The "X Factor" Season 2 finale is right around the corner--which means in just a few days, Tate Stevens, Carly Rose Sonenclar, or Fifth Harmony will be $5 million richer (minus a whole lot of taxes and Simon Cowell finder's fees, of course). But there are a few contestants on "The X Factor" Season 2 that I really think could have been $5 million acts, if they'd been given the chance. So, without further ado, here is my list of the most-robbed contestants of this "X Factor" season.
10) Daryl Black
I thought this smooth soul crooner, one of the show's purest voices, was a shoo-in to make L.A. Reid's Over-25's team. He seemed to have all the makings of a champion: He was charismatic, original, a good guy (a married father of five!), and he could really, really sing. Simon even compared him to Nat King Cole. But I suppose Daryl was more the type who goes far on "The Voice," not "The X Factor." L.A., in the first of his many bad decisions of Season 2, sadly eliminated Daryl during the Judges' Houses rounds.
9) Jeffrey Gutt
This 36-year-old single-dad-with-a-dream had everything going for him, as far as shows like this are concerned. Handsome rocker-dude looks? Check. Relatable backstory? Check. Adorable 4-year-old son? Check. Fantastic voice? Spectacular audition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"? Double-check. I was shocked when Jeffrey was cut in Boot Camp, and so was he. "It's their loss; I could have won the show," Jeffrey grumbled. He had a point.
8) Beatrice Miller
Beatrice was my favorite Teens team contestant going into the live shows. But she never had a chance of escaping from the bottom rungs of the leaderboard with a "mentor" like Britney Spears, who gave her boring man-ballads by Jason Mraz and the Goo Goo Dolls and dressed her in hobo rags that looked like hand-me-downs from Emblem3's Huntington Beach garage sale. What made Beatrice's elimination even sadder was the fact that it took place on THANKSGIVING, which will now be forever known to the Miller family as "Black Thursday." Happy holidays, everyone.
7) Vino Alan
Until top eight week, Vino was one of the show's frontrunners, consistently placing in the top three. But that all changed when his "mentor" L.A. inexplicably switched his song at the last minute; gave him a song that absolutely did not suit him, and then sat by while Vino floundered onstage and the other judges tore him to shreds. Vino subsequently plummeted to the bottom of the rankings, and he was cut from the show. Seriously, Vino was so thrown under the bus that week, he may as well tattoo some tire marks on his face now.
6) Panda Ross
During Season 2's "X Factor" auditions, this lovable lady with the marquee-worthy name captured America's hearts--and seemingly the heart of her longtime crush, Simon--with her huge personality and huge voice. "You sound like a legend," Simon told Panda, before he and his fellow judges unanimously decided to advance her to the Boot Camp rounds. And then...Panda was never heard nor seen on TV again. Panda's "Fandas" never got another chance to see Panda perform, and they never found out why she didn't make it to the top 24. Panda, it is time to find yourself another boo!
5) David Correy
David, the youngest of the Over-25 contestants (at age 26) and probably the hippest, seemed to have more commercial potential than anyone else on L.A.'s team besides country-crooning everyman Tate Stevens. His haunting, slowed-to-a-crawl, near-a cappella version of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" on the first live episode was FANTASTIC, and I was shocked that L.A. let him go. I think under different circumstances, David could have been one of the top three contestants competing in this season's finale.
4) Jillian Jensen
Jillian was the bullying victim/Demi Lovato fangirl with the "Stay Strong" tattoo who sobbed throughout her emotional audition of Jessie J's empowerment anthem "Who You Are"--the most memorable audition of "The X Factor's" Season 2 premiere, and probably the most memorable (and definitely the most-tweeted-about) audition of the whole season. Back then, a sobbing Demi rushed onstage to embrace Jillian, while even Simon observed the scene through uncharacteristically misty eyes. But later on, Demi and Jillian were crying for a very different reason, when Jillian was cut at the Judges' Houses. And sadly, due to a baseball-related scheduling snafu, very few viewers even saw Jillian's final goodbye.
3) Jason Brock
Jason--an out-and-proud contestant who had been nicknamed "Mr. Entertainment," had performed on the show amid glitter explosions, and had even dared to pinch hunky host Mario Lopez's rear end on one live broadcast--was the first contestant to be voted off the show by America. But he went out in his usual fabulous style, as only he could, memorably and triumphantly declaring, "I did it for the gays and Japan!" (a slogan that he really needs to print on T-shirts and sell on the "X Factor" website). He's been missed ever since.
2) Jennel Garcia
I am still shocked that this dynamite rocker-girl-next-door, one of the best vocalists and most vivacious performers of Season 2 and one of the contestants with the most raw promise, went home in 11th place. ELEVENTH!!! And the fact that three of the judges (everyone except, it should be noted, Jennel's own coach, Demi) voted to send her home instead of the obviously less talented Paige Thomas makes me want to make a Britney stankface like THIS. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
1) Lyric 145
Remember the horrible night on "American Idol" Season 9 when Alex Lambert, Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly, and Todrick Hall all went home? Well, I got flashbacks to those icky feelings when Lyric 145 and Jennel were cut on the same night of "The X Factor." Hip-hop trio Lyric 145 always brought theater and pure show(wo)manship to the "X Factor" stage, and their delightfully bizarre "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" tour de force on Movie Night remains my favorite performance of the entire season. I only wish there'd been more moments like that in Season 2, but Lyric 145 were robbed of that chance--and "X Factor" viewers were robbed of a lot of awesome entertainment.
Which "X Factor" Season 2 contestants do you think got robbed? Let me know.
- Vino Alan speaks out about his elimination
- Whatever happened to Panda Ross?
- This season's most-robbed "Voice" contestants