OK, what the hell, America? You really thought Lyric 145 and Jennel Garcia deserved to go home more than CeCe Frey, Arin Ray or Paige Thomas? We'd rather assume there are some serious shenanigans going down behind the scenes of The X Factor than believe that viewers purposefully committed such a heinous crime against humanity. But, as we work through the five stages of grief, we now accept that this is why the state of music is the way it is these days.
During a double elimination, our lady Lyric Da Queen didn't even get a chance to defend herself, as she and her two male counterparts were unceremoniously tossed at the beginning of the show. There was no sing-off, no departing comments from mentor Simon Cowell, no shot at being saved. They were just gone, leaving us with the lingering taste of tragedy. Yeah, they didn't give their best performance Wednesday night, but overall they were innovative, entertaining and truly talented. It's a damn shame viewers didn't see their superstar potential. Now the question is, what are we going to do with all these bedazzled eye-patches we had custom made? Thanks a lot, America.
Less surprising or detrimental to the show was the loss of Jennel, but she still didn't deserve to get the boot ahead of some of the other acts that keep hanging in there. On the bright side, though, America doesn't seem to be falling for the hype around Paige, who was at the bottom of the leaderboard and had to sing for survival against fellow Young Adult Jennel. As usual, though, the judges saved Paige – but not before Simon put mentor Demi Lovato on the spot about which of her minions she wanted to be rid of. In the end, Demi cast the lone vote against Paige, letting the Rihanna knockoff sail through once again on her looks. But now we're finally hopeful that her free ride will end soon. We can make it happen, people! It requires nothing more than apathy.
That said, CeCe seemed like a lost cause after winding up in the same position last week, but landing the coveted pimp spot last night gave her a seven spot bump up the leaderboard. She's now in fifth – fifth! – place among the top 10. The puppetmasters have worked their magic once again.
After a "world exclusive performance" by Taylor Swift, the leaderboard rankings were revealed and the top three firmly stood their ground, with country boy Tate Stevens sitting pretty at the top once again. Will he prove to be the next Scotty McCreery? With just one-third of one percent of the vote separating him from runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar, it could be a tight race. Or, badass Vino Alan could just stare everyone down and steamroll his way to a win, which sounds like a whole lot more fun. Welcome to the Thunderdome, bitches.
Previously: L.A. Reid Declares Possible Winner on X Factor