MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) For the second consecutive week, judge-mentor Martin Nievera saw one of his wards go home from "The X Factor Philippines" after Jeric Medina was eliminated from the popular TV talent search on Sunday night.
With only two more weeks before the grand finals, Medina saw his dream of becoming the first "X Factor" champion disappear after he received the lowest number of votes in the competition.
The 21-year-old found himself in the bottom two for the first time, along with the vocal group Daddy's Home. Medina chose Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" for his survival song, while Daddy's Home sang Phil Collins' "Against All Odds."
As expected, both Nievera and group mentor Gary Valenciano voted to keep their wards in the contest, leaving the decision to the two female judges.
"I've always admired Daddy's Home for their harmony and for their sincerity. And I know na whatever happens, maiwan man sila o hindi, they will always be one of the favorites in 'X Factor,'" Pilita Corrales said before casting her vote on Daddy's Home to leave the contest.
"A lot of people sasabihin sa akin, 'Bakit?' kasi 'yan ang uso sa atin dito eh," Charice said before giving her vote. "But for me Philippines, we have to change." She then cast her vote on Medina, creating a deadlock.
According to the contest rules, in case the judges are in a deadlock, the one who will go home is the contestant who received the lowest number of votes from the viewers. Daddy's Home got 19.63% of the vote, while Medina received only 16.74% and was thus eliminated from the show.
Valenciano openly wept after the decision was announced, while Medina's friends and family were also in tears.
Host KC Concepcion said Medina's elimination was "unbelievable" -- an observation echoed by Nievera.
"Jeric, I didn't expect you to leave the contest tonight. I really didn't," Concepcion told Medina, who had to lose weight for the competition.
Despite his elimination, Medina said his efforts were all worth it, citing the experience he got from joining "X Factor," as well as meeting his fellow contestants. "I love these guys, I love the Top 12," he said.
"Jeric has had a beautiful journey and has nothing to be ashamed of," Nievera said. "There were no losers on this stage but there can be only one 'X Factor' champion. I'm very proud of you and I will be behind you wherever you go."
On Twitter, where #xfactorphtop5 was among the top local trending topics on Sunday night, many of Medina's followers were devastated by the news.
"Jeric Medina's out. Can't believe it," said Gerardo Liwag.
"Super heartbreaking. Nooooo!! Jeric Medina," said Kasseylie Bilang.
"Mas magagamit sana si Jeric sa showbiz industry!" said Ronjie Fernandez.
"Kailangan kong mag emote. Jeric Medina didn't make it!" said Rhen Escano.
But Medina received a surprise boost when balladeer Christian Bautista, himself a product of a TV singing competition, gave Medina some words of encouragement.
"You will be fine, bro. Never give up, never surrender," Bautista, who lost to Erik Santos on "Star in A Million," said in a tweet to Medina.
The grand finals of "The X Factor Philippines" will be held on October 6 and 7.