One Direction via Creative Commons

Wednesday night’s X Factor live show was an improvement over last week’s show. Last week, the acts looked nervous, sounded nervous, and the mentors weren’t on their A games. Now they know their acts a little better and we’ll see more Vino singing soulful stuff and less of him singing wannabe rock.

If I could describe Wednesday night’s show, like Britney, I would say in one word, it was hot, hot, hot.

In my recap of the performance show Wednesday night for Popblerd, I opined that CeCe Frey was deserving of being eliminated. She looked like a fish out of water singing a song that she didn’t feel. She should’ve performed more Christina Aguilera.

As good as Wednesday’s live performance show was, Thursday’s elimination show was all over the map. Instead of saving all the drama for the end, they eliminated someone in the second to last segment. Why? Well, this year, they have a rankings system. At the end of the show, they displayed the order in which the votes came in. Why? They didn’t really explain. I have a theory.

I think it’s about audience participation. A way to get the ratings and participation up is to get the TV viewers even more attached to their favorites. Before, the voting audience didn’t really know how much their votes counted. They would only know if their favorite left the show and by then, it’d be too late and it’s possible they’d tune out.

Now, if they see their favorite at the bottom of the pack, they’ll probably vote often and be a bit more invested in the results show which is the lesser rated show every week. But it also begs the question – if they care so much about how the votes were sorted out, why don’t they just eliminate the lowest vote getter instead of making the final two sing off? My guess is that they didn’t really plan it out because even though the audience now knows who is the top vote getter, it’s not like it makes any difference in the competition.

So what happened?

Since Diamond White came back to the show on Wednesday, there were thirteen to choose from rather than twelve. After One Direction opened up the show with their catchy song Live While We’re Young, Mario Lopez and Kourtney Kardashian Odom quickly went through the first six acts that made it to next week. One Direction came back to perform again and they quickly named three more who made it to next week.

That left CeCe Frey, Jason Brock, and the newly named Fifth Harmony. There’s no way that Fifth Harmony deserved to be anywhere near the stench that was CeCe and they happily were pushed through. Thus, we had a quite predictable final two. Jason Brock hasn’t looked comfortable for a guy nicknamed Mr. Entertainment. Last week he was horrendous. This week he was fine, but his look is what may hold him back. The loud jackets and faux hawk aren’t endearing. Vocally, he’s better than CeCe, but she’s a much more interesting character for the show.

For the mentors, CeCe performed You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me. It was a strong performance, even if it was vocally uneven. She looked determined, but worried. Jason’s performance of Total Eclipse of the Heart was exactly what he needed. It was heartfelt and authentic.

Having the mentors whose acts are on the chopping block be part of the vote is dumb. Of course Demi wanted to send home Jason and of course LA wanted to send home CeCe. Britney decided that she wanted to send home CeCe and Simon wanted to send home Jason which made it a tie. To break the tie, the lowest vote-getter would be eliminated, which again begs the question, why doesn’t the act with the lowest votes just go home every time? If the mentor voting is dumb and you want the voting audience to feel more invested, why not just put it completely in their hands? Oh, because that’s how American Idol does it. And American Idol still nearly doubles the rating of the X Factor. Okay.

Who went home?

America voted wrongly and they hated Jason Brock just a little bit more than they hated CeCe Frey. My man Jason didn’t deserve to leave this early. No way.

What was the voting order?

12. CeCe Frey
11. Arin Ray
10. Beatrice Miller
9. Lyric 145
8. Paige Thomas
7. Jennel Garcia
6. Emblem3
5. Fifth Harmony
4. Diamond White
3. Vino Alan
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
1. Tate Stevens

What does it all mean?

I think it means that the country demo is hot and heavy for these shows and some of these acts will be singing country next week. But I wouldn’t take these too seriously. It’s clear that Emblem3 is far and away the best act of them all and they came in sixth behind Diamond White who the mentors didn’t even think deserved to be on the show. It also means the acts with an urban sound may be in an uphill battle. But I think we already knew that.