This Thursday was Thanksgiving on "The X Factor," obviously. But while the show made a feeble attempt to create a warm 'n' fuzzy holiday vibe by having the top 10 sing with L.A.'s Bancroft Middle School Choir and by (pre-Black Friday product placement alert!) helping Best Buy refurbish the school's music room, we all knew that by the end of this very ill-timed episode, two of these 10 contestants would not be feeling so thankful. Yes, it was another double-elimination night on "The X Factor," and Scroogey Simon Cowell and Grinchy L.A. Reid weren't going to let a little something like a major holiday stop them from getting down to business. If you were expecting hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian to gleefully announce, "Hey, guess what? Surprise! No one goes home this week!"--well, that didn't happen.
Yep, there's 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 what happened this Thursday, when poor little 13-year-old Beatrice Miller was sent home in tears, after barely making it through her sobby "save me" song performance. No, Beatrice didn't drop to her knees, but Rachel Crow flashbacks still raced through my tryptophan-addled brain as I watched her emotional elimination. It's a good thing I'd eaten my Thanksgiving supper before tuning in to "The X Factor," because if I hadn't, I surely would have lost my appetite after this sad sight.
Seventeen-year-old Arin Ray was actually the first to go, and as soon as Mario and Khloe called his name, the cameras cut to a close-up on the face of his disappointed showmance partner, Fifth Harmony's Normani Hamilton. (Sorry, Arin/Normani shippers: "Armani" is no more. At least not on this show.) Arin's elimination wasn't exactly a surprise, but since he came in dead-last place, he didn't even get an opportunity to sing for survival this week. And that was a shame. It would've been nice if he'd at least been able to go out on his own terms, performing something upbeat, danceable, and contemporary--which he surely would have done this Thursday, if he'd been able to pick his "save me" song, instead of having his misguided mentor Britney Spears foist yet another treacly adult-contemporary ballad upon him. And who knows? Maybe if he'd had a shot at singing some Derulo or Taio and had busted some moves, he might've saved himself.
Oh well. On the bright side, Arin did make it two places further than he did last season as a member of 12th-place group InTENsity. So I guess he can be "thankful" for that. And hey, maybe he can come back in Season 3 and make it all the way to eighth.
Then things got heavy, like heavier than a carbo-loaded plateful of Thanksgiving seconds, when it came to the two bottom-of-the-leaderboard contestants who did get to sing for survival: Beatrice (who'd landed near the bottom of the list before, but had given one of her strongest performances this Wednesday) and CeCe Frey, who apparently still hadn't managed to win over America, despite her heartfelt performance in honor of her late sister this week. Interestingly, Paige Thomas, who I'd predicted would be in the bottom, was NOT at risk this week, so viewers seemed to connect with Paige's sob story much more than with CeCe's. It must have been Paige's hardship tale (about her mother dying on Christmas Eve) that gave her the edge, because let's face it: Vocally, CeCe and Beatrice, while not perfect, had been better than Paige this week.
CeCe's last-chance performance of Kelly Clarkson's "Because Of You" smacked of desperation and anger; she was half-yelling the song through gritted teeth, though I could hardly blame her for feeling discouraged and disgruntled after all the setbacks she'd had on this show, especially in an emotional week like this one. But at least CeCe's experience at singing for survival (this was her third attempt) showed; she was ready to fight, if nothing else. Meanwhile, poor Beatrice was an absolute blubbering mess, barely holding it together throughout her rendition of Dido's "White Flag"--a perhaps unintentionally fitting song title, since it seemed like she'd already given up and surrendered. Though she actually sang quite well for someone with a Butterball-sized lump in her throat (and she sang better than CeCe did, actually), it was still really, really painful to watch little Beatrice unravel like this; it broke my heart, and it made me wonder, once again, if 13 is just waytoo young to be on a high-pressure show like "The X Factor."
Apparently at least one of the judges wondered this as well. While Demi Lovato and Britney Spears voted to keep their respective team members, of course, L.A. voted to send Beatrice home, and then it was up to Simon to break the tie. "Beatrice, I liked you from the beginning, but I think this is getting to be too much for you," Simon lamented. "I don't think this is the right time for you. I am going to have to send you home."
And then those aforementioned Rachel Crow flashbacks kicked in, as Beatrice sobbed even more uncontrollably. "Are you okay?" Khloe asked Beatrice, probably rhetorically. Beatrice wailed in response, "No!!!!" Then Beatrice actually apologized to her sisters for supposedly letting them down.
Ugh. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Anyway, Beatrice was eventually ushered offstage, and with two of Britney's Teens team members gone in a flash, it was then time to see how the surviving eight contestants had ranked--and that reveal was anticlimactic once again. Country crooner Tate Stevens, who'd been in the top spot the past two weeks, flipped places with child prodigy Carly Rose Sonenclar, who'd previously held steady at number two, but overall, the top three were still Carly, Tate, and Vino Alan. Gee, why even bother to watch the show between now and the finale next month? We already know who the final three will be.
1st - Carly Rose Sonenclar 2nd - Tate Stevens 3rd - Vino Alan 4th - Emblem3 5th - Diamond White 6th - Paige Thomas 7th - Fifth Harmony 8th - CeCe Frey
But of course, I will still keep watching. So I will return next week, but in the meantime, please excuse me while I go stuff my face with a big trough of comfort food, to ease my pain after this difficult night.