Declaring herself unable to choose between two rival contestants, an "X Factor" judge cast her vote against Rachel Crow in an emotion-filled scene Thursday that led to the young singer collapsing onstage and the studio audience booing the judge.
On the Fox network talent competition, the vote was two against Marcus Canty, 20, and one for eliminating 13-year-old Rachel.
Then distraught judge Nicole Scherzinger said she couldn't make the painful choice between them, explaining, "I love and adore both of you."
Instead, she opted to force the decision into viewers' hands by choosing Rachel and deadlocking the judges' votes, two against two. The bizarre scene triggered Rachel's exit, since she had the lower number of votes from viewers, and heated discussion on social networks.
Hearing her fate, Rachel broke down as she was comforted by her mother, while, at the judges' panel, a stricken Scherzinger also seemed to come unglued.
While Rachel has been sent home, Canty will return to the live competition next week. Scherzinger had no immediate comment.