Another week, another dramatic finish to "The X Factor," as 13-year-old Rachel Crow was voted off the Fox singing competition Thursday (December 8) when judge Nicole Scherzinger purposely threw the vote to a tie and left the final decision in the hands of America's votes.
That placed Crow against Marcus Canty, who landed in the bottom two for the third week in a row. When host Steve Jones read the final tally, Crow — who moments earlier said she'd be fine with whatever decision was made — fell to the ground as if someone had punched her in the gut, sobbing loud and hard on the "X Factor" stage.
Crow was picked up off the ground by her mentor, Simon Cowell, and consoled by her mother. "Mommy!" Crow wept, while cameras cut to a shocked Scherzinger, who looked like she couldn't believe what she'd just done.
When she could finally speak, Crow told host Jones, "I just, I love you so much, everybody, for voting for me, even though you didn't. ... Thank you for giving me this, because without you, I'm nothing. And I hope this is not my ending. You know what? I know it's not. And I will go so far, I promise you. And I love you." She went on to thank her family for their support.
Said Cowell after the decision: "I want to thank everyone that's voted for this young girl. I believe she went out on the highest she could have gone out on. Like I said, from the very first time I met you, we're going to be hearing a lot more about Rachel Crow, I give you my word on that."
Jones approached Scherzinger and asked if she had anything to say, and the ex-Pussycat Doll, who was heavily booed by the audience, turned away without comment.
Earlier in the evening, both Crow and Canty were forced to sing for their lives in the competition. Canty took on "I'm Going Down," while Crow tackled "I'd Rather Go Blind." Following the performances, L.A. Reid praised Crow for her "amazing" rendition but voted for Canty to stay, while Cowell and Paula Abdul cast their votes in favor of Crow. That left the deciding vote to Scherzinger, who through tears said she couldn't make the decision herself, so she voted for Canty to stay so the tiebreaker would lie in the hands of viewer votes.
The night prior, Crow sang B.o.B and Bruno Mars' "Nothin' on You" and Michael Jackson's "Music & Me," prompting Abdul to call her "beautifully fearless," "a wonderful role model," "every girl's best friend and every parent's daydream," "fantastic and magical" and with a "vocal depth [that] transcends all generations." Canty, meanwhile, sang Chaka Kahn's "Ain't Nobody" and Leon Russell's "A Song for You," the latter of which was dubbed "a bit boring" by Cowell. But L.A. Reid compared Canty to Muhammad Ali, praising his ability to get up after being repeatedly knocked down. "I've got your back," Reid told him, and he kept his word on Thursday.
Earlier in the evening, Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro and Chris Rene advanced to next week's semifinal. When Canty learned he would have to once again sing for his life, he remarked, "Bottom two, again? Gosh, man. But, top five, man, I just gotta go out and deliver."
The episode also featured live performances by Lenny Kravitz and Mary J. Blige.
What did you think of the results? Let us know in the comments!