Last night’s elimination episode of The X Factor featured a lot of twists and turns. Ultimately, two acts went home, but it was the latter of the two that was all the more shocking. After Lyric 145 was sent home at the beginning of the episode for having the lowest vote count, it was time for a sing-off, and Demi Lovato was forced into the troubling position of having to send one of two of her acts home.

If you’ve been watching the show, you would think CeCe would have been in the bottom two this week. However, pity votes or a renewed interest in the recent bombshell blonde propelled her to the number 5 slot this week, leaving Jennel Garcia and Paige Thomas in the bottom two. After both girls sang, Britney and L.A. opted to send Jennel—clearly not at her best last night—home. Simon briefly abstained, forcing Demi to make a choice. Clearly, Jennel was going home, and it would have been smarter to let the wounded puppy go rather than insult the contestant Lovato is going to have to continue to work with. But no, Demi chose to send Paige home, leaving Simon to knock Jennel out of the competition. It was awkward, and I’m sure it’s going to be more awkward when Demi has to work with Paige this week.

Here’s the thing, though. Making things awkward isn’t the worst thing a judge can do to a contestant. Openly lambasting a contestant still in the competition is literally the worst thing a judge can do, and this is exactly the trap Lovato fell into in an interview with People following the show.
"I genuinely think that Jennel is just more talented. I think that Paige has a more star quality to her--which is going to help her as an advantage. I think that Jennel definitely didn't deserve to go home, and I couldn't let her go home tonight."

Wow, it’s almost like she doesn’t even want her contestant to win. If Paige is looking out for herself, she will start sticking to her guns and making decisions on her own in the competition. Silly red glitter lips or no, she clearly didn’t deserve to be on the bottom last night, and with an apathetic mentor, she needs to be even more aware of what she needs to bring to the table to win. It’s a shame, because Paige is the best Lovato’s got, and was so even before Jennel went home.

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