Results night on "The X Factor" produced a pair of surprising victims Thursday as Paige Thomas and Vino Alan both walked the plank.
In some ways, we could see this coming. Paige has consistently flirted with the lower half of the leaderboard and Vino's performance of "You Lost That Loving Feeling" on Wednesday was roundly panned.
On the other hand, Paige delivered what the judges called her best performance of the season on Wednesday, and Vino's gritty/soulful voice had boosted him to the No. 3 spot in the rankings for three straight weeks. His ouster illustrated just how fast the voters can turn on someone, and how much give there is in these new "X Factor" rankings.
Meanwhile, the contestant we thought was surely headed home -- CeCe Frey -- managed to cheat reality TV death once again, despite a warning issued by Simon Cowell to have her bags packed and ready to go. CeCe has become this season's "X Factor" cockroach and it has us scratching our heads. Just who is voting for this woman?
Paige received her walking papers in the opening moments of the show -- an elimination co-host Mario Lopez called "a bit of a shocker." But the singer, nevertheless, accepted her ouster with a smile.
"I'm excited because now I get to go home and really put in the work and show everyone that I've got bigger and better things to do," she said.
Vino, meanwhile, locked up in a Bottom 2 sing-off with 13-year-old Diamond White.
Diamond went first, performing another Beyonce song, "I Was Here," that was heartfelt, but marred by several flat notes. Vino actually did a better job on "Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne, but it's clear that "X Factor" prefers its young budding stars (better for contemporary radio) over middle-aged performers.
The two mentors, of course, backed their own singers with L.A. voting to send Diamond home and Britney Spears giving the thumbs down to Vino. That left it up to Demi Lovato and Simon, both of whom voted to toss aside Vino.
"Stay inspired. Keep in touch," Vino said. "I'm going to keep making music."
That leaves just singers vying for that $5 million recording contract, and for the second straight week little Carly Rose Sonenclar deservedly topped the standings, though only 1/10th of 1 percent separated her and No. 2 contestant Tate Stevens, Here's how the leaderboard breaks down this week:
1. Carly Rose Sonenclar
2. Tate Stevens
3. Emblem 3
4. Fifth Harmony
5. CeCe Frey
6. Diamond White
Elimination night also featured performances by Alicia Keys and former "X Factor" contestant Josh Krajcik.