Teenage Girl & Adult Lady Humiliated in Equal Measure on ‘The X-Factor’

I have never watched The X-Factor and I have not yet figured out how it is different from American Idol other than employing a Pussycat Doll and a man named "L.A." as judges. But last night’s elimination was so mind-blowing that even I, someone who usually despises reality TV competition shows that aren’t about designing dresses or tricking money-hungry women into fighting over a poor man, couldn’t avoid the clip of a poor 13-year-old’s complete emotional breakdown when the clip hit the internet this morning.

Here’s the gist, for those who sometimes need Cliffs Notes for what passes as pop culture these days: two contestants were vying for a spot in the semifinals. Their names are Rachel Crow and Marcus Canty. (I’m sure those are names you will hear once again, most likely on a VH1 special called The Top 100 Reality TV Contestants You Forgot About, Part Two.) Judge L.A. Reid throws in a vote for Marcus, while Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell show their support for Rachel. Fourth judge Nicole Scherzinger is left to make a decision: she could either vote for Rachel, therefore kicking Marcus off the show, or vote for Marcus to let the audience vote decide the pair’s fate.

Scherzinger, who is getting paid millions of dollars to judge a competition, basically throws her hands up in the air with tears in her eyes and refuses to make the decision we all can tell she wants to make. Instead of casting a third vote for Rachel, she blabbers on about how she can’t be responsible for making such a tough choice. "Please don’t cry," the 13-year-old girl tells the 33-year-old woman. Scherzinger sends the vote into a deadlock, and then the anonymously European host announces that the audience voted for Marcus to stay. And that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Do you enjoy watching the hopes and dreams of adolescents being crushed in front of millions of people? Would you like to watch as the heart of a child is ripped out in front of America and then crushed on stage with the spiked heel of a Pussycat Doll’s stiletto? Are you unable to imagine the sight of Simon Cowell consoling a weeping teenager? Well, congratulations, because this is where we’ve ended up as humans. Check out the goods at the 2:15 mark in the video below:

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