9:30pm PT by Cortney Wills
'X Factor' Results: Judges Are Shocked by Bottom Two
The X Factor continued its week of mega-cuts on Thursday night when the show sent two contestants packing in a double elimination episode.
But even with the drama of soon-to-crushed dreams and two guest performances, the results show still dragged on and on and on... until the last few minutes left host Mario Lopez and judges Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio scrambling make the final call before the clock ran out.
[Warning: spoilers ahead...]
Fittingly -- at least in name -- Sweet Suspense got the first ax of the night and no one seemed more surprised than the group's mentor, Simon Cowell. "Without being rude, there were worse people than you last night," he said. The second to be sent home was 29-year-old Rachel Potter, who was joined in the bottom two by 16-year-old Khaya Cohen.
Both girls were forced to sing for the last spot in the Final 10. Cohen gave her all on "Don't Give Up On," following a strong Wednesday night showing with a soulful spin on Madonna's, "Borderline." Indeed, Cohen seemed confident when the music stopped.
Potter probably should have stuck to her country roots on Wednesday instead of attempting to morph into a rocker chick like she did for Heart's "Alone." So it was no surprise that she returned to her sweet spot with Shania Twain's "From This Moment." But it wasn't enough to keep her in the game.
Kelly Rowland was admittedly annoyed at America's choices and struggled to make her decision when Lopez pushed for her verdict.
"There is no reason in the world why two of the best vocalists in this competition are in the bottom two -- I'm still beating my head against the wall over this," she lamented before getting snippy with the host. "You don't have to rush me, Mario! Don't be rushing me!"
After some serious pressure from Lopez, she decided to stick with her team member, and send Cohen home.
Paulina Rubio made a quicker call when she sent Potter packing and Demi Lovato had a hard time before she too opted to send the country cutie home. She shared Rowland's frustration and took time to remind viewers that they needed to vote for contestants even if they think they're the strongest despite. Lopez's frantic requests for her to speed things up.
Cowell was scowling by the time it was his turn to render a vote; he said he based his choice on "potential" and opted to keep Cohen around.
Other highlights of the 45-minutes-too-long episode: a pre-taped performance of "Slow Down This Song" by Selena Gomez, and season two's standouts, Fifth Harmony, who took the stage wearing really cute pajamas while they sang their latest single, "Me and My Girls" to an ecstatic audience.
Let's hope there's more action, and less dragged out drama during next week's show.