12:14am PT by Sophie Schillaci
'X Factor': 20 Things You Didn't See During Emblem3's Elimination Night
The shock was audible in the CBS soundstage Thursday when Emblem3 was delivered a shocking blow on their ride to impending stardom.
Indeed, the Huntington Beach-based trio were enjoying a Cinderella moment just 24 hours prior after their renditions of "Baby I Love Your Way" and "Hey Jude" earned the respect of their competitors and the judges alike. "If this doesn't get you into the final, I don't know what will," proclaimed mentor Simon Cowell.
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Cowell might have been eating his words Thursday night, after he also told his other group, the underdogs Fifth Harmony, that while they would be hard-pressed to make their way to the final three, he also believes in "miracles." And while one miracle did happen -- the five-piece girl group did make it into the finals -- his beloved Emblem3 went home.
All's well that ends well at The X Factor, as Drew Chadwick, Wesley Stromberg and Keaton Stromberg seemed actually, well, pleased to be heading home early.
"We're happy because we can go make some badass music now and not be under any restrictions," Wesley told reporters in the press lounge following their elimination. Added Drew, "The bottom line is we had the dopest experience. We got everything we really wanted out of this competition, which was a solid international fan base. We expanded our comfort zone by stepping out of it."
So which part of the show came together with a little TV magic? Who was getting kisses from Simon? And what bit of chivalry was Tate Stevens performing during the break? Read on for what you didn't see the Thursday night's broadcast…
1. L.A. Reid didn't seem quite as jovial as he typically does upon entering the stage. Perhaps he was feeling uncomfortable about the news that broke just one hour before showtime: the Epic Records chairman revealed that he will not be returning for the show's third season.
2. Backstage, Emblem3 didn't seem too shocked to learn of Reid's X Factor exit. Said Drew, "I think that L.A. Reid is more of a creative, behind-the-scenes production type of dude. I don't think he was really into reality TV. It's more about the TV show and producing the TV show than the actual music. He and I had a lot in common in that sense."
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3. Even without slick camera cuts, the opening number of "I'm Coming Home" looked gorgeous. Every time the lights came up (and nearly blinded every member of the audience), it appeared as though we'd all been transported to a fluffy white cloud high above.
4. Many in the back of the audience were wondering where Emblem3 was hiding during the start of the number. While Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens and Fifth Harmony could all be seen in plain view, the California trio were nowhere to be found. When they finally popped up behind the judges' table, many in the crowd were visibly startled, but cheered all the more loudly in response.
5. At the end of the number, Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui could be seen coughing loudly from the stage. Is there a bug going around?
6. Danger zone! Britney Spears nearly took a tumble as she returned to her seat for the show's second section. Luckily, the pop star caught herself and sat down safely.
7. Speaking of wobbly women, Khloe Kardashian looked off balance as she leaned on co-host Mario Lopez for support and frequently crossed and uncrossed her legs.
8. During the next commercial break, Cowell's attention was directed toward a woman in the audience. And while her identity remains a mystery to THR, she did wind up on the receiving end of some big hugs and an even bigger kiss on the lips from the reality judge. And no, it was not his ex-fiancee Mezhgan Hussainy OR ex-girlfriend Terri Seymour, both of whom are frequently spotted at the tapings.
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9. In her first elimination night since losing final competitor CeCe Frey, Demi Lovato stays planted right in her seat as Simon, L.A. and Britney are joined onstage by their respective mentees.
10. Who was the most shocked when Fifth Harmony was declared the first act safe and through to the finals? Fifth Harmony. The girls completely lost their cool, while mentor Simon expressed his own visible surprise with a dropped jaw and by covering his face with his hands. Before Khloe began questioning Simon on-air, the two could be seen chatting while Simon appeared to tell her, "I can't believe it." As he left the stage, Simon signaled to the audience for more cheers.
11. Despite her fear of being sent home, Carly Rose clapped politely in honor of Fifth Harmony. When Tate was later called through, she didn't appear so cordial, wringing her hands silently in terror.
12. Apparently hell bent on convincing audience members to go an audition for the next season, crowd members are always encouraged to take the mic from audience-warm-up-guy and sing from their seats during commercial breaks. And, just like in the real auditions, sometimes there are lemons. On Thursday, it was a set of young twin girls from California whose rendition of Colbie Caillat's "Brighter Than the Sun" drew audible laughs from the crowd. Ouch.
13. As Bridgit Mendler prepared to hit the stage, audience members were instructed to cup their hands into the shape of a heart and hold it high in the air. Hey, isn't that Taylor Swift's move?
14. Simon's emotions were written on his face once again after Tate was called through to the finals, leaving Emblem3 and Carly Rose in the bottom two. A stone face from Simon is not a friendly site, we'll tell you that for free!
15. Wesley, however, seemed unfazed, gesturing to the audience with the same aforementioned hand-heart.
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16. After she was done wringing her hands, Carly took a cue from her mentor. The 13-year-old looked like a mini-Britney as the duo stood side-by-side, hands folded in front of them and with panic-stricken faces. Of course, Carly had nothing to worry about, as she later learned she'd been voted through to the final round of competition.
17. It was a night of missed cues for the judges, as Britney, L.A. and Simon were all late to the stage at one point or another, sometimes walking past Mario as he spoke into the cameras. Oops.
18. While audiences at home watched Bruno Mars jam out to "Locked Out of Heaven," the in-house crowd instead stared at an empty stage. Mars and his band could be spotted rehearsing late into the night on Wednesday, and taped their performance BEFORE the show went live on Thursday. Must have had a plane to catch or something. Hey, at least we got to watch him projected on the jumbo screen in front.
19. At one point, Tate took his place at the bottom of the stage stairs, offering his hand to help each member of Fifth Harmony down the stairs without incident. Who ever said chivalry was dead?
20. As Emblem3 said farewell to the competition, all Drew wanted to do was watch the video montage playing in their honor. As he turned back to watch the screen behind his back, the feed cut out so that he -- and members of Fifth Harmony -- would instead turn around to face the cameras. Wesley could be seen clapping, while Drew, Keaton and Simon's stone cold expressions left the audience with chills. Maybe those hugs from Fifth Harmony as they left the stage made the exit a little less bitter and a little more sweet.
It didn't take long to put smiles back on those faces, as the boys say that both Simon and L.A. have expressed interest in adding their names to their labels' rosters.
"Simon made it very clear to us that he is definitely interested, and he actually said, 'You guys are going to have amazing careers.' Or, 'A big career ahead of you,' that's what he said," Drew confessed. "L.A. Reid has said that he's interested too."
Plus, they're headed for some much-deserved R&R in the Washington mountains. "I'm already checking the snow reports and stuff," said Drew. "We are leaving tomorrow."
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci