Is there a scandal brewing on The X Factor set?
Thirteen-year-old Rachel Crow was given the boot on Thursday's shocking results show, and as the teen standout reels from her early exit, judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul are feeling the heat from outraged fans.
"[Rachel's elimination] was worse than a travesty," Crow's X Factor mentor, Simon Cowell, told Jimmy Kimmel in a Monday appearance alongside Scherzinger, Abdul and L.A. Reid.
Though it was Scherzinger who created a voting deadlock when she booted Crow over Marcus Canty, her colleague Abdul has faced criticism for elimination-related comments of her own that she says were taken out of context.
On Monday, TMZ released a video clip in which Abdul can be clearly heard whispering to Scherzinger "Just let it go to a deadlock," but the judge now says she didn't implicitly instruct her colleague to vote off the teen.
"That's how they interpreted it," Abdul told Kimmel of TMZ's spin on the video footage. "I adore [Nicole] and know what she was feeling like [having to send someone home.]"
"In the moment and under pressure, it's not as easy to say 'you're going home.' I own the decision I made right then," Scherzinger countered.
While fans may feel otherwise, Crow herself harbors no ill will toward either judge. "It's nobody's fault," she said Thursday. "It's just what God had in store for me and it'll be okay."