Drew Ryniewicz and Brooklyn-born star Astro were sent home during a double elimination on Thursday night's The X Factor USA, but it's not all bad news for Drew, who received a few words of encouragement from one of the world's biggest pop stars.
One of Simon Cowell's favorites since her stirring audition in the summer, Drew performed a piano rendition of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean on Wednesday night, witnessed by Jackson's children who were in the audience. While Cowell dismissed criticism as "absolute nonsense", it seems the public were also less than enamoured with the performance and Drew was sent packing last night. The head judge made a rare admission during the results show, saying, "The reason Drew is in this position tonight is my fault. I take total responsibility". Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter after her elimination, Drew said she "had a weird feeling all day in my heart", adding, "I knew something was not going to go how it should". However, just 45 minutes after the west coast X Factor broadcast, teen sensation Justin Bieber tweeted to Ryniewicz, "keep yr head up. I lost my 1st competition too. this is just the beginning. never say never", with a delighted Drew retweeting the message to her 94,000 followers - that number quickly swelling to nearly 99,000. Tweeting early on Friday (December 3, 2011), a clearly buoyed Drew said, "Doing my last bit of press today. Shining on xfactor for the last time. I can't wait for what's to come of me. I'm young, got time".
Drew and Astro's elimination now leaves just five remaining contestants on the opening season of The X Factor, Josh Krajcik, Rachel Crow, Chris Rene, Marcus Canty - and the bookmakers favorite Melanie Amaro.