This Thursday was Thanksgiving, and "The X Factor" made some attempt to get into the holiday spirit by sending the top eight to a (pre-taped) feast at the Grove mall with their visiting relatives. But by the end of this very ill-timed episode, two of those eight contestants would be feeling like real turkeys, when they'd be sent home.
"I'm unhappy that we are doing this on Thanksgiving. Not OK at all," Demi Lovato grumbled. "This is not cool for Thanksgiving," agreed her fellow judge, Paulina Rubio.
Yes, it was another double-elimination night on "The X Factor," and apparently Scroogey Simon Cowell figured there was no better way for the whole family to enjoy Thanksgiving than gathering 'round the TV and watching kids' dreams get mashed like yams. And that is just what happened this Thursday, when the show's two youngest contestants, 13-year-old Rion Paige and 15-year-old Josh Levi, landed in the bottom three and had to sing for survival.
However, Josh's own mentor, Paulina, announced that another one of her contestants, Carlito Olivero, was up for elimination — either because she was as shocked as everyone else that Josh was in the bottom, or because she'd gorged on turkey and had too much tryptophan running through her brain. Or something like that.
Anyway, before Josh and Rion performed their "save me" songs, the Season 3 contestant at the opposite end of the age spectrum, 54-year-old former frontrunner Lillie McCloud, went home, when it was revealed that she'd received the absolute lowest votes this week and would therefore automatically leave the show in eighth place.
This was horrible news (Lillie was one of the best vocalists of the season, and she was fantastic this week), but least Lillie was mature enough to handle this holiday setback. But what about poor Rion and Josh? How would they deal? Rachel Crow/Drew Ryniewicz/Beatrice Miler flashbacks raced through my own tryptophan-addled brain, as I steeled myself for another "X Factor" onstage meltdown from one of these youngsters.
Rion kept her chin up and kept up her good attitude, hitting the stage with Pink's "Perfect" — a smart choice, as it was another empowerment anthem along the lines of "Born This Way," which was Rion's best and most meaningful performance of this season. Then Carlito — oops, sorry, I mean Josh — came out and tackled his second Bruno Mars cover of the week, "When I Was Your Man." Both kids killed it, but it was obvious who had the real X-factor here: Josh.
But then, shockingly, when it came to the deliberations and it was down to Simon to cast the final vote, the usually nasty judge suddenly chickened (turkeyed?) out and pulled a Nicole Scherzinger — opting to let the vote go to deadlock and have America decide, rather than be known as the big old Grinch who cut sweet young Rion.
Then things got heavy — like, heavier than a carbo-loaded plateful of Thanksgiving seconds. Because it turned out that Josh had received fewer votes this week. So Josh, the kid I had pegged to win this entire show, and probably the Season 3 contestant with the best chances of selling records in the real world…was sent home.
Yep. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. See you next week. Now please excuse me while I go console myself with the biggest slab of pumpkin pie I can find.
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