Kirstin Says: Is Rachel Crow, 13, Too Young For The 'X Factor' Spotlight?

Fri, December 9, 2011 3:23am EDT by 86 Comments
Rachel Crow X Factor

After witnessing Rachel Crow’s emotional breakdown when she learned she had been voted off ‘The X Factor,’ I have to wonder if producers should raise the age limit next season

First it was Astro and then it was Rachel Crow…and neither were pretty. When Astro — who was 14 when he started The X Factor and 15 when he left — was placed in the bottom two for the first time, he threw a hissy fit and refused to sing his save song. Only a couple weeks later on Dec. 8, Rachel, 13, was voted off and fell to the floor in a fit of tears. Is all of the pressure of live, reality TV too much for kids to handle?

Don’t get me wrong. As a former child performer myself, I’m 100% supportive of kids in show biz, but I have to wonder if a show of this magnitude is healthy. It’s already stressful enough to keep things together when you’re a grown person, but to be barely out of middle school and riding the roller coaster that is The X Factor? Forget about it.

In the beginning, I raved about Simon Cowells decision to lower the age limits. “The kids make the show!” I wrote. It’s true…they really do. Kids and animals, they’ll steal any show. We get attached to them; we’re impressed by their talents; and most of all, they pull at our heart strings and bring out the emotion. In essence, kids = ratings.

However, after tonight’s display (combined with Astro’s attitude), I’d like to ask FOX producers to consider increasing the age limit of their show. When she learned Marcus Canty made the semi-finals over her, Rachel LITERALLY fell to the ground, stole any attention from him and started sobbing like she’d just seen a murder. It was so upsetting, her mom and Simon sprinted to the stage and picked her up, both promising it would be okay.

“You PROMISE?” she screamed, through her sobs. Jeez, it broke my heart — but it was also really unsettling. It felt like I was watching a human being come undone before my very eyes.

I guess moments like this are what make reality television so entertaining. But I think we need to think twice before allowing our source of entertainment to come from kids younger than 16.

What do you think? Were Astro and Rachel just coincidences? (After all, Drew didn’t break down like them.) Or should The X Factor age limits be raised? Sound off below!

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Barbara

Posted at 9:29 PM on December 11, 2011  

I agree with Etta!!!! Rachael acted like a spoiled brat when she was voted off the x factor. I am glad she is gone. She always acted like she had th plom disease(poor lil o me). There are a lot of people that have only one bathroom. Get over it Rachael, it’s a harsh world out there!!!!!!

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Guest

Posted at 11:05 AM on December 12, 2011  

100% agree with Barb!

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Austin

Posted at 11:09 PM on December 12, 2011  

I completely disagree with Barb and “Guest”. Seriously, this child was under pressure you could not imagine in your entire life. It is very easy to sit being a keyboard and make snotty comments. Try getting out there yourself. Then you will see.

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Judie

Posted at 8:42 PM on December 11, 2011  

I was just thinking,,,, what about having a contest for ages 10 to 15 or around those ages? That might be an idea so that age group would be competing with kids their own age.

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Judie

Posted at 8:27 PM on December 11, 2011  

Is anyone considering Marcus’s feelings? He had more votes than Rachel, so why should he be “neglected” for making it through to the next round? I actually felt bad for him, even though I voted for someone else. And nobody went that “nasty” when Simon went to deadlock with Leroy Bell and Marcus . Simon could have voted Marcus off at that point if he thought he was so terrible. Leroy Bell had a lot of support, too. There is only one winner, and at some point, a favorite may be voted off. Nicole liked Marcus all the way through, so I can see why she was too upset to vote either Rachel or Marcus out. She did the right thing, left it up to the public. Just like the public wanted it that way for Drew.

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leah

Posted at 12:22 PM on December 11, 2011  

Once again Kirstin, you are totally right. I love Rachel and I’m sure she’s going to have an awesome career, but her meltdown confirmed that she’s either too young or had NEVER been talked to about the possiblity of being eliminated at some point and what that would feel like. To all of the posters saying Nicole should do her job – I agree. I think Nicole is so talented, but judging is clearly not her thing. Hopefully Simon can revamp X-Factor for the next go around.

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NikiMarie

Posted at 12:10 PM on December 11, 2011  

Kristin… let me guess… from the way you wrote this article, it sounds to me you haven’t been following the X factor closely, and you definitely did not watch the elimination show when Drew was sent home by Paula and Nicole. If you had watched it, you’d know that Drew most certainly cried, and cried quite a bit. Simon was holding on to her for a long time as she cried, stopped, and started crying again.

