The X Factor: Who Did Simon Cowell Call 'A Singing Hamster'?
11/21/2013 AT 10:20 AM EST
Jeff Gutt, 37, "rocked" this week, literally and critically, singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.
Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato were unanimous in their praise of the Over 25s singer, saying, "This is by far your best performance."
Tim Olstad, 24, changed it up after being ripped by the judges last week, playing the piano and singing Elton John's "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."
Most of the judges weren't sorry: Kelly Rowland called Olstad "sexy," while Lovato – who said he had no X factor last week – said he "sounded like Robin Thicke."
Cowell remained unconvinced, however, stating, "You are like a singing hamster, and they want you to be a singing lion."
Khaya Cohen, 16, who was in the bottom two last week, sang "Let It Be" by the Beatles and earned largely good reviews, with Paulina Rubio saying, "You show us your soul when you're singing," and Cowell remarking, "The fact that you were in the bottom two last week was a joke … you are an amazing singer."
Josh Levi, 15, who was the standout of last week's show, made more "Sweet Dreams" again this week by putting a soulful twist on the Eurythmics' classic.
Cowell complimented Levi, saying, "You're one of the artists I look forward to every week," before calling Rubio "mad" for her choreography decisions – featuring dancing British police officers – in his number, a diss that ruffled Rubio's feathers and continued to throughout the night.
Boyfriend-girlfriend duo Alex & Sierra took a risk singing "Best Song Ever" by One Direction, who will perform on Thursday's results show, but it earned raves, including from mentor Cowell who told the pair that they have "a serious chance of winning."
Rion Paige, 13, who sang "Your Song" by Elton John to her little brother, left Rowland "speechless" with her vulnerability, and made her mentor Lovato emotional.
Carlito Olivero, 24, recovered from last week's lackluster performance, singing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, which Rowland said was "a huge step up from last week."
Cowell initially called Lillie McCloud's song choice "wrong," but after hearing the 54-year-old belt out "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush, he said, "It's so easy to take for granted [how good you are] … that was absolutely brilliant. You've arrived."
Ellona Santiago, 17, sang Ellie Goulding's "Burn," which prompted Rubio to say, "You have everything," although Cowell called her "a dancing, singing puppet" who has yet to connect with the audience.
The boy group Restless Road ended the night with Coldplay's "Fix You," a performance that the three female judges criticized, while their mentor Cowell quipped, "We have heard enough from the gloom sisters. We are trying to create stars not karaoke singers."
Will Restless Road get the axe or follow in the footsteps of One Direction, another boy band created on The X Factor? Find out when the double elimination show airs Thursday on Fox at 8 p.m. ET.