updated 11/15/2013 AT 1:35 AM ET
•originally published 11/15/2013 AT 8:30 AM ET
But on Thursday night, an annoyed Cowell rolled his eyes when it was revealed that not only was Olivero, 24, staying put this week, but that he was the first contestant to make it through to the top 10.
Adding insult to injury, the girl group Sweet Suspense – whose performance of the Tony Basil song “Mickey” left Cowell raving that they were “the best of the night” on Wednesday – was sent home in a shocking elimination that host Mario Lopez repeatedly described as “an unpopular decision.”
“There’s a look of shock on Simon’s face,” Lopez said after revealing Sweet Suspense was eliminated, to which Cowell replied, “I can’t believe it. I thought they were fantastic last night … Girls, it’s not your fault. I don’t know what happened here.”
He continued: “Without being rude, there were worse people than you last night.”
And although Demi Lovato told him he didn’t have the “X factor,” Tim Olstad, 24, also made it through to the next round after his less-than-stellar performance of “Against All Odds,” Wednesday night.
That left just two acts competing for one final spot: Khaya Cohen and Rachel Potter. The pair were asked to sing for their survival one last time and after two spirited performances (Cohen sang Solomon Burke s Don t Give Up on Me and Potter took on Shania Twain s From This Moment ), it was up to the judges to decide who was heading home.
The X Factor returns on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox with performances from the top 10.