paula abdul nicole scherzingerLast week when 13-year-old Rachel Crow was eliminated from X Factor, we were shocked by her dramatic tears -- or, more accurately, we were shocked at how fake they looked. Well here's the second blow: TMZ is speculating that Paula Abdul told fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger to vote against Rachel!

If that's true, that means Paula Abdul got two votes -- and that's just not fair! This might also explain why Nicole looked so upset before and after Rachel's fate was announced. It's one thing to be disappointed over Rachel Crow. It's another to be let down by Paula Abdul!

According to TMZ, Paula's microphone was off while Nicole was making her decision. But they claim that when they turn the volume way, way up, they can hear Paula telling Nicole, "Just let it go to a deadlock." Maybe Paula was frustrated with Nicole's indecision. Nicole clearly doesn't want to be the "bad guy" in this situation.

On the other hand, if Paula told Nicole how to vote, isn't it Nicole's fault for taking Paula's orders? Shouldn't she have been stronger and voted with her own convictions? Or was she just really that torn over the decision?

It's hard for me to tell exactly what's going on. TMZ could be wrong. But if Paula really did tell Nicole how to vote, and Nicole just did what Paula told her to do, then I'm disappointed in both of them. Obviously the viewers voted, too, and also got to have their say about the elimination round. But the idea that Paula could tip the fate of a contestant this much kind of takes the fun out of the show.

 

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What do you think happened? Did Paula tell Nicole how to vote -- and if so, are they both in the wrong?

 

Image via X Factor USA