“I did it for the gays. And Japan.” Those were the goofy departing words of “Mr. Entertainment” Jason Brock, the first X Factor contestant to be eliminated based on viewer votes. No real shocker there, considering he shouldn’t even have made it into the live rounds to begin with. Neither was the fact that “unlikable” CeCe Frey rounded out the bottom two. No, the true surprise of the night was that, for the very first time on any singing competition, the order in which viewer votes ranked the acts was revealed – and Over 25s country singer Tate Stevens was sitting pretty atop the leaderboard as 13 was whittled down to 12.
Huh? You mean all that pimping, posturing and ram-’em-down-your-throat-till-you-like-’em antics the judges and producers have been pulling with acts like Paige Thomas and Emblem3 didn’t pay off in spades? Nope, they bottomed out at eighth and sixth, respectively. To that we say, thank you, America. (And the show itself rewarded – or punished, depending on how you look at it – viewers with two performances by the biggest boy band in the history of time, One Direction, which is a product of the U.K. X Factor.)
Aside from Brock, L.A. Reid’s sad-sack geriatric team had the best showing, as Vino Alan came in third. Wedged in between him and Tate was Britney Spears’ overachieving teen Carly Rose Sonenclar. But Britney’s other two – Arin Ray and Beatrice Miller, whose just-revealed upbringing by “two moms” may have sadly proved to be a turn-off to Middle America – rounded out the bottom three alongside CeCe.
Overall, though, Demi Lovato’s Young Adults had the worst showing, with all three of her team members weighing down the bottom five. Gee, maybe style over substance isn’t what viewers are looking for. That was clearly a novelty concept in Demi’s eyes: “I expected Paige to do better because she’s a beautiful girl.”
Also not doing as well as expected (at least in our eyes) was hip-hop duo Lyric 145, who punched in at a nail-biting ninth. However, Miss Lyric Da Queen still rocked her most badass eye-patch to date as dozens of diamonds cascaded down her cheek. (Yes, she really does need to wear the hardcore accessory; a story that’s been inexplicably overlooked so far this season.)
Middling out were good girl-turned-bad Jennel Garcia; Fifth Harmony, a.k.a. the girl group formerly known as Lylas and 1432; and Diamond White, who placed a respectable but not earth-shattering fourth place after being resurrected from the dead.
So, what was the moral of the night? Basically, one country artist will kick all your pop artists’ asses. And that Jason Brock is not big in Japan. Sayonara, Mr. Entertainment.