USMagazine, Friday, December 7, 2012, 6:15am (PST)
The X Factor semi-finalists have been revealed!
On Dec. 5, the final six acts performed two songs each in the hopes of moving forward in the competition. The following night began with a crushing blow for Demi Lovato's only remaining contestant, CeCe Frey, who was the first artist eliminated.
"I'm proud of everything that I've done on this show," the 21-year-old Decatur, Illinois, native said. "I hope I've taught everyone at home that you need to love who you are, because the more you love who you are, the less you're going to need anybody else to."
"I've grown so close to you," Lovato told Frey. "And I'm just so proud of you."
Judge Simon Cowell had been particularly hard on Frey, whose most recent performances included covers of Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory" and Katy Perry's "Part of Me." (In the Dec. 5 episode, he told Frey, "I don't think you're worth a $5 million contract.")
Fifth Harmony sang Mariah Carey's "Anytime You Need a Friend" before White performed Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." Both Cowell, 53, and Spears, 31, voted to send each other's acts home. Lovato, 20, and Reid, 56, then voted to keep Fifth Harmony in the competition.
Before White left the stage, Lovato offered some encouraging words for the 13-year-old singer. "I'm just thinking of Cher Lloyd right now," she said, referencing the British "Want U Back" singer. "She came in fifth and look where she is."
Season 1 champ Melanie Amaro also returned to the stage to perform that night. "I had nerves. I don't know if you noticed," she admitted to Us Weekly at the post-show viewing party. "It's like, 'Oh my God, Simon is watching me!' But what was good was the fact that I didn't have to sing and then get criticized. I feel bad for the contestants."
Cowell also shot down rumors that Spears and Lovato will perform a duet during the show's finale. "I don't think it's going to happen," he told Us. "I could always ask, but I don't think it's going to happen."
Tell Us: Do you think the right acts were sent home on The X Factor?