Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Photo: Nicole Scherzinger Poses at The X Factor USA Premiere in Hollywood on September 14, 2011

We don’t think anyone was expecting tiny vocal powerhouse Rachel Crow to go home on tonight’s November 8 X Factor USA episode.

With Rachel and Marcus Canty in the bottom two, a tearful judge Nicole Scherzinger found herself facing a ridiculously tough decision. So instead of wanting to take the blame for elimination herself, Nicole decided to let America make the final choice.

She voted to eliminate Rachel, reasoning that the choice would send judges into deadlock — and America would be the ones who decided the contestants’ fate. And when America’s votes were counted? Marcus Canty was safe.

Without Nicole’s face-saving decision, Marcus very well could have gotten the boot tonight. What do you think: Is Nicole to blame for Rachel going home?

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