Most of the judges seemed down on girl group Fifth Harmony, whose rendition of Shontelle's "Impossible" left them wanting more, following a better performance of Ellie Goulding's "Anything Could Happen."
Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid were all doubtful of Fifth Harmony's chances to be one of the three acts in the finals, with only Simon Cowell defending them, saying, "You've been one of the strongest acts tonight."
Not that the other performers were slouches.
Tate Stevens tackled Craig Morgan's "Bonfire" and Clay Walker's "Fall" with confidence and poise. Carly Rose Sonenclar took some risks with Elton John's "Your Song" and John Lennon's "Imagine" but won mostly praise. And boy band Emblem3 put their own spin on Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" and the Beatles' "Hey Jude," again to mostly positive reactions from the panel.
Thursday's results show will send one act home and three to the finale.