November 22, 2012 11:35pm PT by Shirley Halperin
'X Factor': Arin Ray, Beatrice Miller Head Home in Thanksgiving Bummer
For a pair of contestants on The X Factor, it will be the Thanksgiving they never forget.
No American Idol-like reprieve here: on Wednesday, host Mario Lopez announced that two would be leaving the competition on Thanksgiving, and he wasn’t just talking TV. Is it because the Brits don’t have a full appreciation of our fair holiday?
More likely, it’s as simple as this: the right people went home. Arin Ray, an alumnus of season one’s InTENsity, never quite found his footing among season two’s final 12, though he had a promising start in the top 16. As for Beatrice Miller -- she seemed to be getting a little too big for her Bea-britches, taking issue with the song chosen for her the previous week (Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”) and failing to deliver a stunner the next show with Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.” Although it should be said: her tone is outstanding, it just may need a few more years to develop fully.
Anyway, the producers of X Factor can’t all be cold-blooded, as the opening segment showed. Teaming up with Best Buy, the Top 10 surprised students of Bancroft Middle School with a new music room that looked straight out of Glee, then invited the choir to appear on the show, where they accompanied the 10 acts as they sang Coldplay’s “Fix You.”
Barely a quarter of the way through the show and emotions were already running high. First victim: Arin Ray, who took the loss in stride, it seemed, with mentor Britney Spears telling the 18-year-old to look at it as “a learning experience.” Indeed, by this point, Ray is an upperclassman.
Those who graduate are the Cher Lloyds of the world, an X Factor UK finalist signed to Sony via Syco and Epic Records. Her new single “Oath,” featuring Dr. Luke’s latest protégé Becky G, is precisely the look and flavor of cotton candy pop the show hopes to produce. Would any of the US Top 8 fit the bill?
We’ll find out soon enough, but first: Diamond White, Vino Alan, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Fifth Harmony, Tate Stevens, Paige Thomas and Emblem3 are going through.
That leaves CeCe Frey, a sing-off regular, back at center stage. Her save me song? Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You,” which she absolutely nails.
Next up: Beatrice Miller, who looks slightly more composed than a moment earlier when she could barely keep it together. She sings Dido’s “White Flag,” delivering a moving performance that barely missed a note, though its lyrics seemed particularly apt: “I will go down with this ship. I will throw my hands up and surrender.”
Wiping away tears, it was time for the judges to make the call. Demi Lovato chooses Beatrice to go home, Spears picks CeCe Frye, LA Reid goes with Beatrice and Simon Cowell seconds our earlier thought: it’s not the right time for young Beatrice.
“Are you OK?” Khloe Kardashian asks, to which the 13-year-old answers, “No.” One word speaks volumes: clearly, it was too much for Beatrice Miller to handle.
After the video recap, it’s time for the leaderboard. Here are the Top 8 rankings:
8. CeCe Frey
7. Fifth Harmony
6. Paige Thomas
5. Diamond White
3. Vino Alan
2. Tate Stevens
1. Carly Rose Sonenclar
Not quite an upheaval, since the top 3 is pretty much the same. Is there room for movement or are we looking at our future final round? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.