Also, Rachel is still only 13. During the commercial break, everyone told Rachel that she would be safe, after all, this was Marcus’ 3rd time in the bottom two. Also, Rachel’s survival song was beyond extraordinary. Rachel was in shock when her name was called as the person to leave, and she reacted accordingly. She was not overly dramatic, she was being who she was, a 13 year old girl with her dream in tatters. She didn’t have the life experience of the older contestants to know that it isn’t the end of the world.

Rather than raise the lower end of the age limit, perhaps Simon should hire a coach to help ALL the contestants, but most especially the minors, on how to graciously deal with an elimination, especially since ALL but one will have to go through it. It may not make for the drama that viewers and the producers may actually want though. Imagine if everyone who was eliminated just smiled and thanked everyone politely. Boring, right?

p.s. you also failed to mention that the group InTENsity, which were mostly minors, also shed tears when they were the first to leave the competition after performing as one of the Top 12 acts.

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Susan

Posted at 11:19 PM on December 12, 2011  

Well Said NikiMarie! They seriously need to make me changes on xFactor. I believe the studio audience should vote instead of the Judges when 2 singers have to sing their save me songs. That would be more fair. Also L.A.’s comments about Rachael going to Hollywood (the week prior) contributed to Rachael getting lower votes. People felt, “Well, she has it made already with Hollywood calling” and they voted for someone else instead.

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Vinny

Posted at 1:23 AM on December 11, 2011  

As I’m reading these comments and all I can think is are you kidding me?

So seeing a child cry because they loss is so disturbing that you want to take away an opportunity for someone to go after there dreams. Get over it people, we have emotions and displaying them is human.

Maturity is not based on age, and for that reason the age limit should stay as is.

Did you not remember what it was like to be 13-16 years of age. Life was so wonderful because we lived in the moment and every situation was grave. All that everyone is writing about is something realized in hindsight.

Marcus’ moment? Fox does such a bad time planning the timing of this show that there was no moment to get.

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Mrs. Strother

Posted at 6:11 PM on December 10, 2011  

Of course the age limit should be raised and if Simon Cowell gives (in truth) half a fig about his contestants rather his money, then he will do it. Of course by doing so, he may stand to lose making the odd million or two. If he doesn’t, for me it speaks volumes for him as a man.

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Guest

Posted at 11:07 AM on December 12, 2011  

Well said, Mrs S…

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Kaila

Posted at 5:47 PM on December 10, 2011  

I believe Rachael Crow will go far :)
And honestly, to those adults picking on her saying she “stole Marcus’ moment” need to quit lying to themselves. Marcus was in the bottom two three weeks in a row, that feeling of relief should be familiar to him, no offense to Marcus, I’m sure he’s a nice guy in real life but, we all know Rachael deserved to stay.

I won’t be surprised if I see her face somewhere on TV in the next 6 months, she’s destined to be a star. Marcus on the other hand, I will be.

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Sue

Posted at 11:22 PM on December 12, 2011  

Right on!

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mary

Posted at 3:28 PM on December 10, 2011  

I completely agree with Kristin. I felt bad for Marcus that his moment was stolen away by Rachel who acted like a spoiled brat and broke down in front of milliions of people. It was very disturbing to watch.

Then they say Nicole really thought america voted for Rachel
so she was completely shocked thinking Marcus was the one next to
go and this is what Simon is saying to the press. Ah, Marcus
has feelings too. It’s not very nice how he’s been treated,

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Cat

Posted at 8:43 AM on December 10, 2011  

I felt really bad for Rachel, from day 1 I have been voting for her, and a few others. My heart went out to her. As far as their ages, I feel that is a good age – what if it was competition for ages 10-14, it’s still a competition. Rachel, Astro and Drew were giving it their all, with the older contestants. It is an emotional roller coaster for any adult much less a child. But hey they were troopers and I feel someone will pick these 3 kids up and they will be on their way to the path that is meant for them to take. I wish them well and I will keep voting for the others that I have been voting for too..

