Let’s face it: “The X Factor” is a mess. The performances are overblown, the cattiness between the judges is forced, and the contestants really aren’t even that good. The show is a drag for most of the performance episodes, and the first 55 minutes of the results shows are largely skippable, too. But I’ll be gosh-darned if those last five minutes of the results episodes don’t deliver high drama each and every time.
Thursday was no different, when Rachel Crow — the bubbly 13-year-old whose own chirpiness may have been her downfall — collapsed on stage when she was told she was voted off the show. She was put in that position by judge Nicole Scherzinger, who couldn’t bring herself to make a decision on the fate of Crow, even though she slaughtered her competitor Marcus Canty in her sing-off song by belting out “I’d Rather Go Blind” with a depth well beyond her years. That’s why you have the sing-off song, right? As a lets-put-it-all-on-the-table throwdown between the two contestants, from which the judges make their final decisions on who stays and who goes home? Like, that’s the entire point of it, right? But Scherzinger just couldn’t bare the responsibility of actually judging between the two contestants, even though that’s what she gets paid millions of dollars to do. So she threw her hands up in the air and cast a blind vote for Canty, throwing the tie-breaking vote to America, which resulted in Crow having the fewest votes after Wednesday’s show.
In a sense, that’s too bad for Crow, because had she simply had more votes she would have been fine. (It was clear that Crow thought she was safe heading into America’s decision, which lead to the blinding shock of the final result.) But Scherzinger’s move was a complete cop-out, and furthermore it’s pointless to keep Canty around for another week, since he’s been in the Bottom Two for the last three weeks and there’s no reason to think he won’t be there again next week. On the other hand, this was Crow’s first visit to the Bottom Two.
Scherzinger seemed shocked, too, and wouldn’t comment at the end of the show while she was getting rightfully booed by the always riled-up “X Factor” studio audience. (What do they feed those people?) But she has no one to blame but herself, or perhaps the producers who set everything up in this manner for purposes of maximum drama. (Why was Scherzinger casting the deciding vote anyway? She’s never been put in that position before.)
Next week “The X Factor” is down to its final four contestants, but you might as well skip Wednesday’s performance episode and the first 55 minutes of Thursday’s show and just tune in for the high drama that’s sure to unfold during the closing minutes of the elimination. In that department, “The X Factor” has yet to disappoint.