The X Factor‘s nail-biting elimination round got even more tense on Wednesday night when judge Paulina Rubio admitted she’d made a mistake and had second thoughts about a contestant she’d booted from the show.
With the Over 25s and Girls teams decided last week, Rubio’s Boys were performing for their chance to make it to the live shows.
In a dramatic double-switch, Rubio initially sent home the painfully shy but vocally powerful Tim Olstad – who sang Miley Cyrus‘s “The Climb” – but then called him back, saying she’d been wrong, and had him take a seat in her final four chairs.
Joining Olstad, 24, on Rubio’s team is Carlos Guevara, a 16-year-old high school student with Tourette syndrome who said that “music was the only medicine that worked” in his struggle with his neurological disorder. He impressed the judges with “Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone).”
“You have something unique,” Rubio said.
Carlito Olivero, the 24-year-old barista who admitted to having a big crush on his mentor, talked about the difficulty of leaving his family in Chicago to pursue a music career in L.A. “I have the richest family in the world,” he said. “The only thing we didn’t have was money.”
Olivero sang “Dreaming of You” by Selena, switching between Spanish and English, a performance that made Kelly Rowland remark, “I think you’re gonna have these girls in here dreamin’ later,” and convinced Rubio to give him a seat and spot in her final four.
The final boy to earn a spot on Rubio’s team was Josh Levi, a 14-year-old ninth-grader from L.A., who said that his grandma was his number one fan.
Levi sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt, prompting Simon Cowell to state, “We are looking at potentially a future star here.”
The Boys who were eliminated include Al Calderon, Timmy Thames, Chase Goehring, Isaiah Austin, Stone Martin and Isaac Tauaefa.
The show concluded with the start of performances by the Groups, mentored by Cowell.
The judge filled all four of his chairs with the first four groups to perform – Girls United, Wild Thingz, Glamour and Restless Road – setting up a dramatic conclusion to the four chair challenge when The X Factor resumes Thursday on FOX at 8 p.m. ET.