USMagazine, Friday, November 9, 2012, 5:30am (PST)
Jason Brock was the first X Factor finalist to be voted off the show's second season.
Co-hosts Khloe Kardashian-Odom and Mario Lopez delivered the crushing news during the Nov. 8 episode after Brock, 35, went head-to-head with CeCe Frey, 21, in an effort to convince the judges he deserved another chance.
Frey performed Cher's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," from the 2010 Burlesque soundtrack. Brock, meanwhile, soared through Bonnie Tyler's 1983 hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
After both performances, Britney Spears, 30, and L.A. Reid, 56, voted to keep Brock in the competition, while Simon Cowell, 53, and Demi Lovato, 20, voted in favor of Frey. The decision ultimately came down to viewer votes, which sent Brock packing. Us Weekly caught up with the San Francisco resident after his elimination.
"I got to go with this, which is very me," said Brock, pointing to his ensemble, "and I got to do 'Total Eclipse of the Heart,' which is me, so I ended on a very 'me' note."
Brock wasn't entirely sure why he was kicked out of the competition, but he suggested it had something to do with his homosexuality. "I think that being gay is a wild card in itself. When you're gay, some people still aren't OK with you being gay. So there are actually people in the country -- I don't know how many -- who think it's actually wrong. So I wouldn't doubt it if that does hurt in a way."
Brock added, "I wanted people to know me as a gay person. A connection with the community that I feel is important."
During his exit speech, Brock told viewers, "I did it for the gays. . . and Japan!" The soulful singer later explained that his boyfriend is Japanese and currently lives in Japan. "I love it there and have visited recently and I do want to go back and maybe even work there," he told Us. "I just wanted to be clear that I really love Japan. Please give me a job, Japan! But I do want to work in America, too."
Brock admitted that "there is some relief" now that he's no longer vying for The X Factor's $5 million prize. "It was hard getting that kind of feedback and I wondered if it would go on forever. 'Is Simon always going to hate me?' I didn't want to hear that. But I was going to keep trying," he said. "But there is relief in that I don't have to try to win anymore. It's so hard to try and win a competition like this, but I am proud that I made it this far."
The aspiring musician -- who Spears once deemed a "Las Vegas lounge singer" -- envisions himself hosting a talk show and recording an album in the future. "Beyond that I'm not sure yet," he told Us. "It's all a bit unknown right now."
Tell Us: Do you think Jason Brock deserved to be eliminated?