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'The X Factor' U.S. 2013 Episode 22: Ellona Santiago and Rion Paige eliminated

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The Girls category (female solo singers ages 12 to 24) mentored by Demi Lovato was completely obliterated in one night, as Ellona Santiago and Rion Paige were ousted from "The X Factor" U.S. in a double-elimination episode that Fox televised on Dec. 5, 2013.

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Santiago was the first to go, as it was revealed that she received the lowest number of the public's votes based on the previous episode's performances. And speaking of those performances, the judges' comments about wanting to buy some of these performances on iTunes really must have influenced sales, because it was announced that as of Dec. 5, 2013, Alex & Sierra's version of A Great Big World's "Say Something" peaked at No. 1 on the iTunes (U.S.) Top 100 Songs chart; Restless Road's version of Avicii's "Wake Me Up" was No. 2 on iTunes (U.S.) Country Songs chart; and Jeff Gutt's version of Nilsson's "Without You" was No. 5 on iTunes (U.S.) Rock Songs chart. That's the best chart showing that "The X Factor" U.S. has had for any of its contestants who are still on the show. "The X Factor" U.S. may be dying in the ratings, but there still may be some life in the music-selling potential of some of these contestants.

As for this episode's elimination of Santiago, despite getting some of the best reviews from the show's judges in the past few weeks, she may have fallen short when it came to her personality in connecting with voters. Simon Cowell once told Santiago that was like a "singing, dancing puppet," before he started giving her better reviews and told her that she had what it took to win in the competition. It was the first time that Santiago was in the bottom three for getting votes, so her elimination is no doubt a disappointing surprise to her supporters.

In her farewell statement, a visibly shocked Santiago said: "A lot's going through my mind. I don't know. I didn't give the strongest performance last night, and I just hope that I can have another chance."

Lovato, who was Santiago's "X Factor" mentor, joined Santiago on stage and had this to say after Santiago was eliminated: "I'm actually speechless and disappointed because a lot of really amazing people have been sent home that didn't deserve to go home so soon. And Ellona is definitely one of them."

(Click here to watch Ellona Santiago get eliminated.)

Then "X Factor" U.S. host Mario Lopez announced that the other two contestants in the bottom three of getting votes were Paige and Carlito Olivero, so Paige and Olivero had to do a "save me" sing-off for the judges (Cowell, Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio and Lovato). It was the second time in the bottom three for Paige and Olivero.

Paige sang Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me" in was pitchy and showed she still has problems enunciating lyrics when she sings. Olivero performed Usher's "You Make Me Wanna" that actually pretty good (he wasn't as off-key as Paige), and he showed more charisma on stage than Paige by going into the audience and making contact with and flirting with some of the women in the crowd.

(Click here to watch Rion Paige's performance.)

(Click here to watch Carlito Olivero's performance.)

Not surprisingly, Lovato (who is Paige's "X Factor" mentor) voted to eliminate Olivero, while Rubio (who is Levi's "X Factor" mentor) voted to eliminate Paige.

Since Lovato's and Rubio's votes tied at one for each contestant, that left Cowell and Rowland to cast the deciding votes. Rowland and Cowell voted to eliminate Paige.

And with that elimination, there were no more contestants left in the Girls category, leaving Lovato without any more acts to mentor in the competition. This is the second year in a row that Lovato failed to have any of her contestants make it into the "X Factor" finals.

In her farewell statement, Paige commented, "I know that being 13 years old and going through this is really rough, because we have to balance school and everything, but I have gone up here every week and schooledl everybody on how much I love the Lord."

(Click here to watch Rion Paige get eliminated.)

The guest performers in this episode were two groups who are "X Factor" alumni: male trio Emblem3 (which came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012) and Little Mix (winner of "The X Factor" U.K. in 2011). Emblem3 did "One Day" which was full of off-key moments, while Little Mix did "Move," which was a much better performance, full of sass and great harmonies and solos.

At the end of Emblem3's performance, the group announced that it was doing a headlining tour of the U.S in 2014. Little Mix didn't get to say anything after performing.

(Click here to watch Emblem3's performance.)

(Click here to watch Little Mix's performance.)

Here are the remaining Top 4 "X Factor" U.S. contestant acts of 2013:

Boys (male solo singers ages 12 to 24) - mentored by Paulina Rubio

  • Carlito Olivero

Over 25s (solo singers ages 25 and over) - mentored by Kelly Rowland

  • Jeff Gutt

Groups - mentored by Simon Cowell

  • Alex & Sierra
  • Restless Road

Dec. 6, 2013 update: Ratings for "The X Factor" U.S. continue to be in a dismal state. According to the Nielsen Company, the episode that aired on Dec. 5, 2013, got only 4.93 million U.S. viewers. The episode finished in fourth place in its time slot (8 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST/PST) and ninth overall of the 13 prime-time U.S. network shows that aired that night.

Here are the rankings of the U.S. prime-time network shows on Dec. 5, 2013:

  1. "The Sound of Music Live!" (NBC) — 18.62 million U.S. viewers
  2. "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS) — 15.63 million U.S. viewers
  3. "The Millers" (CBS) — 9.23 million U.S. viewers
  4. "Two and a Half Men" (CBS) — 8.47 million U.S. viewers
  5. "Elementary" (CBS) — 8.29 million U.S. viewers
  6. "Scandal" (ABC) — 8.27 million U.S. viewers
  7. "The Crazy Ones" (CBS) — 7.58 million U.S. viewers
  8. "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC) — 7.02 million U.S. viewers
  9. "The X Factor" (Fox) — 4.93 million U.S. viewers
  10. "Glee" (Fox) — 3.29 million U.S. viewers
  11. "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" (ABC) — 3.24 million U.S. viewers
  12. "The Vampire Diaries" (CW) — 2.36 million U.S. viewers
  13. "The Originals" (CW) — 1.66 million U.S. viewers
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