Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co.    
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The X Factor

The X Factor Judges Deal With Fallout From Drew’s Surprise Elimination

Who better to parse through the details of last night’s major X Factor upset than the show’s judges and host themselves? Well, ask and ye shall receive, because Simon, L.A. Reid, Paula, and Steve Jones held a round-table rehash-fest! (Nicole Scherzinger was nowhere to be found — maybe she was chilling out back)

Naturally, there’s still a lot of fallout regarding Drew Ryniewicz’s shocking elimination — and Simon’s infuriated (and infuriating!) refusal to say anything about the matter. “[U]ltimately,” Jones said, “we need answers. … People value the words [Simon] says, so when he refuses to speak, it kind of doesn’t make any sense.”

But Cowell was just too disgusted by last night’s Fall of Drew to say anything, at least in the moment. “On a scale of one to 10, I’d put my anger at 11.” And Jones didn’t feel much better about having to stand up there and a) try to milk information out of a silently fuming Cowell, and b) wheedle the pitifully bawling Drew for more info on just how devastated she was.

Paula Abdul, for her part, couldn’t help a subtle “I told you so” in Simon’s direction. “[A]ll three of us were saying, ‘You need to show diversity with Drew.’” And it’s not like it was just the judges saying these things — lots and lots of Drew fans have lamented throughout the year that the girl should branch out a little from her sleepy ballads. Of course, hindsight is 20-20, but we wonder if Simon is kicking himself now for “playing it safe.”

Finally, anyone who knows L.A. Reid won’t be surprised to hear him defending himself for voting Drew off. “If Drew had been better, I would have put her through.” Jeez, don’t sugarcoat it, L.A.!

On the other hand, though, L.A. was just brimming with sympathy for poor, poor Astro (also eliminated that night). People have always found Astro “ungrateful and bratty,” Reid lamented, but “[h]e’s 15 years old and he was dealing with the hurt of being potentially eliminated[.]” Color us unimpressed — we’re pretty sure that all the contestants knew when they signed up that most of them would be eliminated. If you can’t take the heat...

As for Simon, even if he’s not peddling an Astro sob-story like L.A., he was impressed with Astro’s exit. “[H]e walked out like a man … at least he walked out with some dignity.” Indeed, Simon and Paula agreed that Astro will have no trouble getting a record deal, and L.A. provided a pretty good incentive for them to think so: “Am I in the business of signing stars? Absolutely. Is [Astro] a star? Without a shadow of a doubt.”

And then there’s Marcus Canty, who kind of got lost in all the Drew and Astro fireworks. Paula had no regrets about her desire to bump him off soon: “Marcus didn’t deliver. … I was honest with what happened.”

L.A., true to form, thought Canty can still take the five million, but he did acknowledge the odds. “I don’t think he’s walking away feeling like he’s on solid ground … [but h]e may get crowned a champion as a result of this.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

12.3.2011 / 12:57 AM EDT by Drew Belsky
Related: The X Factor, Rejected, Brian Bradley, Drew Ryniewicz

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