06:12 PM EDT 12/09/2013
Originally posted 12/06/2013 08:40AM
It's hard enough for The X Factor judges to say goodbye to one of their contestants during an elimination show, but on Thursday night Demi Lovato was devastated when her two remaining team members – Ellona Santiago and Rion Paige – were eliminated.
"I'm actually pretty speechless and disappointed," said an upset Lovato after learning that Santiago, 17, would be the first contestant going home. "She could've won this competition."
Lovato wasn't the only one who was shaken by Santiago's elimination. Fellow judge Kelly Rowland looked surprised, with her eyes and mouth opening wide and her hand placed on her heart as she stared at Santiago in disbelief.
Host Mario Lopez's voice also softened as he said it was "a real shock here on the stage and in the audience."
Originally posted 12/05/2013 08:50AM
The tears were flowing from the contestants and judges on Wednesday night's emotional The X Factor as the final six singers fought to make it into next week's semifinals.
For the first time this season, contestants performed two songs, one from a diva and one "unplugged," which is when the raw emotions began to surface.
The waterworks started after Simon Cowell's group Restless Road performed "Wake Me Up!" by Avicii. The trio began crying when Kelly Rowland told them "each one of you left your hearts" on the stage.
Originally posted 11/29/2013 09:10AM
On Wednesday's episode of The X Factor, judges Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio all agreed that contestant Lillie McCloud's crowd-pleasing performance of "Summertime" was the best she'd ever done and gave the 54-year-old singer a standing ovation.
But the lone holdout – Simon Cowell – remained seated. "For me, it was just all a little bit too contained … too thought out," he complained. "It wasn't raw enough for me."
It seemed that viewers agreed with Cowell, as McCloud received the lowest number of votes and was the first act to leave the competition during Thursday's double elimination. And while host Mario Lopez noted there was "shock here in the audience," McCloud took the news well, expressing gratitude for the opportunity.
Originally posted 11/28/2013 09:55AM
In The X Factor's pre-Thanksgiving episode Wednesday night, it was clear the female judges would have preferred that Simon Cowell sit at the children's table.
The most heated exchange took place following Lillie McCloud's soaring performance of "Summertime," which earned a standing ovation from all the judges except Cowell, who said it "wasn't raw enough."
"I just wish I had been mentoring you," he said. "I would have done so much better."
Originally posted 11/21/2013 10:20AM
It was a British invasion on Wednesday's The X Factor, as the Top 10 took on songs from across the pond.
Jeff Gutt, 37, "rocked" this week, literally and critically, singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.
Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato were unanimous in their praise of the Over 25s singer, saying, "This is by far your best performance."
Originally posted 11/15/2013 08:30AM
On Wednesday's episode of The X Factor, judge Simon Cowell predicted that contestant Carlito Olivero would "go home" this week following his lackluster performance of "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You."
But on Thursday night, an annoyed Cowell rolled his eyes when it was revealed that not only was Olivero, 24, staying put this week, but that he was the first contestant to make it through to the top 10.
Adding insult to injury, the girl group Sweet Suspense – whose performance of the Tony Basil song "Mickey" left Cowell raving that they were "the best of the night" on Wednesday – was sent home in a shocking elimination that host Mario Lopez repeatedly described as "an unpopular decision."
Originally posted 11/14/2013 08:45AM
The X Factor was all about big hair and even bigger results Wednesday night.
Carlos Guevara was the first Top 13 contestant to be eliminated as the show kicked off by announcing results after last week's technical glitch nullified the voting.
Then it was back to the '80s, as the contestants took on songs from the era of Madonna's fingerless-gloved heyday.
Originally posted 11/08/2013 11:10AM
One of The X Factor's contestants was supposed to be sent home Thursday after the Top 13 got down with Motown on Wednesday night.
But when voting information from Wednesday's show turned out to be incorrect – the result of a graphics error during the recap – contestants were asked to perform again on Thursday.
The impromptu performance show, which gave the singers less than 24 hours to prepare, was chaotic: Contestant after contestant was brought out in speedy fashion, and the judges were forced to deliver their comments quickly (often only one or two of the judges got a word in after a performance).
The craziness was summed up perfectly by host Mario Lopez, who said, "This is sort of like speed dating ... but speed singing."
Originally posted 11/07/2013 08:25AM
The X Factor got down with Motown Wednesday night as the Top 12 performed hits from the legendary record label.
Make that the Top 13: The live show kicked off with a surprise, as Josh Levi, who was eliminated from the Boys team by mentor Paulina Rubio last week, was invited back as a wild card.
Levi, 15, sang "Who's Loving You" by the Jackson 5, and earned raves from the judges, including Simon Cowell who said, "You went from zero to hero."
Originally posted 10/30/2013 08:55AM
After a baseball-induced hiatus, The X Factor returned with its own playoffs on Tuesday night, as one performer from each category – Boys, Girls, Over 25s and Groups – was eliminated.
Ellona Santiago, 17, kicked off the live show for the Girls with "Till the World Ends" by Britney Spears, which prompted a standing ovation from mentor Demi Lovato.
Bespectacled bookworm Danie Geimer, 15, sang "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus, a performance that had judge Simon Cowell asking, "How do we make you not boring?"
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On People.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!