Here is what I learned, in order, during the first night of live eliminations of The X Factor.
– “Lux Aeterna,” AKA that song from the disturbing drug movie and every movie trailer ever made, is a brilliant song written for a brilliant movie but should never, I mean never, be used in a reality show elimination.
– That extended commercial for Herbal Essence and Fifth Harmony was definitely not staged at all.
– The first act to hit the road, surprisingly, was Sweet Suspense. I’ve been tough on Sweet Suspense for their generic vocals, overproduced productions and plastic veneers but, all in all, they didn’t quite deserve to go home with people like Tim and Rion still hanging around.
– Selena Gomez is talented but I’m not sure she’s a “movie star” yet. I’m also not sure this spicy, Rihanna-esque number suits the young starlet.
– The bottom three are revealed as… Alex & Sierra, Khaya Cohen and Rachel Potter. Are you freaking kidding me? Out of all the mediocre drek I’ve sat through these past few weeks, America picks the three best folks to land in the first bottom three?
– But before you can say “WhattheheckiswrongwithAmerica?” Alex & Sierra are sent to safety leaving Rachel and Khaya, my two favorite singers by a wide margin, in the bottom two.
– The performance by Fifth Harmony left me with a headache and a mouthful of cavities.
– First in the sing-off was Khaya who sang “Don’t Give Up On Me” by Solomon Burke. It was the perfect song for the occasion – beautiful, vocally demanding and lyrically pertinent – and Khaya sung it nearly perfectly. It was better than anything on last night’s show by far. Khaya is unbelievably talented, so the fact that she’s in danger is outrageously crazy.
– Rachel, whom I believe is also a supremely talented singer, chose “From This Moment.” The Shania Twain track was a touch too slow and underwhelming for the occasion and Rachel, although vocally above many others here, felt shaky and nervous in the first half. I love Rachel, but she was just out sung.
– As predicted, Kelly voted for Rachel while Paulina, Demi and Simon voted for Khaya.
– As much as it saddens me to say it, Rachel Potter is sent home.
– And what’s the number one thing I learned from the elimination show? America needs to get their act together. Because, if we keep going this way, we’re looking at a finals full of mediocre talent and synthetized vocals (and maybe even more pantless, writhing girls on smoke-covered stages).