'X Factor' Recap: Rachel Potter, Sweet Suspense Sent Packing

Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony perform on surprising results show

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You're joking, right, America? Because there's no way X Factor viewers cast their votes with a straight face this week. It's got to be pure sabotage.

Just when things couldn't get any worse for the show, girl group Sweet Suspense and Over 25 country gal Rachel Potter were sent packing in the first double elimination of the season (hot on the heels of Carlos Guevara being sent home the previous night). But that's not shocking in and of itself, since neither of them ever seemed like frontrunners. What's shocking is the fact that borderline laughable performers like Tim Olstad, Carlito Olivero and Ellona Santiago were deemed safe.

Rolling Stone's Complete Coverage of 'The X Factor'

But the real rub was that none of them were even in the bottom three.

After Sweet Suspense was tossed at the top of the hour ("There were way worse people than you," Groups coach Simon Cowell said during the world's worst keep-your-chin-up pep talk), it was revealed that Rachel and – brace yourselves – Khaya Cohen were the bottom two vote-getters and had to sing for survival since the judges could only keep one.

Khaya, people, really? America must be messing around, because there's no way that girl deserved to be on the chopping block. If sabotage site Vote for the Worst were still in existence (RIP), we'd be convinced it was behind the coup. But there's no real explanation – except America must hate talent. Because Khaya has loads of it.

"I think what honestly happened was that America thought these two girls were safe, so they didn't vote," Girls coach Demi Lovato said while searching for an explanation as to how such a travesty could happen.

The good news is that Khaya mopped the floor with Rachel with her "save me" song, "Don't Give Up on Me" by Solomon Burke, and was chosen to stay. The bad news is that once someone winds up in the bottom three – especially so early in the competition – it's usually only a mater of time till they're picked off.

The fact that the contest has become a joke might explain why the transparent leaderboard rankings from last season have failed to materialize again, even though host Mario Lopez promised last week that they would back. Ratings would probably plummet to zero if viewers learned that someone like Carlito, or even Rion Paige, was trampling the competition. Because, like, who in the world is the frontrunner if it's not pitch-perfect Khaya? (For the record, Demi's Girls is the only category to remain fully intact.)

Filling in the blanks of the night were performances by Selena Gomez ("Slow Down") and Season Two third-placers Fifth Harmony ("Me & My Girls"), along with a contestant-based tribute performance to the late Lou Reed.

Now, can you please explain to us how Khaya wound up at the bottom of the pack? 

Previous recap: Carlos Guevara Goes Home