‘X Factor’ Results Shocker: A Frontrunner Gets Locked Out Of Heaven

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks (New)

In what was probably the most surprising "X Factor" results show since Rachel Crow's knee-dropping elimination last year, it was NOT underdog girl group Fifth Harmony that went home in fourth place this Thursday, as widely predicted. Instead it was Simon Cowell's other group, the once-unstoppably popular Emblem3, that was shockingly eliminated, narrowly missing making next week's Season 2 finale. You'd think that Simon would have been happy for his girls, but the look on his face indicated that he was not pleased. Not at all.

"This is the way it goes on these competitions," Simon shrugged. "I'm very, very disappointed. I am gutted."

Britney Spears wasn't too thrilled, either. The expression on her already easily GIF-able face made that pretty clear. But in case there was any doubt, she freely admitted, upon hearing that Fifth Harmony were safe: "I was a little disappointed. I thought it was going to be the other way with the groups." And she said this before she'd even learned the fate of the other three contestants. Real nice.

Britney and Simon may be disgruntled, but I'm delighted that Fifth Harmony made it through--after being told by all of the judges (even their own mentor) that they had almost zero chance--because they comprise some of the best singers of this season. Some of the 5H girls could have made the finale as solo acts, they're so strong. Meanwhile, Emblem3 have one singer so weak, he ought to be fired so the group can be renamed Emblem2. Therefore, I can't help but be pleased that America eventually tired of Emblem3's bratty antics and cute faces, and voted for pure vocal talent instead.

But all is not lost for Emblem3, who took their elimination in their usual casual-dude stride. For weeks, L.A. Reid, who bizarrely compared the boys to the Beatles this week, has been loudly announcing his intentions of signing them to Epic Records no matter what. So Emblem3 still have some chance of becoming the U.S. equivalent of One Direction in the long run. (Remember, One Direction didn't win "The X Factor U.K.," either.) We shall see.

However, Fifth Harmony deserved this, and they'll definitely be bringing some girl power to the final showdown next week. While it's still unlikely that they'll repeat the success of last year's "X Factor U.K." winners, girl group Little Mix, when they're going up against season-long leaderboard-toppers Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens...well, you never know. As the Ellie Goulding song that Fifth Harmony so memorably covered this week says, anything could happen.

See you then.

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