Simon Cowell is breathing just a little bit easier after the Top 6 results show of the "X Factor" on Thursday evening (Dec. 6). Why? Because now he won't have to sweat writing the first installment check (because he's the creator and producer of "X Factor") of that $5 million prize to CeCe Frey, the finalist he told the night before that she wasn't "worth a $5 million recording contract." And although American audiences have done some contrary things in the past (Taylor Hicks won Season 5 of "American Idol," didn't he?), they apparently agreed with the brutally honest judge. She didn't even get to sing, eliminated before the showdown.
The show held a couple of ironic moments, or perhaps just strange coincidental events...
CeCe Frey was eliminated within the first few minutes of the show. The irony exists in that the one pop star she most resembles, Kesha, was one of the featured guest performers on the show. And it was almost like she never left when Kesha stepped out on stage and delivered her latest song, "C'Mon," from her just-released (Dec. 4) album, Warrior. You could have stood CeCe in Kesha's place and perhaps not known the difference, except that Kesha's voice might have a fuller whine to it. Still, given CeCe's performances on the show, it isn't difficult to see her as a Kesha clone, gaudy face tattoos and all, doing self-indulgent white trash pop.
But the first guest performer of the evening was last season's winner, Melanie Amaro, who performed the third release from her first -- and as yet unreleased -- album, Truly. The song, "Long Distance," seemed to be another danceable R&B-tinged pop tune, somewhat in the flavor of her other two releases, "Don't Fail Me Now" and "Love Me Now," the former of which peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Dance chart.
The last performer of the evening was Diamond White, who had finished as one of the bottom three. Like Amaro, White had been eliminated from the show, but a rethink from her mentor, Judge Britney Spears, and an approving nod from the other judges, brought her back. Still, unlike Amaro, Diamond's dreams of being of being the next winner of "X Factor" ended with her showdown with Fifth Harmony.
But like CeCe Frey, Diamond White was eliminated on the show where the successful artist she most resembled was featured as a guest performer.
The two finalists' exits couldn't have been more different. CeCe seemed a bit defiant in a melodramatic sort of way, contemptuous of the voting results. She stated she was "proud of everything I've done on this show. I'm ready to leave this entire platform I've acquired for myself. And I hope that I taught everybody at home that you need to love who you are, because the more you love who you are, the less you're going to need anybody else." It was an egotistical "I, I, I" set of comments that resembled the overly competitive "mean girl" mien she'd cultivated when she first auditioned. To be fair, she did later say that her stay on "X Factor" was "incredible" and that she was "grateful" (although she seemed to roll her eyes as she said it) to the fans and judges.
Diamond was all smiles, however. And when asked for her last thoughts, she said she couldn't wait to make a hit record and come back and perform on the show.
The Top 6 results also pushed through Emblem3 (another of Judge Simon Cowell's Groups, along with Fifth Harmony), Tate Stevens (from Judge L. A. Reid's Over 25s), and Carly Rose Sonenclar (from Judge Britney Spears' Teens) to the Semi-Finals. With CeCe's removal, Judge Demi Lovato was left without a contestant to compete in the coming final shows.
But where did they rank on the voting leaderboard? Fifth Harmony, of course, was fourth. The rest of the Top 4 were ranked thus:
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
1. Tate Stevens
Now, the question is: Can he keep the top spot?
"X Factor" returns next week on Wednesday and Thursday for the Semi-Finals performance and results shows. Both begin at 8 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television.
Take Home Message: The difference between CeCe Frey and Diamond White when they received the bad news of their elimination could not have been more noticeable. Whereas CeCe looked angry and defiant, perhaps resentful (something she tried and failed to cover after seeming to take all the credit for everything she had accomplished), Diamond White seemed hopeful and cheerful. There's something to be said about taking on a bit of humility and not over-inflating one's contribution. Besides, it is far more becoming an attitude. And even if you feel wronged in a contest, show some good-sportsmanship and grace even in losing or failure to achieve the goal. Like Diamond White said, Cheryl Lloyd came in fifth place on the "X Factor" UK and "look at her now." Lloyd is now an international pop star. A good attitude, finding the positive in a negative situation, and channeling disappointment to provide extra motivation can take a person far.
(photo credit: X Factor, Freemantle North American, SycoTV, Fox Television)