'The X Factor' eliminates Sweet Suspense and Rachel Potter in shocking double elimination
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/15/2013
The X Factor eliminated two acts and determined the third season's Top 10 finalists during Thursday night's Fox broadcast of the reality singing competition.
Sweet Suspense, a teenage girl trio, and Rachel Potter, a 29-year-old from Nashville, TN, were ousted from the competition after The X Factor host Mario Lopez revealed they had received the fewest home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's Top 12 performance show.
Sweet Suspense was a group formed by the judges with singers who had initially auditioned separately. It was comprised of Millie Thrasher, a 14-year-old from Birmingham, AL; Celine Polenghi, a 16-year-old from Miami, FL; and Summer Reign, a 17-year-old from Apple Valley, CA.
"An unpopular decision here tonight. There's a look of shock on Simon's face. America, this is how you voted. Ladies, what's going through your mind right now," Mario asked the group of three girls as the audience booed loudly.
"I think we're just so grateful to be here. The fact that you guys put us together and gave us a whole new experience that we never would have thought of otherwise -- I'm so glad I have these two girls here standing by me," Millie said.
Sweet Suspense was automatically eliminated without any discussion or voting from The X Factor judges after the girls presumably finished as the last-place act based on America's vote. They also did not have to "sing for survival." Sweet Suspense was in mentor Simon Cowell's "Groups" category.
"I can't believe it!" Simon announced, looking disgusted. "I thought they were fantastic last night. No, girls, it was not your fault. I don't know what happened here because, without being rude, there were worse people than you last night."
Rachel was sent home by judges Simon, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio via a 3-1 vote instead of fellow contestant Khaya Cohen, a 16-year-old from New York, NY, after both girls were revealed to be the two next lowest vote-getters. Rachel was a member of Kelly's "Over 25s" category, while Khaya was one of the artists who represented Demi's "Girls" category.
As the two remaining bottom-three acts, Rachel and Khaya were required to "sing for survival" in the "final showdown" in the hopes The X Factor mentors would vote to keep them on the show. After the two singers performed, the judges offered them feedback and then cast their votes for whom they believed should be eliminated from the competition.
In the event of a 2-2 tie, it would be a deadlock and the act who had received the lower amount of home viewer votes would automatically be eliminated.
"Neither one of these vocalists should be in the bottom two. I have no idea," Demi said.
"Come on, America! Come on!" Kelly added.
Khaya performed "Don't Give Up On Me" by Joe Cocker for her "survival" song. Rachel took the stage with "From this Moment On" by Shania Twain.
"There is no reason in the world why two of some of the best vocalists in this competition are in the bottom two. I am still beating my head against the wall about this, this is insane! They're both so incredible and I want to see them both grow and I want to see them both be here. You don't have to rush me, Mario, don't be rushing me now! The act I'm sending home tonight is myself!" Kelly joked.
"I'm always rooting for Rachel. Rachel is my girl, and if I'm doing it off of this performance alone... I'm going to have to say Khaya Cohen.
Paulina then said, "I think you two girls are so different between each other and so good talent, great singers, both of you. Music is unpredictable. That's life. If I would need to send, myself, someone home, the act I'm sending home would be -- I'm so sorry guys -- it's Rachel."
"I think honestly what happened is America thought these two girls were safe so they didn't vote. They need to vote. You need to vote for the most talented people in this competition. I'm so passionate about my act and about both of these girls. The act that I'm sending home is Rachel Potter," Demi announced.
"Actually, both of you did very well in that singoff. I do agree with the girls, I'm surprised, but that's life. The act who I think I'm going to keep is the one I believe has the most potential. And therefore, the act I'm sending home, and I'm sorry, is Rachel," Simon said.