Mario gets right down to it tonight by asking Simon's thoughts on last night. Simon would rather talk about Nelson Mandela, which is probably just as well. And in his memory, we go right to the clips from Wednesday. I'm sure that's how the great man would have wanted it. Afterwards, Mario is back with us from the stage, surrounded by the top six, bragging about some of their rankings on iTunes. Alex & Sierra are number one, in fact. And I don't even think all of those downloads were Simon.
Moving on through an X Factor-themed Secret infomercial about how they spend all week working and being stressed out. Jeez, why do it, then?
Before the first elimination of the night, Mario presents the judges and their remaining acts on the X-shaped stage, as always. No matter who it is, Mario's going to be spending the night talking about how shocking it was. And since the person who's done is Ellona Santiago, there's plenty of shock to go around. Simon is stone-faced, but Paulina, Kelly and Demi look stunned, not to mention most of what is now the top five. But as Demi takes her to the center of the stage to say goodbye to Mario, nobody is more flabbergasted than Ellona herself. Mario runs her farewell montage, sparing us watching Ellona cry in the picture-in-picture. As Ellona stumbles off the stage forever, Mario says that all the results are shocking at this stage of the competition. Or at least he's self-aware enough to know that he always says they are.
Mario comes back to us from the audience, conducting a remote interview with the top five backstage as they continue reeling from Ellona's departure. Well, actually Rion seems okay with it, though. Then Mario introduces one of last season's non-winning acts, the douchebag trio Emblem3. They're even more annoying than I recall, working every fiber of their surfer cred with a tuneless Sublime-by-way-of-One Direction hey-girl beach-party excuse for a… well, one hesitates to call it a "song." But Simon apparently decided he'd rather sign and market them than admit he was wrong about them, so here we are. For me, their main accomplishment is making people feel better about how they didn't win last year. The judges politely give them a standing ovation and they announce their upcoming tour. What a remarkable coincidence.
Mario brings out the remaining five acts and their mentors once again to start revealing results. The acts that are safe tonight include Restless Road and Alex & Sierra, making it a good night for Simon. That leaves Rion Paige, Carlito Olivero and Jeff Gutt. And the one who isn't in the bottom two is… Jeff Gutt. So Rion and Carlito are both back in the bottom two. They both talk about how much they love each other, how they're going to come out later and fight to rip each other's lungs out.