Aaron Rapoport/Fox
Shaunna Murphy
November 04, 2011 AT 06:17 AM EDT

As the judges and host Steve Jones said seemingly numerous times last night, this is a competition. Unpleasant as it is, someone always has to be sent home first. Don’t click through if you don’t want a SPOILER about last night’s installment of The X Factor. The first eliminated act chats with EW after the jump:

Aaron Rapoport/Fox

The energetic teens of InTENsity, the group created during the boot camp round, were tearfully sent packing after the judges decided to save Stereo Hogzz instead. The kids will now be scattered all over the country, but they discussed their next steps and thoughts on elimination backstage after the show.

On being sent home first:

Francesca Duncan, 17: “Honestly I was kind of surprised, but we worked really hard, and we have so many fans. We’re just excited to see what’s going to happen in the future for our group.”

John Lindahl, 15: “It was extremely hard for us to be put in the bottom two with another group, with the Stereo Hogzz. We’re all really good friends with them, and they’ve all been so nice to us and supportive. Just the fact that we had to go up against them and one of us was going to leave was the worst feeling in the world. But it’s all been a blessing. We’re so thankful for every moment we’ve spent on this show. We’re going to miss everyone.”

Ma’at Bingham Shango, 12: “I think that it was judged on performances from boot camp and on, maybe even judges’ houses for us, because that’s when we were put together. I think they were trying to think of us as a whole, and all that we’ve done together. I think we were judged on every performance we’ve done as a group.”

Emily Wilson, 15: “Paula even said… it was hard for her because she had to pick between two in her category. She said she was judging on her experience with both groups. Simon said that he based it off of that [too], and I think that if all of the other judges did, then we would have had better luck. But she based it on her experiences working with us, which all should be factored into it. We respect her decision, but of course we all wish we could still be in the competition.”

On performing right after they found out they were in the bottom two:

Lauren Ashley, 17: “It was really hard. There was crying right before, backstage. Everyone was giving each other pep talks and we got through it.”

On why they didn’t get America’s vote:

Emily Wilson: “I think it was hard for America to take it in. First of all, we didn’t get as much exposure as everyone else, because we were just made four weeks into the show. Also, it’s hard to take in 10 people at once. It’s hard to know who each and every one is. When you have a soloist or Lakoda Rayne or Stereo Hogzz, there’s so much less people, and you can get to know each and every one of them. Since we were made so recently and there’s so many of us, you factor that all together, and it’s hard to take it in. I think that if we had more exposure and more time with America before they got to vote for us, then we would have had better odds.”

On what’s next: 

Nick Dean, 15: “We live all across the country, and we don’t know. What comes up comes up, and what doesn’t doesn’t. We honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next for us, but we’re excited to see what’s going to happen.”

Arin Ray, 16: “Really you’ve just got to gel and work hard, and we’ve got to become a better group. We haven’t been together that long, so to be able to go against some of the other contestants that have been together or by themselves for a longer time… [It’s really great] when you see a 10-member group work that hard to do something. We changed our whole choreography yesterday morning for the show. We’ve been changing stuff constantly, and we still came out with a great performance last night. We’ve got to take it and work harder.”

Read more on The X Factor:

‘The X Factor’ recap: The Kids Are All Wrong

‘X Factor’: On the scene for the Nov. 3 elimination

‘The X Factor’ on the scene: 14 things you didn’t see on Top 12 performance night

‘The X Factor’ renewed for season 2: What needs to change, and what should stay the same?

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