Britney Spears went into the Top 10 results show on Thursday evening with the most finalists in the competition, a position of strength she's held since Diamond White was brought back to the "X Factor" to make a Top 13. Facing a double elimination with one of her proteges ranked in the bottom two during last week's results show, it looked like there would be a good chance that she just might see one of her contenders going home. But thanks to Judge Simon Cowell, Team Britney (the Teens) don't have to worry about an advantage any longer...
The show began with the usual performance show flashback from the previous night.
But in keeping with the holiday, there was a brief respite from the show. A clip was shown of "X Factor," teaming with electronics retailer Best Buy, to help provide a makeover for a performing arts program at Bancroft Middle School in Los Angeles. After transforming the bare-bones music room into a state-of-the-art music tech and recording studio, the Top 10 finalists were on hand to invite their school choir to appear on the Thanksgiving results show. Back to to live: The Top 10 and Bancroft Middle School performed Coldplay's "Fix You."
Then the Top 10 remaining finalists were lined up on stage.
It was at this moment that the hosts, Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian, announced that Arin Ray received the fewest votes and would be going home. This was surprising, not in that Ray got the least amount of votes but in that the judges were actually sending contestants home on Thanksgiving Day.
But give the 16-year-old credit, he took the news well, smiling throughout.
Before announcing who was safe and who would be in the final sing-off, Cher Lloyd performed her latest single, "Oath" (feat. Becky G). Lloyd was was fourth-place finalist on the "X Factor" UK in the seventh series run (2010). "Oath" appears on her album Sticks + Stones, which peaked at No. 9 in the US on the Billboard 200. "Oath" follows Lloyd's platinum-selling single, "Want U Back."
After the break, the remaining nine finalists were lined up again. And, one by one, Mario and Khloe began telling them they were safe. The last two standing? Beatrice Miller and CeCe Frey.
Neither being in the bottom two were real shockers, although after being told by Judge L. A. Reid that she would probably finish tenth, the contestant most shocked was probably Paige Thomas. But her performance didn't deserve a bottom three finish (counting the already departed Arin Ray). But, then, neither did Beatrice Miller's.
CeCe's certainly did and it was extremely difficult to see around the scenario where she wouldn't be sent home. But where there's still hope...
CeCe Frey started the sing-off, singing Kelly Clarkson's "Because Of You." Again, she chose a big-voiced song she couldn't handle. (It's something that she apparently doesn't understand she cannot handle, which, by the way, is mentor Demi's job to point out.) She doesn't have the voice for it. When she tries to push the big notes, she falls flat.
Beatrice Miller's song choice was Dido's "White Flag." She did a so-so job with the tune, her quirky voice sounding somewhat rough. After she was done, Mario let viewers know that Beatrice had been having vocal difficulties throughout the week.
Time for the decision. Judge Demi Lovato (CeCe's mentor) voted to send Beatrice home (of course). Judge Britney Spears (Beatrice's mentor) voted to send CeCe home (of course). Judge L. A. then, without giving a reason, voted to send Beatrice home. The decision was down to Judge Simon Cowell once more. (He's made the final vote on all three results shows thus far.) He said that the competition had been tough on Beatrice, but CeCe had been in the bottom several times. He then said he didn't think it was Beatrice's time and voted to send her home. The 13-year-old just melted on stage.
So with a single vote, Simon Cowell took out the second Teens finalist of the evening, bringing Britney Spears' team even with the other three. That is correct: In one hour, Team Britney went from a two-person lead over all the other teams to being tied with them. Now all teams would go into the Top 8 with two finalists each.
Last up: The leaderboard. CeCe was last again. The other seven finished thusly:
7. Fifth Harmony
6. Paige Thomas
5. Diamond White
3. Vino Alan
2. Tate Stevens
1. Carly Rose Sonenclar
After two weeks on top of the leaderboard, country singer Tate Stevens fell to second place. No surprise. Carly Rose's rendition during the performance show of the classic "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was so powerful, it would have been difficult to believe she had lost the popular vote.
"X Factor" returns for the Top 8 set of shows next week on Wednesday and Thursday. Shows begin at 8 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television.
Take Home Message: CeCe Frey was placed in the bottom again by the viewers' votes. And, again, she emerged on the other side of the eliminations. A Yogi Berra-ism is appropriate: It's not over until it's over. So no matter how bleak it might look or how hopeless a situation might seem, until the event in question reaches completion, there exists a chance that those involved will continue to be involved. The moral? Never, under any circumstances, stop moving toward a worthwhile goal until you've exhausted every opportunity you have of achieving it.
(photo credit: rocor, Creative Commons)