Two weeks from the finale of The X Factor season 3, it’s time to find out which four acts will compete in the semifinals. There were a lot of great performances, including two of the best yet from Alex and Sierra, and the judges basically told every single one of the six remaining acts that they deserve to be in the finale.

Recap: The Top 6 Perform>>

Tonight two go home, and we also get two performances from notable X Factor groups. There’s Little Mix, the only group to ever win The X Factor in either the U.K. or the U.S., and last season’s skater boys Emblem3. Will Simon’s two groups this season move on? Will Paulina Rubio and/or Kelly Rowland be eliminated from the competition?

I predict Rion Paige and Carlito Olivero will be eliminated, following their previous times in the bottom, but Jeff Gutt might have something to worry about after a perfectly average night.

Mario Lopez seriously needs to stop emphasizing the word “double” when talking about eliminations. It’s almost as annoying as Paulina Rubio.

Simon Cowell opens the show by taking a moment to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. “He was an incredible man, a selfless man.” Agreed.

Mario gives props to Jeff Gutt for being #5 on the iTunes Rock chart, Restless Road being #2 on the Country chart and Alex and Sierra’s “Say Something” hitting #1. Will that equal safety for those three?

The Results, Part 1

After a video about the intensity of a week in the lives of the acts, it’s time to get rid of one act.

Ellona Santiago is eliminated!

What? That’s a tragedy, she was so good and has been one of the best performers all season. She absolutely deserves to be in the semifinals. Mario adds that at this stage, every elimination is a shock. No, it really isn’t. If Rion or Carlito go, after previously being in the bottom three, it wouldn’t be all that shocking. Now Simon is the only mentor with two acts left while the others only have one each.

Mario talks to the remaining contestants. Rion shows her ruthless fangs by saying that she’s sad to lose Ellona, but at least she’s one step closer to winning.


These cute boys who finished fourth last season are back with their new single. These guys ooze swagger and really know how to work a stage and charm a crowd. I hope the Restless Road boys are taking notes. This is one of those songs and groups that instantly reminds me of summer break during my high school years. When the song is done they announce that they’ll be headlining their first national tour in early 2014, with tickets going on sale next week.

The Results, Part 2

Three acts will automatically move on to the semifinals. Will they be the three groups who topped the iTunes charts?

The first act in the semifinals is…Restless Road!
The second act in the semifinals is…Alex and Sierra! Simon is crushing it this year.
The third act in the semifinals is…Jeff Gutt!

So iTunes proves correct. Now it’s down to Rion vs. Carlito. It’s hardly shocking since both have been in the Final Showdown before. Will Paulina’s last boy be cut, or will Demi Lovato go from two acts to none in a single night?

They both talk about God’s will and shining their lights and all sorts of other religious stuff. Rion has her game face on and she kind of scares me. If this were The Hunger Games, Rion would definitely win. She’d have no problem brutally murdering everyone else to survive.

Little Mix

It’s the U.K. X Factor girls who are the only group to ever win. I don’t know much about them, but I’m impressed. They sound amazing, like a pop version of En Vogue.

The Final Showdown

Rion Paige goes with soft, sweet country music, singing Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me.” I still don’t like her overacting, but her voice is better than it was last night. Also, this song is way too treacly for me, capped off when Rion says “God bless” after she’s done. I once met a woman who told me about “Brandy, the dog that taught our family how to love.” I still laugh about it, so Rion’s Chicken Soup for the Soul-style performing doesn’t really work for me.

After being correctly introduced by Paulina, Carlito Olivero sings Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna,” playing up the smooth, suave, sexy dude in leather pants image he’s been forced into. He even goes into the audience, grabs a woman by the hand and sings to her while she clutches her heart and fans herself. And it turns out the girl is Demi Lovato’s sister! It works for me and Carlito is really finding himself.

The Final Results

In their final pleas, Rion says she just wants to spread the word of God and her inspirational story while Carlito is the scrapper and the underdog.

Demi Lovato votes to send home…Carlito Olivero!
Paulina Rubio votes to send home…Rion Paige!
Kelly Rowland votes to send home…Rion Paige!
Simon Cowell votes to send home…Rion Paige!

Rion Paige is eliminated!

Wow, the judges actually sent home the inspirational young girl. I’m OK with this, not just because I thought Carlito was better in the Final Showdown, but because Rion’s whole “I’m doing this for the Lord” is getting a little too preachy for me.

So in one night, Demi Lovato went from two acts to none and she is, surprisingly, the first mentor eliminated from the competition. Next week it’s the semifinalists and in two weeks, Alex and Sierra will win The X Factor. I hope.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.