It was Diva Week on "The X Factor," but ironically, the two biggest divas of the entire show were voted off this Thursday. No, Jason Brock was not among them--he went home last week, sadly. This time, it was the amazingly eyepatched Lyric Da Queen and her trio Lyric 145--potential superstars who basically defined "X factor"--and Jennel Garcia, possibly THE best female singer in the top 12, who went home.
Yes, the three most exciting and entertaining contestants in the competition are already gone--all within just two weeks. Someone please pass me a fork, because I need to stick it in this show right now. Or maybe just in my eye. I'm upset. And judging by the immediate reaction clogging up my Twitter feed, I am not alone.
Since this was a double-elimination week, we didn't even get to see Lyric 145, who'd placed dead last, perform for their lives--an opportunity that at least Jason got last week. Win, lose, or deadlock, I know my fair Queen would have brought it. Conspiracy theorists (myself among them) can speculate now if Lyric 145 were set up for failure. This week, they were forced to change their song at the last minute for mysterious reasons, and the mashup they were still trying to rehearse in the wings only minutes before their Wednesday performance, of Katy Perry's "E.T." and Queen's "We Will Rock You," was a misguided mess. At the time, Britney Spears, in a rare moment of insight, told Lyric 145's mentor, Simon Cowell: "I think they're a hip-hop group, and they should be doing hip-hop tracks."
Interestingly, when saying goodbye on the show this Thursday, Lyric stated: "I feel like we didn't get the opportunity to show what we had. We had a hip-hop song--that got snatched from us." Hmmmm...
How else to explain Lyric 145 and Da Queen's dethroning, besides their ill-advised song mashup? Well, it didn't help that, during Demi Lovato's critique of their performance on Wednesday, Lyric seemingly ignored Demi and started calling out to a fan in the audience instead. Lyric later tweeted that she had no beef with Demi and had meant no disrespect--she'd merely been distracted by a random declaration of adoration--but the damage was done. It was perceived as a diss.
Or maybe, "X Factor" viewers just don't like hip-hop. While this show has never strictly defined itself as just a singing competition, many fans in the past have complained that rappers have no business competing against "legitimate" vocalists--last season's Astro got the same flak. And despite Simon's insistence that "The X Factor" is somehow the youngest, freshest, and edgiest of all talent shows, the fact that cute, grandma-approved kids like Carly Rose Sonenclar and older contestants like Tate Stevens and Vino Alan continue to top Season 2's leaderboard indicates otherwise. Hip-hop fans don't seem to be watching--or at least voting for--"The X Factor" in droves.
As for the other two contestants in the bottom, who did get to participate in a sing-off, they were Demi's protégés Jennel Garcia and Paige Thomas--not her other team member, CeCe Frey, who I'd totally assumed was a goner. (Judging from the look of shock on CeCe's face when she found out she was safe, and that for the first time in three weeks she would not have to sing for survival, she'd assumed she was a goner too.) Paige's low vote total wasn't hugely surprising, considering that she has always been the arguably weakest singer on the show, but Jennel did NOT deserve to be so low on the leaderboard. I can only assume this was due to the singing-first curse, which has toppled many a worthy contestant in the past.
For their sing-off, Jennel belted out a weepy but lovely cover of Hoobastank's "The Reason," and although Paige's cover of Coldplay's "Paradise" was her best performance since her first audition, it was still quite clear that Jennel was the superior singer of the two. But bizarrely, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears, and Simon Cowell all voted to send home...Jennel.
Um, WHAT? This is how Britney earns her $15 million paycheck? This is how L.A. and Simon became two of the biggest moguls in the music business? At least Demi had some sense to try to send Paige home; she was just outvoted. That's going to make Demi's rehearsals with Paige mighty awkward next week...
As for how the rest of the votes played out, there were some surprises and injustices there, too. WHAT IS GOING ON??? Diamond all the way down in seventh? CeCe in fifth? Carly not coming in at number one after her "My Heart Will Go On" tour de force? What-ev-er:
1st - Tate Stevens
2nd - Carly Rose Sonenclar
3rd - Vino Alan
4th - Emblem3
5th - CeCe Frey
6th - Fifth Harmony
7th - Diamond White
8th - Beatrice Miller
9th - Arin Ray
10th - Paige Thomas
Now please excuse me while I go erase my "X Factor" season pass from my DVR. Oh, just kidding. Assuming I calm down by next week--and that I feel like writing about this show during the long Thanksgiving weekend--I'll be back. I'm just not feeling all that thankful for "The X Factor" right now.
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