That's all we can say after tonight' shocking elimination on The X Factor, which saw the end of 13-year-old fan favorite Rachel Crow's journey on the show. Crow landed in the bottom two with Marcus Canty, whom judge Nicole Scherzinger voted to keep in the competition in order to leave the elimination in America's hands.
E! News caught up with Crow, Scherzinger and the rest of the judges after the show and had a lot of questions: Is Simon Cowell upset with Scherzinger? What was Crow really telling her mother onstage? Did the other judges agree with Scherzinger's decision, and most importantly, does Scherzinger regret her choice?
When asked if she would change her decision now that she knows the outcome, Scherzinger takes a long pause before saying, "I don't know. everything happens for a reason. Rachel, it was a surprise to me that she was in he bottom two and now that she's being sent home. But no, I had to leave it up to America."
Of her decision to leave the elimination up to the public, Scherzinger says, "At this point in the game, I don't want to send anyone home. Marcus had been in the bottom twice already. I wasn't going to make the decision. I just couldn't make the decision, so I left it up to America to vote."
Though Cowell seemed particularly combative with Scherzinger after she sent home Drew last week, he tells us he's not mad at his fellow judge for the choice she made. "I know when someone's doing something for the right reasons and I have to be fair like that," he says. "There were no games being played tonight. Because I thought we were so safe, I thought, that's quite a nice gesture to do, to let Marcus go."
Cowell also tells us that he has to "defend" Scherzinger because he believes she didn't think Crow had the lowest number of votes. "I went to see her afterwards and this is all off-camera stuff," he says. "You know when someone's lying. She was distraught."
Also supportive of Scherzinger's decision? Paula Abdul. "Nicole did not do anything wrong," she tells us passionately. "She did the right thing by saying I'm not going to send anyone home, I care about you too much and let it go to public vote. Remember, two weeks ago, Simon let it go to deadlock with LeRoy [Bell] and Marcus. No one can say, 'You're wrong.'"
Like Abdul and Cowell, L.A. Reid also believes Scherzinger made the right choice, saying, "I applaud Nicole, honestly, because the right thing to do, in my mind, was to go to the public and let the public's vote decide. We don't want to see anyone go home."
Though Scherzinger and Abdul dealt with death threats last week following the elimination of Drew, Cowell has a message for those of you thinking of sending the judges any threats: "Get a life."
While viewers were shocked by Crow's elimination, the singer herself seemed even more shocked, collapsing into tears and falling to the ground sobbing. Her mother even came onstage to console her. "I wasn't shocked," Crow clarifies. "I'm 13. I'm not preparing myself for this kind of stuff. So when it happened, I was like a scared reaction, almost like a look of terror. Then I just find of fell because I was like, I can't breathe."
Viewers were also surprised by Crow seemingly telling her mother, "You promised," but the 13-year-old tells us, "I said, 'You promise it'll be OK? You promise?'"
Also comforting Crow onstage was her mentor, Cowell, who says, "I was trying to console her onstage and she was saying to her mum, 'I was going to win the show.' I mean she was convinced of it and it's a lesson in life and show business."
Crow tells us she did some consoling of her own when visited Scherzinger in her dressing room after the show. "I feel really bad. Nicole was so sad," she says. "I saw her in her room and she was still crying tonight even. I went in there and I was just like, 'It's OK.' She was like, 'No one can calm me down, but you!' I hugged her and it was OK. She's fine. She's amazing. It was not her fault."