In a parallel universe, all of Thomas Blachman’s charges are preparing for tonight’s X Factor, hopeful of advancing to the final on March 22. But this is planet Earth, and today’s confirmation that his last remaining duo, Jean Michel and Nicoline Simone, are leaving the show two weeks before the final completes one of the most extraordinary mentorships in the history of the programme.
In a press release Jean Michel explained he was leaving for “personal reasons” referring to “other opportunities” open to him, and his co-singer Nicoline Simone, a young 17-year-old woman who he had never met before auditioning for the show last year, said that she “was sorry” but “respected” his decision.
Their withdrawal means that Blachman, who threw one of his other duos under a bus last week when they had a fighting chance of making it to the final five, has no remaining competitors. His third duo were eliminated in the first week, paying the price for their mentor’s snide remarks at the expense of Pernille Rosendahl’s acts, who ultimately delivered an underserved coup de grace, choosing instead to spare a singer who most agreed was probably the weakest the show has ever seen.
Jean Michel and Nicoline Simone were widely tipped to make the final, and their elimination means no act will leave tonight. Instead, the votes counted tonight will contribute to next week’s tallies, which will decide who qualifies for the final.