Demi Lovato had a rough night on “The X Factor” on Thursday. Both of her remaining contestants got sent home from the competition, leaving a final four that doesn’t include either Ellona Santiago or Rion Paige.
Santiago was the first one sent packing during the hour-long results episode. The 17-year-old received strong marks for her performances on Wednesday’s episode; Simon Cowell told her she was “in it to win it” after her performance of Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” and Lovato told her “you definitely are the type of person that could win this competition” following her performance of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.” However, the votes did not go her way, and when she was eliminated, Kelly Rowland’s mouth hung agape and Lovato could be heard on microphone saying, “this is ridiculous.”
Santiago seemed surprised by the news as well. “A lot is going through my mind,” she told host Mario Lopez after her elimination. “I don’t know. I guess I didn’t give the strongest performance last night. I just hope I can have another chance again.”
Lovato said she was “speechless and disappointed” by the news. “I feel like a lot of really amazing people have been sent home that didn’t deserve to go home so soon, and Ellona is definitely one of them,” she said. “She could have won this competition.”
Lovato took another blow later in the episode when her final teammate, Rion Paige, was forced into a sing-off with Carlito Olivero. Both had found themselves at the bottom before, and Paige was in the same position for the second week in a row.
For her final song, Paige sat at a stool and sang Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me,” while Olivero switched things up from the typical ballad and did a suave version of Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna…” where he went out into the crowd and serenaded an audience member. Santiago, the self-described “underdog” of the competition, wound up coming out on top, with three of the four judges voting to keep him in the competition. Only Lovato voted to keep Paige, and the 13-year-old was sent on her way.
Paige stressed her faith in her final farewell. “I have come out here each and every week and just told everybody how much I love the Lord, and I think that’s just so important within itself,” she said.
Paige and Santiago’s elimination leaves Restless Road, Alex & Sierra, Jeff Gutt and Olivero in the final four.
Thursday’s episode also included a performance from “X Factor” alums Emblem 3, who sang “Just for One Day,” and Little Mix, the U.K. “X Factor” vets who sang their single “Move.”