Rachel Crow, the 13-year-old X Factor USA contestant, was reduced to a fit of crying and wailing after being voted off the show last night.
Tears streaming down her face, the distraught youngster cried, “Mommy, you promise me” as her mother tried to comfort her.
A voting deadlock between judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, LA Reid and Nicole Scherzinger left it to the public vote as to which of Crow and rival Marcus Canty would survive into the next round, and host Steve Jones seemed at a loss as to how to react after announcing Crow’s name and seeing her collapse in distress.
Instead, Simon Cowell bounded onto the stage to comfort the young girl as Jones appeared paralysed. Nicole Scherzinger, who cast the final vote against Rachel that led to the deadlock, was also reduced to tears.
The incident left many claiming that 13 is too young for a contestant to be able to handle the pressure of such a high-profile talent show. Participants on the US show can be as young as 12, while in this country there is a lower limit of 16.
Following the show, Simon Cowell said on Twitter, “Rachel went out on a high tonight. Thanks to everyone who voted for her.”