Last Thursday’s X Factor results show ended on the saddest of notes, as adorable little Rachel Crow was eliminated, at which point she collapsed and sobbed and broke all of our hearts nine times over.

And it seems many of you are placing the blame for Rachel’s exit squarely on Nicole Scherzinger’s well-toned shoulders, since she’s the judge who refused to judge and thus left the choice up to America’s votes. Like that’s ever been a good idea.

(If you agree that the X Factor‘s whole “America’s votes only matter when the judges want them to matter, and what’s the point of a save-me song if you sing it the best and you’re still NOT SAVED” elimination process is flawed, you’ll probably enjoy this L.A. Times post about that.)

I don’t blame you if you’re still angry that our Shirley Temple 2.0 won’t be singing in this week’s X Factor semi-finals, but Rachel Crow and her mentor Simon Cowell want us to know that she’s going to be just fine. (Though we probably can’t say the same for Nicole, who cited her heart, not her brain, for her choice last week. And now we get to sit through two weeks’ worth of episodes in which she’s surely going to be even weepier than before.)

But now it’s time to look forward — for us, and for the four finalists, Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Marcus Canty — who are still in the running for that X Factor title, massive $5 million contract and coveted Pepsi Super Bowl commercial.

Speaking of Pepsi: Last week, the group was supposed to perform their Pepsi Challenge songs, which were voted on by fans on The X Factor website December 1-2, until a mix-up led the show to scrap the songs at the last minute. (Or was that “mix-up” just a Super Secret Pepsi “Challenge”?) This week, we’ll finally get to hear the songs that the fans chose for the final four. Let’s hope they voted smarter than they did for last week’s elimination!

Each performer will sing two songs — their Pepsi Challenge song and a song of their/their mentor’s choice — on this week’s performance episode, which airs Wednesday from 8pm to 9:30pm on FOX.

And, Speaking of the Schedule: This week, as I already mentioned, it’s the semi-finals.Which means that next week, it’s the FINALE! Finals, finale, finally.

Since this show changes times more often than a transatlantic flight, here’s the rest of the X Factor schedule for the show’s final two weeks:

Thursday, December 15: Live Results Show (When We’ll Find Out the Final Finalists), 8-9pm
Wednesday, December 21: Finale Part 1, 8-10pm
Thursday, December 22: Finale Part 2 (When They’ll Crown the Winner!), 8-10pm

Meanwhile, Across the Pond… :
It seems that the UK is more accepting of groups than we are, as the group “Little Mix” were crowned the X Factor UK winners last night. The four-member girl group have a retro Bratz doll thing going on that’s pretty fun. But ratings are down from last year! Whose fault is that? The deliciously tabloid-y Mirror has some ideas. I blame Coldplay.

And just for fun, check out what Melanie posted on her Facebook page this weekend: It’s the X Factor Top 4 sharing their Christmas cheer.

She also tweeted at Mariah Carey, and then Mariah tweeted back, and then Melanie tweeted again about how she was crying because Mariah tweeted at her. This is how the news works now.

Which X Factor semi-finalist are you rooting for?

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.