‘X Factor’ Top 8 Results Recap: Alicia Keys’ Fist Pumps Are ‘On Fire,’ Eliminations Are a Game-Changer (VIDEO)

Wednesday night’s “fun” week is over for two singers on FOX’s The X Factor. On Thursday’s show, the competition continued its runs of double eliminations.

Strategy was key at this point of the competition. Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens and Emblem3 apparently took some risks that paid off on Wednesday. CeCe Frey and Vino Alan also took risks, which didn’t seem to work as well.

The night included a surprisingly sophisticated (minus, maybe, the fist pumping) performance by Alicia Keys of “Girl On Fire” from her newly released album of the same name. Watch it above. It also saw the return of last season’s much beloved runner-up Josh Krajcik who sang “One Thing She’ll Never Know.”

Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched Thursday’s Top 8 elimination episode.

The first instant elimination was a big shocker for the studio audience. Paige Thomas, who the judges felt made a good choice with Wednesday’s stripped-down performance, may have skewed too far from the over-the-top shimmer and spectacle she had presented thus far. Maybe, viewers wondered which version of Paige they were really voting for? That leaves judge Demi Lovato with just one person left in the competition.

Hosts Khloe Kardashian Odom and Mario Lopez announced the first five to move on in this order: Fifth Harmony, CeCe Frey (um, uh-mazing), Emblem3, Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens.

That means Diamond White and Vino are left to sing for their survival. America must have really disliked his performance last night (after a last minute song change by mentor L.A. Reid that I think threw the singer off).

Diamond starts the sing-off and sings a heart-wrenching performance of Beyonce’s “I Was Here.” At times, it felt too big for her but she served the intensity. Vino gets the underdog intro from L.A., pulls off his jacket and goes into “Trouble,” a song that he left a mark with during the auditions.

L.A. supports his guy and votes to send Diamond home. Britney Spears, of course, chooses to send home Vino. Demi, looking very conflicted, decides to send home Vino — someone she had only recently warmed up to. Simon is in the hot seat. If he chooses to make it a deadlock, chances are he’s sending home Diamond. Vino has been solidly No. 3 for weeks and the teen probably has less votes than him. So, he decides not to send the vote to America and chooses to land the final blow to Vino.

Clearly, we’re at the point in the game when one mistake can send you home regardless of how strong you’ve done the entire competition. Harsh, America.

Time to learn where everyone stands. Only one percent separates the Top 3. Here are the current rankings:

1. Carly Rose Sonenclar
2. Tate Stevens
3. Emblem3
4. Fifth Harmony
5. CeCe Frey
6. Diamond White

CeCe is a big mover, digging herself out from the No. 8 spot. And Emblem3 now moves into third place without Vino blocking them from the slot. Tate was unable to regain the top spot, which makes Carly seemingly unstoppable – she rarely makes a wrong move.

How do you feel about this week’s surprising eliminations? Sound off below.

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