Two seeming "X Factor" front-runners were forced to sing for their survival on Thursday night's results show, with Vino Alan and Paige Thomas eventually heading out the door.
Thomas was the first act to get the boot. The audience was audibly shocked and coach Demi Lovato's jaw hung wide open, but Thomas took it all in stride, not letting the setback bring her down. "I'm excited because I get to go home and work hard and get better," she said. "I got bigger things to do and better things, and I'm excited for what I have in the future."
Alan went voice-to-voice with Diamond White in a sing-off after they were revealed as the other duo in the bottom three.
White kept a smile on her face as she entered the stage to sing Beyoncé's triumphant track "I Was Here." The 13-year-old, who was brought back into the competition in the top 13 after being let go by coach Britney Spears, has thrived since her return, but her previous brush with elimination seemed to add an extra urgency to her survival song. Vino Alan, meanwhile, shed his jacket as he entered, proving he was about to leave it all on the stage with his take on Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble." And did he ever, pouring every ounce of emotion into the soulful song.
It was an especially tough decision for the judges, but in the end, only Alan's coach, L.A. Reid, opted to vote against White, so the tattooed soul singer — who was consistently in the top three on the leaderboard this season — got the boot.
"America didn't get to see half of what I have," Vino said. "I'm really shocked at this, though. Stay inspired, keep in touch. Unfortunately, I can't stop making music; I'm going to keep making music."
"I'm really proud of Vino," Reid said. "He's come a long way. You've come this far in the competition, [and] I'm really happy to call you family."
In the enduring mystery of the season, CeCe Frey, Thomas' polarizing teammate, is not only still around, she wasn't even in the bottom three. Fitting with her previous penchant for leopard-print body paint, Frey seems to have nine lives this season, avoiding double elimination after double elimination and successfully singing for her life twice.
Two performers hit the stage during the results show, including "X Factor" alum Josh Krajcik, who finished in second place to season-one champ Melanie Amaro. Krajcik performed "One Thing She'll Never Know" from his self-titled EP, which is available now.
Alicia Keys brought the title track from her Girl on Fire album, which was released Tuesday. The multi-Grammy winner didn't come alone, bringing a stage full of dancers and drummers for the production. Keys, in a midriff-baring tight black top-and-skirt combo and a side-swept hairdo, commanded the stage during the awards-show-worthy performance.
After last week's leaderboard shakeup, Carly Rose Sonenclar retained her #1 spot. Let's see where the top six ended up:
1. Carly Rose Sonenclar
2. Tate Stevens
4. Fifth Harmony
5. CeCe Frey
6. Diamond White
Did you favorite make it to the top six? Let us know in the comments!