*Err’body went into the ugly cry on last night’s “X Factor” elimination show during the exit of 13-year-old Rachel Crow.
The spunky favorite found herself in the bottom two for the first time this season and belted out a surprisingly, gut-wrenching version of Etta James’ classic “I’d Rather Go Blind.” Marcus Canty, a two-time veteran of the bottom two, delivered an emotional “I’m Going Down” as his “save me” song, leaving the judges in a quandary as to who would go home. [Watch both performances below.]
Canty’s coach LA Reid and Crow’s coach Simon Cowell each voted for their acts to stay. Paula Abdul voted to send Marcus home, so the fate of the two contestants was left up to Nicole Scherzinger. In anguish, she opted to deadlock the vote by sending Rachel home, which took the decision out of her hands and made the voting public the tiebreaker.
When host Steve Jones revealed that Crow received the least amount of votes from viewers and would be going home, she had a moment of shock, then, collapsed onto the stage in loud sobs. Cowell and Crow’s mom tried to console her, to no avail. At one point, cameras caught Crow wailing, “Mommy, you promised me! You promised me!” Her mother responded calmly, “I promise you it’s okay.”
The sight of Crow hollering was too much for Nicole, who also began crying uncontrollably. Paula had to comfort her, for a change.
When the youngster was finally was able to get herself together, she told the crowd in her farewell speech: “I just love you so much. Everybody, for voting for me even though you didn’t, thank you for giving me this because without you I am nothing.”
Just before the credits started rolling, all of the judges and contestants were on stage – some hugging Crow, others trying to comfort a still-sobbing Nicole. When Jones passed the mic to Nicole for farewell comments, the audience booed her as she just turned away, unable to speak.
Cowell later defended Scherzinger’s actions, telling Us Weekly: “I think ironically what she was trying to do was let Marcus go with some dignity because she was attached to both of them. But there’s no question about it, if she thought Rachel would have been out she would have gone the other way.”
Crow doesn’t hold a grudge against Scherzinger, either. “She’s the nicest, sweetest, most beautiful person, inside and out. She was crying and she was so sad,” Rachel said. “It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just what God had in store for me and it’ll be okay.”
Watch the elimination and the two “save me” performances below: