11/25/2011 at 10:00 AM EST
With the stakes raised on Wednesday's double elimination show, X Factor
viewers said goodbye to two contestants, leaving seven acts remaining.
Crooner LeRoy Bell, 60, and Lakoda Rayne, the last remaining group
, were sent packing, leaving Simon Cowell
to single out Nicole Scherzinger's mentee Josh Krajcik as "the one I've always said I fear the most."
"Last night, he became the artist that he should be in the real world," notes Cowell, whose girls Drew, Melanie Amaro
and Rachel Crow
are still in the competition.
As for the acts sent home, LeRoy Bell called his elimination "just another step," while it was more of an emotional farewell for group Lakoda Rayne, who plan to reunite in Los Angeles soon and continue to perform together.
"This isn't the end for us," Paige says. "I think we have a very bright future."
agrees. "They have what it takes for a very sustainable career," she says.
Without an act to mentor
, "I have a lot of time on my hands right now," jokes Abdul. "Simon asked if I'd be taking bribes [to sway votes] and I said, 'Hell yes!' "