Reality Rocks (New)

Group Shrink: ‘X Factor’ Results, or Why Paula Abdul May Soon Be Out of a Job

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

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The bottom two

Paula Abdul sure was right last week when she dejectedly sighed, "It's hard for America to connect to groups." But I bet she wishes she'd been wrong. Last Thursday, two of her charges, R&B quintet Stereo Hogzz and kiddy dectet InTENsity, were up for elimination on "The X Factor," and she was forced to send the "inconsolable" InTENsity home. This week, Paula was sadly saddled with a similar Sophie's choice (I assume "Paula's choice" will soon become its own colloquialism), when Stereo Hogzz landed in the bottom two again, this time with her other lone remaining act, country-pop girl group Lakoda Rayne. Yes, despite all her valiant mentoring efforts, Paula still had to vote off another one of her own protégés, after only two weeks of live "X Factor" competition.

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Lakoda Rayne face elimination

The fact that Stereo Hogzz were in the bottom two was not a huge shock; I'd predicted as much. But with Lakoda Rayne really being the only "X Factor" act representing the country genre at all--and with country music being massively popular in America, as evidenced by the last Scotty/Lauren-dominated season of "American Idol"--I figured the girls would be safe for at least a few more weeks. Apparently not. My only theory is maybe all of Lakoda's potential fans were watching the Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday night instead, and simply forgot to vote.

So the Hogzz and the Rayne battled it out (swan-song-singing Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" and Jordin Sparks's "No Air," respectively), and honestly, I thought Stereo Hogzz did a superior job. If it'd been up to me, the Hogzz would have been saved. But, of course, it was not up to me. L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger inexplicably voted to keep Lakoda Rayne instead, and at that point, Paula absolutely broke down. If she was just playing up her tears for the cameras, then I must say, she's one heck of an actress, or at least someone who cleverly knows how to create good television, because this was pure nail-biting TV drama here.

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Paula Abdul

"I am not going to do this. I can't do this. I am too close to both acts and I love them both very much. I'm not going to do this again!" Paula moaned melodramatically. Simon Cowell semi-sympathetically told her she didn't have to vote at all, if she didn't want to...but then overly aggressive, seemingly reptilian-blooded host Steve Jones practically twisted Paula's QVC-bracelet'd arm, pointing out that if she abstained from voting, the majority vote would rule and Stereo Hogzz's elimination would already be a "done deal." Paula, who'd clearly favored the Hogzz all season by giving them her most bombastic productions and most elaborately choreographed routines, then blurted out, "I want to save the Stereo Hogzz! I want the Stereo Hogzz to at least have this chance!"

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Simon casts his vote

However, there was no chance for Stereo Hogzz: Simon voted them off as well (no shocker, considering his well-known penchant for pretty, "D.O.A." female singers). Thus, a deadlock was avoided; if there had been a deadlock, whichever group had received the fewest public votes this week would have been eliminated by default, and I have a feeling it might have been the Stereo Hogzz anyway, considering their bottom-two showing last week. Still, it sure would've been interesting to see which of the two acts really was the less popular with America's voters.

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Nicole consoles Paula

So, when all the dust and drama had settled, Paula was left with Lakoda Rayne, a prefab assortment of solo singers who never wanted to be in a group in the first place, as her only hope to stay in this game. A sad state of affairs indeed, since I'd always thought the Hogzz were actually Paula's best bet. It's pretty obvious by now that it's only a matter of time, maybe only a matter of one more week, before Paula finds herself twiddling her well-manicured thumbs with no one to mentor at all, when Lakoda Rayne are inevitably voted off as well.

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Stereo Hogzz go home

While some "X Factor U.K." groups, like One Direction and JLS, have gone on to great success after their respective seasons, in general, ensemble acts have never fared well on any actual international version of "The X Factor"--in fact, only one group has EVER won, in Season 2 of "The X Factor Spain." So the odds are not in Paula's favor here, and I feel really bad for her. I am not the biggest fan of Lakoda Rayne personally, but I am already dreading the night that I have to watch Paula say goodbye to them.

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