'X Factor' Eliminations Recap: The Judges Send Four Acts Packing

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X Factor Judges Live Eliminations
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The X Factor Hosts Khloe Kardashian Odom Mario Lopez
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'X Factor' 1st Live Show
X Factor Emblem3 Performs
Emblem3 end the show on high note. Read More »

The judges made some strange decisions on the first live elimination on FOX’s second season of The X Factor.

When it gets to this point in the competition, clearly there will be some hard choices to make. Does that mean we have to agree with them? Of course not. Thursday’s eliminations were a mixed bag with some judges making grave errors in my opinion while others made the obvious choices.

Each judge automatically chose two performers to move on. And then the two remaining acts had to sing their last chance songs in a last bid to convince their mentors to keep them.

Demi Lovato leaned way more toward production value on Wednesday, then actually highlighting vocals. And she quickly saved Janell Garcia and Paige Thomas leaving tough as nails CeCe Frey and lovable country oddball Willie Jones to battle it out. In many ways, it was a tough match to judge. Who didn’t expect CeCe to bring everything she has to the stage? Who did expect Willie to return to his deep-voiced country style to remind us why we fell for him in the first place?

In the end, Demi went with CeCe – who, in this case was the safe choice. She clearly was unsure what to do with Willie’s mix of R&B and country. And in my opinion, he would have done better with a different – more experienced – mentor.

L.A. Reid had an easier task on his hands. Tate Stephens was in his sweet spot on Wednesday, so it was a no-brainer that he would move on. Vino Alan’s real talent lies in his soulfulness and part of me thinks L.A. is embarrassed that he totally didn’t highlight that. So, the two will advance automatically.

That set us up for a pretty easily decided bout between David Correy and Jason Brock. David is just too much to handle. In all his sincerity, he comes off way too cheesy. Jason, on the other hand, is cheese personified. So, with L.A recognizing he didn’t showcase Jason’s voice on Wednesday – and especially after delivering a crowd-pleasing take on Whitney Houston’s “One Moment In Time” – L.A. decided to keep Jason. After all, David leaves nothing to the imagination. Do I think Jason will win? No. But, he will definitely deliver some entertainment along the way.

I can’t say that Britney Spears did any of her team members any favors on Wednesday. It’s as if she can’t really see what kind of artist they should be. I have no clue why she would instantly advance Carly Rose and Beatrice Miller – OK, they're strong singers but interchangeable in my opinion – and then leave herself to lose either Diamond White or Arin Ray. Both shined in their last chance performances, but Britney had to let go of one. Part of me believes she doesn’t know what to do with someone like Diamond, a girl with a powerful voice and a stage presence beyond her years. But, she can understand what it means to have fans scream for you. So, heartthrob Arin stays and Diamond is now free to sign a huge contract and become a big star.

This season’s groups aren’t as awful as last year’s acts. But, Simon Cowell probably did rap group Lyric145 a huge disservice by making them perform a very sterile rap-pop mash on Thursday. Emblem3, on the other hand, were not about to give Simon the chance to consider sending them home. So, Simon made up for his horrible choices yesterday by advancing Lyric145 and then, duh, Emblem3.

That pitted country harmony trio, Sister C, against the show-created 1432. Again, a no-brainer. Sister C really doesn’t resonate with me, so I was glad to see them booted. As for 1432, they could use some of Sister C’s blending skills. But, still I’d rather listen to them. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to sing a judge’s song (Demi’s “Skyscraper”) and convince that judge that your version is as good or better than their own. So, Simon took the newly created girl group over the singing sisters. Simon is no dummy – as evidenced by the fact that he’s giving America a crack at renaming the group (for a third time). Thank you, Simon.

As for the new hosts, Thursday was their first really big test. Can Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian Odom keep this train on the tracks and on time? While Khloe seemed to step back a bit, Mario broke a sweat to keep the show finishing within its two-hour block. Nice job, dimples. Though, Season 1 host Steve Jonesis probably somewhere watching and saying, “It’s not that easy, is it?”

What were your thoughts on the judges’ eliminations? Weigh in below.

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