Pop Culture

Three judges are left standing on 'X Factor'

Ray Mickshaw / Fox / Today
"X Factor" judge Paula Abdul's final group in the competition, Lakoda Rayne, was eliminated on Wednesday.

It will be a sad and lonely table at the Paula Abdul house this Thanksgiving.

She became the first judge to zero out on “X Factor” when Lakoda Rayne got the fewest number of votes on Wednesday night. And Nicole Scherzinger’s not far behind -- she lost Leroy Bell after the oldest singer in the competition lost a sing-off with Marcus Canty, leaving her with just one candidate left.

Well, Leroy really lost among the voters, since the judges deadlocked at 2-2. But I’ll get to that in a sec.

The Lakoda Rayne elimination was the least dramatic ever. They were paired with Drew Ryniewicz onstage, and host Steve Jones told them that one was moving on and one had the fewest number of votes and was gone. I mean, I get that L.A. Reid didn’t like “Skyscraper,” and that he and Simon are continuing to have their totally-not-scripted-at-all battle over her song selection, but what were the odds that she got fewer votes than a band that was and is four soloists trying to harmonize?

Despite that, Steve gave his dramatic I’m-being-paid-by-the-seconds-of-dead-air pause, making Lakoda Rayne stand there in the get-it-over-with agony before finally and mercifully sending them home to join inTENsity and the Stereo Hogzz in group oblivion. At least that means Paula gets to relax from here on out instead of doing all that pesky mentoring.

The other elimination wasn’t as obvious, but was less surprising than it might originally appear. Astro was not in the bottom two this week after nearly getting kicked off a week ago, but if his followers were ever going to be energized it would have been after Tuesday’s show. He was safe, as was Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik and all the girls.

This left Bell and Canty in danger. Bell has been fairly criticized as sounding like a session singer, while Canty was the singer who performed the worst this week, the judges’ exaggerated praise notwithstanding. With L.A. and Nicole voting to save their own candidates, Paula gave her usual agonizing speech about how hard the job was, and then voted to save Bell.

That left it up to Simon, and he pulled a Paula and decided not to make a decision. Instead, he voted to save Marcus with the explicit reason that this would put the result in the hands of the American people, or at least the American people who remembered that the show was on Tuesday night this week.

Canty apparently has more to be thankful for, because the audience apparently liked him better. And it gives Simon and L.A. six of the remaining singers, so this mano-a-mano battle between the two men may soon involve higher stakes than song choices.

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