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Tammy

Posted at 4:20 AM on December 10, 2011  

to be honest i think there was no need for Rachael to cry like that because before she cried she stood staring and just feel to the floor

i think it was a bit dramatic for me even though she is great singer

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Noel

Posted at 2:50 AM on December 10, 2011  

A big part of the problem is that so many kids have it burned into their mind that success and fame are one-touch, push button, auto-pilot guarantees. Whether it’s X-Factor, AI, SYTYCD, etc., there’s is always somebody with a tearjerker backstory about how hard up they are, and how they’ve “wanted this all their life”… in Rachel’s case all my life is 14 years??? Get real! You haven’t even STARTED school to learn what life is about, or how you even fit in. No one seems to want to WORK towards anything, let alone work for it.

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Becky Markley

Posted at 2:28 AM on December 10, 2011  

Give me a break! Rachel Crow was all smiles and positive with poise throughout this entire show season UNTIL she was on the losing end. Yes, she is young, but our entire family’s impression was that she acted like a thwarted and spoiled child when she lost. Come on, let’s get real — she got air time with millions of viewers and fans, got pampered for months while she honed and crafted her vocal art. She got up to near semi-finals over thousands of others. All this at age 14 with her whole life ahead of her! When we watched it, we were all glad she hadn’t won because we would have never known she could be such a poor loser. Thank goodness she had the character (and prompting from Simon I’ll bet) to be gracious later and get it in perceptive. While I am not for or against Marcus, he is older with less time than Rachel. And what about Leroy Bell at age 60? What if he had fallen to the ground and cried and bawled for his mommy? He is truly a champion as is Marcus in the area of graciouness and humility. And why blame Nicole? America did get the final say and Marcus was the winner of that vote fair and square.

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moi

Posted at 11:27 PM on December 9, 2011  

the host is horrible and has not feeling!! “off you go marcus?” honestly… they need to send the host away!

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austin

Posted at 11:22 PM on December 9, 2011  

give me a break. 1st of all I’m 55 and I would have broke down crying too. If I knew I best the the other person in the saveme song and still had a 5 million dollar prize snatched from me by some *(grownup) indecisive judges who play with the edges of the rules, and circumvent same when it’s convenient. It not the age that is the problem it’s the rule base of the show. They have a theme week that apparently not everybody has to adhere to, they have a save me song that is suppose to save the best of the two with the least amount of votes, that can’t save you. that in manipulation by the show, not immaturity by the contestants.

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diane

Posted at 12:16 AM on December 10, 2011  

I totally agree! The kids bounced back after displaying immediate emotions. Nicole coudn’t make a decision that should have easily and professionally and in an adult manner be made and could not take the booing. So! She ran off stage and cried for 2 hours or more while a 13 year old held it together and consoled her. Whose age limit needs to be increased?

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Sue

Posted at 11:24 PM on December 12, 2011  

I TOTALLY agree!

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Carlos Grenald

Posted at 8:39 PM on December 9, 2011  

THE AGE LIMIT IS FINE, IT’S IS A REALITY SHOW. NICOLE IS HIRED TO MAKE DECISIONS NOT TO BE ALL FRANTIC & SOBING ALL ON TV. WE WATCH THE SHOW FOR THE CONTESTANTS NOT TO SEE A JUDGE THAT CAN’T HANDLE DECISIONS.

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diane

Posted at 12:21 AM on December 10, 2011  

Exactly! The kids handed the pressure by releasing their emotions and bouncing back. They tell it as it is and grow and learn from mature, adults. Nicole? 33 years old! Cannot be mature in decision making and presentation. Excuses are being made for her. She sobbed unprofessionally and handled herself immaturely and not well at all. Bad example for the young kids! Her age limit to judge should be increased! Not punish the kids with an age limit and try to say they cannot handle the limelight. They did! They expressed themselves showed the true level of emotion and bounced back. Nicole cried when she had to make a decision, couldn’t made one, was seeing looking toward LA and seen twice looking toward Paula and obviously getting advice. Oh, that is mature and professional! dah!

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Sham

Posted at 12:49 PM on December 12, 2011  

I do not think kids that age are prepared for disappointment on such a global scale. They have to rethink and I hope they will raise the age limit.

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Sue

Posted at 11:27 PM on December 12, 2011  

I agree. She should be replaced as a Judge. She failed to do her job. The save me song should have saved Rachael. She was amazing. Marcus has been in the bottom 2 three times…. the people keep speaking to the judges but they are not listening. He should have been sent home and Rachael should have stayed if they wanted to show ANY fairness at all.

