It’s Been Real: The Week In Reality Rocks Ending Nov. 30
As "The Voice" and "The X Factor" continue apace, with their respective finales now less than three weeks away, the eliminations just keep getting tougher. And while the cut that personally went deepest for me last week was that of absolutely fabulous "Voice" showman Cody Belew, the one that felt ickiest was that of "The X Factor's" Vino Alan, who was so blatantly thrown under the bus, he may as well go ahead and get some tire marks tattooed on his face now.
Only two weeks ago, Vino had been one of the shining stars of "The X Factor's" Thanksgiving-themed episode, with many pundits and even the judges predicting that his patriotic "God Bless The USA" performance would put him atop the leaderboard. And while that didn't happen, he did hold onto his third-place spot for the third week in a row, his momentum not slowed one bit. But it was a very different story last week, when his mentor L.A. Reid inexplicably switched his song at the last minute; gave him a song that absolutely did not suit him, despite Vino's very vehement protests; and then sat by while Vino floundered onstage and the other judges tore him to shreds. Vino subsequently plummeted from third to sixth/seventh place last Thursday, and after a sing-off against impossible-to-beat tween wondergirl Diamond White, he was booted from the show.
It didn't take long for conspiracy theories to start floating around the Interweb/my own brain. Had Simon Cowell orchestrated all this to ensure that his golden boys, Emblem3--who'd placed fourth the previous week, less than half a percentage point behind Vino--would make it to the finale instead? Did L.A., who'd already repeatedly expressed his intention to sign Emblem3 to Epic Records, also have a vested interest in getting Vino out of Emblem3's way--even if Vino was his own contestant? Or was Vino just too difficult, as his caught-on-camera, expletive-riddled reaction to his song switch-up indicated, for the show's producers to want to deal with him anymore?
We may never know. But the whole incident just smacked of shenanigans. Vino wasn't necessarily my favorite on this show, and I didn't necessarily want him to win...but I didn't want to see him go out like this. It just didn't seem right.
One "X Factor" contestant that many people had expected to go home last week was Season 2's token villainess/whipping girl/underdog CeCe Frey, who'd already had to sing for survival on no fewer than three elimination nights. For weeks, it'd seemed that no matter what CeCe did, she could not win. Literally. But she's nothing if not a "trier," according to Simon (is that even a word?), so last week CeCe tried, tried again--with a wild, flashy cover of "Lady Marmalade." And while CeCe's vocals in no way approximated the greatness of Patti LaBelle (or Christina Aguilera, or Pink, et al), she still put on an enjoyable, confetti-flecked revue. It had shades of Madonna's 1990 VMAs "Vogue" performance, Katy Perry's candy-coated concerts, Moulin Rouge...it was theater, it was fluff, and it was fun. An unimpressed L.A. rudely told her she was "going down," and Simon advised her "pack a suitcase," but those nasty threats apparently only galvanized her fanbase of "Warriors" to rock the vote, and she ended up being safe last Thursday. (Instead it was CeCe's Young Adults teammate, Paige Thomas, who went home that night.) Go CeCe! This chick is basically the Nikki McKibbin of "The X Factor," the contestant who takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'--and though she probably will have to sing a "save me" song yet again this coming Thursday, she may very well survive. She is a trier, after all.