With one week left before the finals, everyone had predicted Fifth Harmony would not make it to the final three on "The X Factor." The normally timid Britney Spears told them that she "would be surprised if you're here next week," while L.A. Reid (who announced Thursday that he would not be returning to the judges' panel) called their song choice "lazy." In what was arguably the biggest shock of the season, Fifth Harmony managed to secure themselves a spot in the finals, leaving Simon's other group, Emblem3, voted out of the competition.
In keeping with their surfer-dude attitude, MTV News found the trio backstage characteristically upbeat and Zen, even after their elimination.
"I honestly feel happy, I'm good, I'm great," Wesley Stromberg said when asked to describe their surprise elimination.
"This general region right here (points to chest) actually has the emotion of joy overflowing in it. And that's because out of the ashes rises a phoenix, it's always darkest before the dawn," said the usually shirtless Drew Chadwick. "Only good things can happen after this point."
The boys, like many previous contestants, have always been vocal about wanting to perform songs that they felt represented themselves, rather than what producers and their mentors had chosen.
When asked if this pressure had a negative impact on their performances or their time on the show, the trio had a surprisingly introspective answer.
"For a while, it did get into my head, and that was really immature of me, because realistically in every industry you get involved with at first no matter what it is, you have to make certain sacrifices to work your way up the career ladder. That's just how it works," Chadwick said about his initial reaction to the "X Factor" production machine.
He continued by emphasizing their unhappiness with many of the songs they had to sing each week and their efforts to give each song their own unique spin. "We might not have been getting the songs that we wanted for a couple of weeks, but last week we resurrected who we were and brought it back to life and compensated for any songs that we felt were unauthentic that we had to perform," he said.
And even though they had to "play by the rules of the competition" and make sacrifices, Chadwick was happy with the group's experience on the show. "Overall, since the beginning of this, everything seems to unfold in a perfect sequence of events," he said.
Besides, just because their time on "X Factor" is over, there's always a silver lining. "Simon has just made it pretty clear to us that he is interested in working with us after the show," Chadwick said.
Were you surprised by Emblem3's elimination? Leave your comment below!