On Wednesday night’s “X Factor,” a rivalry between Paige Thomas (the season’s stellar first auditioner) and CeCe Frey (the girl with the leopard paint on her face) was set up when both sang “I Will Always Love You” consecutively. On Thursday, that rivalry continued when the two were paired up in the boot camp battle round.
At this stage in boot camp, the judges need to trim down the competition to 24 acts. So they’ve pitted them against each other in twos, but unlike the battle rounds on “The Voice,” here they don’t sing a duet. Instead, they just take turns with half the song. In many cases, the singer who went second did better purely because they had the more dramatic half of the song to themselves. Other times one outshone the other just because one knew the song and the other didn’t.
Both scenarios held up in Paige and CeCe’s number, OneRepublic’s “Secrets,” which was saved for the very end of the episode. Paige didn’t know the song but CeCe seemed to have forced it on her. Plus, Paige seemed unsure of herself after the previous night’s Whitney showdown, in which CeCe stole her thunder.
Simon asked them both why they wanted to win the show, and Paige broke down with a sweet, heartfelt speech about not fitting in anywhere but the stage and as a mother. CeCe saw Paige’s effect on the judges and tried to counter with some super cheesy lines about feeling it in her breath and soul or something, and how “I will not leave this competition until each and every one of you believes that I am your winner.”
Then it was time to sing. Paige immediately forgot her words. Then CeCe came in and wrapped up the song powerfully, with the diva once again stealing the spotlight from sweet, sincere Paige.
Watch CeCe and Paige’s Performances on Thursday’s Episode of “The X Factor”: