. His gut! Paige had performed better in the sing-off, even though Jennel has had the better track record on Wednesday nights.

I do see where Simon’s coming from with his assertion that Paige could be more marketable than Jennel in the real-time music industry — but as a reality TV contestant I did prefer Jennel. I still like both of them better than CeCe. If I’d had to predict tonight’s two castoffs, I’d have gone with CeCe and Arin Ray. Clearly I know nothing!

NEXT: The voting results — still a first (but technically now a second) on reality TV! Here’s how the Acts (ha) ranked THIS week:

1. Tate Stevens

2. Carly Rose Sonenclar

3. Vino Alan

4. Emblem3 (+2)

5. CeCe Frey (+7)

6. Fifth Harmony (-1)

7. Diamond White (-3)

8. Beatrice Miller (+2)

9. Arin Ray (+2)

10. Paige Thomas

Just over three percent of the vote separates the top four, and less than one-third of one percent separates Tate and Carly at the top. “That’s like, this much!” exclaimed Mario, or “Marrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh,” as pronounced by Simon, with an ambiguous hand gesture. Who said math would never apply to reality? Not Marrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Mario and Khloe delivered one of the most brutal “The person going home…is…. GOING TO BE REVEALED AFTER THE BREAK!”s we’ve ever seen. It all could have been avoided had Taylor Swift proclaimed her advice for makin’ it in the biz at the top of the show instead of midway through. “You have to be nice to people,” Taylor insisted. What a monster!

I’m endlessly amused by how Taylor’s special Red microphone looks like a toy. No one can convince me that thing did not come boxed up in some elaborate playset called Tuxedo Tunics and Daffodil Dreams. I want it! I want it all.

The opposite of a “State of Grace”: What in the otherplanetary hell was up with Britney’s bronzer?! You’re not supposed to swim in it. This isn’t the summer.

Did the right two acts go home? Did you cry? That picture-in-picture scene of Jennel covering her face with the mic as Demi “consoled” her totally made me tear up!

Episode Recaps

Simon Cowell, American Idol
The X Factor
Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
  • TV Show
  • 3
stream service