Looks like bringing Diamond White back to "The X Factor" last week meant the show had to play catch-up Thursday night (November 15), dropping two acts.
And hosts Mario Lopez and Khloé Kardashian Odom wasted no time getting to the night's results, dismissing Simon Cowell's hip-hop group Lyric 145 after their mash-up of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and Katy Perry's "E.T." during the previous night's diva theme.
While Lyric 145 were shown directly to the door, the other two acts with the lowest votes — Jennel Garcia and Paige Thomas, both from Demi Lovato's Young Adults group — had the chance to sing head-to-head to stay in the competition. Feisty pint-size rocker Garcia was up first, choosing Hoobastank's "The Reason" as her musical plea and letting the emotion of the moment shine through. Rihanna look-alike and single mom Thomas, meanwhile, sang Coldplay's "Paradise" as a defiant anthem of survival, as if she stood in the middle of Thunderdome (which, come to think of it, she almost did).
After L.A. Reid and Britney Spears both cast their votes against Garcia, Simon Cowell pulled the boss card and forced mentor Demi to choose between her two acts first. After a lengthy back-and-forth, Demi chose Thomas to go home — only to have Cowell pull the rug out from underneath Garcia for good.
"I'm just happy that I've come so far," Garcia said quietly. When asked if she had anything to say to her mentor, Garcia squeaked out a "thank you" to a sobbing Lovato.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom on Thursday: Taylor Swift brought an arena vibe to the "Factor" stage with the first television performance of her rock-tinged Red track "State of Grace." The crossover superstar started the song low-key, with bursts of star-shaped light glowing behind her as she quietly sang into a red microphone. Her Diane Keaton-circa-"Annie Hall" outfit of a black fedora, white see-through collared shirt and black skinny pants fit the performance's jam-session vibe, as the lights got brighter and her band revved up for the rocking chorus.
The "X Factor" contestants would kill to have a mega-career like Swift's, so Khloé asked if she had any words of wisdom for the remaining singers. "My advice would be, no matter how tired you are, no matter what bad day you're having, be nice to people," Swift said, only adding to her well-known nice-girl image.
With Lyric 145 and Garcia heading home, it looks like the newly revealed "X Factor" leaderboard won't always tell the full story, with many thinking surprisingly safe singers CeCe Frey and Arin Ray would be the next to go as the bottom two in last week's top 12.
Here are the full "X Factor" standings for this week:
1. Tate Stevens
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
3. Vino Alan
5. CeCe Frey
6. Fifth Harmony
7. Diamond White
8. Beatrice Miller
9. Arin Ray
10. Paige Thomas