Hey hey, ho ho, Carlito Olivero's got to go – unfortunately not this week, though. Yes, the perpetually-pitchy Latin singer somehow managed to hang on yet again as Rion Paige and Ellona Santiago got cut from The X Factor. But it wasn't for the right reasons.
When he again had to sing for survival after landing at the bottom, Carlito labeled himself "the underdog" who "came from nothing." And Simon Cowell jumped on the bandwagon, saying, "You've admitted publicly that you had a tough upbringing and this is your one opportunity," before casting the final vote that kept Carlito around. But it's a defense based on lies, or at least deceitful omissions, since Olivero was once a member of iconic Latin boy band Menudo, which has never been mentioned on the show.
But enough about Carlito, whose time will surely come. For now, we'll have to be satisfied with the elimination of Ellona, who got the insta-axe at the beginning of the show. Supposedly this was "shocking," but anyone who had actually been paying attention – or listening – probably saw it as long overdue.
Wearing a pound of makeup (she's 17, by the way), Ellona looked stunned, as if people had actually convinced her she could win the whole thing. But all the smoke, mirrors and revealing clothing in the world couldn't mask that she couldn't sing. In fact, watching the short recap of her performances on the show was a mild form of torture. So, adios, Ellona.
Also saying goodbye was Rion, who along with Carlito has been a bottom-feeder before. While she started off strong this season, Rion's appeal waned as the weeks wore on – a bouncy head of hair and "inspirational" story will only get you so far on a reality singing competition (which was pretty far, in her case). Although her simple version of Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me" was vocally a step up from Carlito's pompous performance of "You Make Me Wanna" by Usher (which included him serenading Demi Lovato's sister), three of the four judges chose to keep him. But why?
Maybe Rion's incessant, out-of-left-field God talk threw them off ("I'm here to shine my light . . . and tell everybody how much I love the Lord"), or maybe they saw more potential in Carlito's "Latin lover" roots, or maybe they realized that Rion's rubbernecking appeal won't translate into album sales. Whatever the case, the deck was stacked against her, especially considering that the show's producers had given Carlito the coveted pimp spot the night before – clearly trying to keep him from being automatically eliminated. And it worked – he nabbed just enough votes to land him in front of the judges who once again saved him.
But their decision didn't just affect the two girls, it also means that mentor Demi has another losing season under her belt. Now, both Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland are down to just one act each (Carlito and Jeff Gutt, respectively) while Simon has two (Restless Road and Alex and Sierra).
Speaking of Alex and Sierra, they achieved an amazing milestone this week: Their rendition of "Say Something" by A Great Big World hit Number One on the iTunes songs chart, a feat that hasn't even been accomplished by any of the contestants on this season of The Voice. And that show majorly pushes iTunes downloads because they count as votes. Not only that, but Alex and Sierra placed at least two more songs in the top 100. It seems like we finally have a clear winner here, folks. (Also of note: The bottom three contestants were the only ones whose songs didn't land on an iTunes chart.)
In terms of self-promotional filler for the night, past X Factor finalists Emblem3 ("Just for One Day") and their U.K. counterpart Little Mix ("Move") performed.
The end is finally near, so hang in there!
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