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jecayla astro fan

Posted at 7:49 PM on December 9, 2011  

i think it should not go up because it gives kids a chance to follow there dream .even if the do get voted of the still could get discoverd a big time record producer could be wachin the show and and say that little kid can sing they could stilll be famouse and it would give them a chance to burst out there talent i am sure i will be seeing rachel crow and astro name in lights one day byeeeeeeeee!

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jbledsoe

Posted at 7:29 PM on December 9, 2011  

OK first let clarify A “hissy Fit” Kirstin SERIOUSLY, Do you have kids?? she was reacting to losing something she worked VERY HARD for and that her family sacrificed ALOT for NOT pitching a fit because she didnt get a candy bar!! HELLO she kept her compsure during the entire competition. better than most AND was humble and thankful I doubt raising the age will stop that she handled her experience better than most adults

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Sue

Posted at 11:28 PM on December 12, 2011  

You are exactly right about everything you have said.

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nativeamericane1

Posted at 5:09 PM on December 9, 2011  

Now that I think about this show and whether the age should be a factor, it is not so much the age as it is making sure that it is pounded and understood that everybody can’t win. Nobody likes to lose. Let it be known that if one loses, does not mean one has failed in life, instead, the loss should be taken as a learning experience to humble and build one’s life based on the experience. Loss, humility, failure is all a part of life and should be used as fuel to persevere.
Rachel, you are strong-willed and let this be a lesson to you – YOU HAVE NOT LOST, YOU ARE A WINNER – for you have won the hearts of many.

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mylo

Posted at 4:56 PM on December 9, 2011  

Rachel Crowe is going to be the next Etta James, for such a young girl such a voice, wisdom, and grace, she should still be on the X Factor, I think Nichole did it to spite Simon and it is his show and he should get rid of her.
Good luck Rachel, I promise all your dreams will come true and SOON, someone will sign you for sure .

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nativeamericane1

Posted at 5:13 PM on December 9, 2011  

Stop pointing the finger and move on. If you blame others, you will never achieve greatness.

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nativeamericane1

Posted at 4:56 PM on December 9, 2011  

Rachel, as I look at you, I think of my childhood. I am of mixed race, also. Years from now, you will appreciate your experiences. I can tell that you really enjoy what you do. Sometimes, you remind me of a baby Etta James. Hold your head up high and remember that all things happen for a reason. You will go far, without fail. You will never be forgotten – all cards are now lined up in your favor and put God first in your life; He will carry you through. Look at Marcus – he always puts God first; he is not going to fail, regardless as to how others vote. You are a sweet girl, a cutie, and I can tell your heart is pure. All the best.

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Laken

Posted at 4:55 PM on December 9, 2011  

You all make really good points. I’m not really sure if age is the problem in this case. more like personality and adittude issues they need to work out. I was a little disappointed when I saw Racheal Crow, who I thought was one of the sweetest girls in this competetion, had a little tantrum on stage. Boy did my opinion change after i saw that. Don’t get me wrong Marcus is absolutely my favorite but I was a little nervous about elimination. i agree i think her problem was definetly overconfidence. I mean its always good to believe in yourself, but you can’t be 100% sure of things. you could completely tell Racheal was sure she was staying when the guy was about to read who’s name was in the envelope,she was practically grinning. which just made me want marcus to stay even more because he was sure he was going home. I’m not saying im glad she’s gone im saying im glad marcus is still in the competition. so my point is its not so much age its more what stage of matturity you are at.

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austin

Posted at 11:29 PM on December 9, 2011  

she was grinning because she beat him hands down and she knew it. And what happened was not tantrum. (Astro was a tantrum) sHE BROKE DOWN BECAUSE A 5 MILLION DOLLAR dream was stolen from her by a weakly rule structured show and weak minded judges who apparently don’t know what their there to do.

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sonia

Posted at 4:46 PM on December 9, 2011  

that was a BAD decision Nicole made.I think that Rachel was my favorite from day one.grown people react badly when disappointed. I predict that she will be a BIG BIG STAR.Marcus unfortunaely,is nothing special.I don’t think his career will be quite as long. rachel is a wonderful and honest child.may God bless her.

