It was sad news for Paula Abdul on Thursday's The X Factor USA, with the judge having to choose between two of her own groups. Stereo Hogzz and Lakoda Rayne found themselves in the bottom two, with the former getting the boot despite a series of competent performances.
According to the Los Angeles Times, both groups performed in the "final showdown" to determine who would be narrowly missing out on the Top.10. While girl band Lakoda Rayne struggled with their pitch on Jordin Sparks' 'No Air', the Hogzz turned in a decent rendition of Michael Jackson's 'You Are Not Alone'. However, even the recent interest surrounding Jackson's manslaughter trial wasn't enough to save the band, who were surprisingly eliminated. Based on the two performances, L.A. REID and Nicole Scherzinger opted to save Lakoda, while Abdul opted to save the Hoggz after reluctantly being persuaded to vote by presenter Steve Jones. Head judge and show creator Simon Cowell could have sent the vote to "deadlock" by opting to save Stereo Hogzz, but instead decided to bring their time in the competition to an end, despite previously labelling them 'the best band in the world'. Live performances came from star Willow Smith and British singer Jessie J, who strutted around the stage in a bizarre colourful outfit.
Unsurprisingly, 13-year-old Rachel Crow sailed through into the Top 10 after a stirring rendition of 'I'd Rather Go Blind' on Wednesday's show. Crow and young rapper Astro are considered the favorites to win this year's competition.