'X Factor' Top 12 Announced, Season 2 Episode 15, Public Votes & Shocking Ranking (VIDEO)
Simon Cowell offered not one, but two surprise twists in Thursday's elimination episode of "The X Factor."
Last week, the show was left with the top 12 and unexpectedly Cowell shocked viewers and the live audience when he announced that the judges realized they made a mistake and would return a contestant who was booted last week.
"We watched the show back and the final 12 we're very happy with, but we believe we made a mistake with one act," said Cowell, who is a judge on the show as well as its creator.
In case the crowd misunderstood Cowell, the show's host Mario Lopez added, "We had 12 acts and now apparently we have 13...Welcome the 13 finalists!" The returning contestant ended up being Britney Spears' booted teen, Diamond White.
"I feel awesome and I'm ready to get performing," said a smiling White when she learned of her return.
"Glee" star Lea Michele was in the audience to witness the nail-biting event. The show kicked off on Thursday with an performance by "X Factor UK" winners One Direction. The British teen boy band performed two songs including their hit "Live While We're Young."
"How hot is One Direction?"asked the show's co-host Khloe Kardashian Odom after she touched Liam Payne and Zayn Malik.
Later Cowell, who is also the show's creator, revealed his second surprise: for the first time ever in the history of the hit singing competition show, "The X Factor" offered a ranking of the list of acts based on the number of public votes from viewers. The list was announced by act, from the lowest votes to the highest ranked, by both Lopez and Kardashian.
Here is the top 12 list by ranking based on public votes:
12. CeCe Frey
11. Arin Ray
10. Beatrice Miller
8. Paige Thomas
7. Jennel Garcia
5. Fifth Harmony
4. Diamond White
3. Vino Alan
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
1. Tate Stevens
"The X Factor" judge Demi Lovato was shocked to learn that her act, Paige Thomas, landed in eighth place.
"I expected Paige to do better than that," Lovato told the hosts.
Even more surprised was Cowell. When he learned that his group Emblem 3 ranked in the middle, he was speechless and then admitted he had more work to do.
"I think it's for me," Cowell said of the middle ranking. "Now I've got information and have to change styles."
The fan favorite Tate Stevens, 37, seemed the most surprised to learn that he beat his much younger competitors. The cowboy hat-wearing competitor jokingly said, "Obviously people in America don't get out a lot."
Another thirty-something-year-old unfortunately didn't win the viewers' affections. Jason Brock, 35, was eliminated after he competed in the Bottom Two against CeCe Frey. Frey sang an emotional rendition of Cher's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" then Brock sang Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
When the four judges were asked to pick who they would send home between Brock and Frey, it was a split decision. L.A. Reid and Spears picked Frey as their least favorite, while Cowell and Lovato chose Brock. The tie led to the Deadlock round where the elimination of the night is based on which of the two singers earned the least amount of votes.
When Brock learned it was him, he said memorable parting words in his exit speech: "I want to say, I did it for the gays and Japan!"
The top 12 will perform live on Wed, Nov. 14, and the next elimination will be announced on Nov. 15 at 8/7c on FOX. Watch the video below of the top 12 announcement.