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gbtw

Posted at 3:53 PM on December 9, 2011  

i haven’t watched this show- tho watched the thing with astro, and drew’s elimination, through this website. i didn’t realize it was all kids- or so many kids- and i have to say, i am very disturbed by it, even before reading this HORRIFIC story. i cannot imagine how i would feel if i were that poor girl’s mom— the guilt at allowing my child to do something that would cause her so much pain. sure, if she won, she’s set for life (maybe)- and it would be a great gift, but is a child’s mental health worth that? i know when we get older we have to learn to deal with losing and sadness and all that, but why put a child in that position in front of millions of people. as you say- they are ratings, and it’s kind of disgusting that it’s set up for that very reason. i don’t know… it’s probably not even that bright a line. an 8 year old probably wouldn’t realize the ramifications of losing out on such a big opportunity by losing… so they wouldn’t flip. but a teenager who maybe has heard mom and dad or someone say how important the contest is to changing their entire life, the life of their family- that’s too much damn pressure. if one kid gets a shot at fame and changes their life and the life of their family, is that worth the handful of kids that get destroyed by it? i don’t know. but, for me, i find this disgusting. i would not be proud of my show if i were simon.

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mesquite fran

Posted at 1:23 PM on December 9, 2011  

I don’t think the solution is to raise the age of the contestants. The solution is in the hands of the adults who handle these kids. It was obvious that Rachel had been led to believe, by her Mom, and probably others that she was a super-star who could not lose. Maybe a dose of reality, meaning being told that she should do her best, and enjoy the experience would have minimized her breakdown. The look of surprise when she was eliminated, said it all. I”m not fond of Nicole, but if it is too close to call, what’s wrong with letting the viewers decide?

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Keith, Dubai

Posted at 1:38 PM on December 9, 2011  

Unbelievable!! This is a talent show where judges are there to Judge on merit and on the perfomances. Becuase Nicole didnt have the personal integrity and courage to make the ‘right’ decision the most talented of the two, the girl who sang and performed years above her tender age goes. Now I always felt Rachel wouldnt quite be good enough to win but that performance in the sing off was simple extraordinary by anyones standards given the pressure. Even LA Reid knew it! She blew Marcus off the stage but had to stick by his man – understandable. This wasn’t a difficulty decision. So Nicole was worried what Marcus might think of her – now there is the brat and cry baby. Im a 45 years old, father of three Radiohead & Zeppelin fan. I hate reality TV but this X factor hooked me and I feel particulaly pathetic that I am driven to comment on this but it has serously P****** me off! Im going for a cry now.

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Resa

Posted at 7:15 PM on December 9, 2011  

No one should have any hard feelings towards Nicole. Nicole made a quote gester, right before she had voted, “I have to send you home Rachel”. Therefore, they all were in agreeable for Rachel to go home. Nicole was the escape goat.

 
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Werner

Posted at 10:40 PM on December 9, 2011  

I agree totally. As a teacher and coach for over 20yrs. I’ve had to disappoint many student athletes by cutting them or placing them in positions they didn’t like. As an adult coach that is my responsibility, to make the hard decisions. Nicole should go!!!

 
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austin

Posted at 11:34 PM on December 9, 2011  

I agree, but LA did the same thing in a way. he told Rachel right there on national tv that he admits she bested his guy, but he was going to send her home anyhow

 
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Diane

Posted at 8:00 PM on December 9, 2011  

Why are there so many negative comments regarding Nichole’s decision to let the competition go into deadlock? Let the viewers decide. That is how most talent competitions operate. Judges narrow down the competition and the viewers vote, not the judges. Rachel was so certain she would win and kept saying, “that’s OK, whatever you decide,” until she was voted off. That was heartbreaking to watch. This was the most dramatic elimination I ever saw. First Astro and then Rachel, two contestants who were repeatedly told, “I can see you winning it all.” So their response was no surprise. Only one person will win the grand prize, but each one can, and that is what kids don’t understand.

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austin

Posted at 11:44 PM on December 9, 2011  

I agree with letting the voter decide, but if you make the show base rules where the judges have the right to save the best performer than the the judges show be of sound mind to evoke and obey this rule. Just like theme week means what on this show? It’s just a poorly structured competition. it allows for manipulation of the contestants. how do yo think the remaining contestants view the saveme song? a song that for the second time evoked and the second time allowed the best to go home. honestly I’m 55 years old and i would have broke down crying that close to my goal, knowing i did everything, and beyond, to go on in the competition, but sent home anyhow bu a judge who don’t have the courage to tell either they need to go.

 
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Rhonda Greer

Posted at 3:48 AM on December 10, 2011  

O.K. people It’s not the end of the world. It’s a talent show or competition and in these situation there’s going to be a winner and there’s going to be a loser. In the real world wether you’re 13 or 30 you win some you lose some.

 
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