XFACTOR ELIMS AND TOP 10 RANKING
9:00PM EST November 15. 2012 - Tension was thick. Performers were jittery. Beatrice Miller looked like she might burst into tears at any moment. Even Simon Cowell tweeted that he was "feeling a little nervous."
Which two acts would be sent home, shutting down any chance of that big $5 million X Factor prize?
"Let's get right to it," said host Mario Lopez on Thursday's show. "The first act going home..." But then he pulled an old American Idol trick. "...will be revealed after the break!"
The crowd moaned.
First to be booted, based on votes: Lyric 145, Simon Cowell's hip hop group, made up of Jemelle Joseph, Julien Joseph and Lyric Da Queen.
Said Khloe Kardashian Odom: "We're sad to see you guys go."
Said Lyric Da Queen: "I felt like we didn't get the opportunity to show what we really had. We had original lyrics, We had a hip hop song that got snatched away from us at the last minute. We're just taking the good with the bad right now."
Taylor Swift took the stage to sing State of Grace.
And then a surprise: Arin Ray is safe!
Also through: Vino Alan, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White, Tate Stevens, Emblem3, Beatrice Miller (who finally smiled).
And another surprise: Cece Frey is safe!
Fifth Harmony, Simon's group of five teen girls, was also deemed safe.
Jennel Garcia performs on Wednesday's show.(Photo: Ray Mickshaw, Fox)
It came down to a sing-off between two of Demi Lovato's Young Adults — Paige Thomas, 22, and Jennel Garcia, 18.
Jennel, nearly crying on stage, sang I Just Want You To Know. Paige Thomas, looking fierce and in command, sang Coldplay's Paradise.
L.A. Reid said his "unpleasant decision" was to send home Jennel.
Britney said "both" are "amazing performers," but she voted to send Jennel home.
Simon then refused to cast a vote, wanting Demi to do it. "Mr. Cowell!" said Mario. Then he gave in and turned to Demi to get her decision.
"The act that I'm sending home tonight is..." and she turned it back to Simon.
Mario said, "Demi, we really need an answer on who you're sending home tonight."
Finally, she said, "Paige."
So it came back to Simon. "The act I believe has got the best star potential... The act I'm going to send home is Jennel."
She was really sad. "I'm happy I came so far," she managed to utter, followed by, "Thank you." She cried on Demi's shoulder as clips of her X Factor journey showed on the big screens behind the stage. Teary Demi said, "I think you have a future ahead of you. ... I really, really believe in you."
Next week: The Top 10 take the stage. Here's the leaderboard, according to votes.
Tate Stevens (again)
Carly Rose Sonenclar
RIP LYRIC 145 and Janelle aka Demi's clone/lover