"X Factor" came to an abrupt end for four acts Thursday night (November 1), when the judges kicked one from each category to the curb, narrowing down the show's top 16 into a final dozen.
It was the first of many live results shows for the season's competition, which saw newbie hosts Khloé Kardashian and Mario Lopez bid farewell to Willie Jones (Young Adults), David Correy (Over 25's), Diamond White (Teens) and Sister C (Groups).
Before the news was delivered, viewers learned that Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato were to choose two contestants from their groups to advance, leaving the remaining duo to battle it out in a sing-off. Lovato's Young Adults were first up on the chopping block, with the Disney starlet choosing pint-size rocker Jennel Garcia and big-voiced Rihanna look-alike Paige Thomas to advance to the next round. CeCe Frey turned up the competition (and tears) with an emotional version of Irene Cara's "Out Here On My Own" from "Fame" and beat out the country-drenched Willie Jones and his rendition of Michael Bublé's "You Don't Know Me."
"Sucks that I have to go home, but it was really fun to be here," Jones said before exchanging a hug with his mentor.
From one generation to the next, Reid took rough-edged rocker Vino Alan and country singer Tate Stevens to the next round from his Over 25's, leaving the ever-charismatic Jason Brock and pop-rocker David Correy to duel it out. After Reid admitted his regret over saddling Brock with Jennifer Lopez's "Dance Again" the night before, the divo belted out some old-school Whitney Houston ("One Moment in Time") and prevailed over Correy's stripped-down rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone." In one of the first shockers of this season, the tatted crooner's elimination appeared to surprise even Cowell. "I promise you this is not going to be the last time you see my face," Correy told the crowd. "Don't ever give up on what you love."
Spears' Teens were the next to hit the stage, and the pint-size Beatrice Miller and Carly Rose were saved. Arin Ray, formerly of season-one group InTENsity, appeared upset when he heard and later channeled his emotion into Whitney Houston's "I Look to You." Fan favorite Diamond White also went the ballad route with "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" by Elton John. While mentor Spears came off a little reserved the night before, the pop star couldn't help but get teary-eyed during the numbers. In the second bombshell of Thursday's "X Factor" episode, Britney took Ray's side, sending home a shocked White. The 13-year-old handled things like a professional, saying, "I'm happy I made it this far and I'm still going to keep smiling and I still love you, Britney!"
Thursday's last and finale elimination was that of Cowell's Groups, and he saved SoCal's Emblem3 and MCs Lyric145. While teen trio Sister C went with Miley Cyrus' "When I Look at You" for their battle tune, fellow girl group 1432 kept the Disney star power in-house with a rendition of Lovato's "Skyscraper." Ultimately, Cowell revealed his choice of 1432, sending the sisters home. Having already guessed their fate, one member of the trio said: "We're just going to keep going in the country world and have the pop be the pop thing."
From here on out, it'll be in the hands of America to choose who their favorite contestant is when the public vote starts next week.
Did your favorite survive? Let us know in the comments!