From left: Alex Preston, Jena Irene Asciutto and Caleb Johnson
05/09/2014 at 09:00 AM EDT
The American Idol
judges may be staying together as a team
, but the Top 4 still had to lose a member Thursday night.
After performing three songs each
on Wednesday, the Top 4 appeared exhausted after the show. Still, the contestants were tentatively confident they had done all they could to win the hearts – and votes – of America.
"You can't see the bags under my eyes right now because of all the makeup, but they're there," contestant Alex Preston told PEOPLE after Wednesday night's performance show, adding, "I tried my best, and I hope it is enough."
Preston had to wait until Thursday night to find out if he has what it takes to stay in the competition, with just two weeks left before the finale.
After a tense, 30-minute episode, host Ryan Seacrest ultimately revealed that Jessica Meuse received the lowest number of votes, and Jena Irene Asciutto, Caleb Johnson and Preston were officially the Top 3.
"You've done an amazing job," Seacrest told Meuse as she held back tears before preforming an encore of her original song "Blue-Eyed Lie," her audition song of more than six months ago.