At the opening of the episode, Girls mentor Demi Lovato had already filled her four available seats, giving them to Bree Randall, Khaya Cohen, Jamie Pineda and Ashly Williams. But six singers had yet to perform, so there was bound to be some switches. 4 Chairz, ladies and gentlemen!
First up was 19-year-old Simone Torres of Long Island, whose version of “A Change is Gonna Come” was knocked as “so bad,” “so karaoke” and “so wedding-y” by Simon Cowell. But Lovato felt she had potential so she sent her through, giving her the chair previously filled by Bree Randall. Sorry, Bree!
Danielle Geimer of Northridge, California — fun fact: Her career backup plan is neurosurgery! — “sang her face off” (those were Kelly Rowland’s words) while taking on “Georgia on My Mind.” Cowell praised her for being humble and shy, and Lovato decided she had to have the 15-year-old in her final four. So Torres, who had sat down just minutes ago, was asked to give up her chair to Geimer. Which somehow probably made Bree Randall feel even worse.
By this point, Lovato had let six of six singers into her “final four,” but Rylie Brown broke the streak with her bland country version of Robbie Williams’ “Angels.” Cowell told the 16-year-old he felt like her mother had chosen everything about her performance, from her song to her wardrobe, and Lovato said despite her own pageant background, Brown’s performance was too pageant-y for its own good. She was sent home, and the poor girl never even got a chance to have a seat.
Neither did Primrose Martin, the 20-year-old from Las Vegas who bombed onstage with her version of Michael Jackson’s “Blame it on the Boogie.” “That was beyond awful,” Cowell said, later describing the performance as “the longest minute and a half of my life.” Martin begged Lovato to keep her around but Lovato wasn’t having it, and she sent her packing without passing go and without sitting down.
Jacksonville 13-year-old Rion Paige, who due to a joint issue has hands that curve inward, reversed fortune for the girls. Belting out Rascal Flatts’ “I Won’t Let Go” with a bright smile on her face, she impressed the judges and caused Cowell to surmise, “I think we’re scratching the surface here.” Lovato, praising Paige’s “mature” voice, gave her a chair, and forced Ashly Williams to give up her spot to her.
Ellona Santiago was the night’s final contestant, and the 17-year-old’s version of Zedd’s “Clarity” had Rowland calling her a “beast.” (“And I mean that in the nicest way possible,” Rowland clarified.) Cowell said Santiago had one of the best vocals in the category, and while Lovato expressed concern over her star power, she let her through — and gave her the chair already occupied by Jamie Pineda.
So after some shuffling, Cohen, Geimer, Paige and Santiago are in and are headed to the live episodes. And unless Fox comes up with something better over the weekend, the Four-Chair Challenge continues next week with the Boys and Groups competing for those all-important seats.