Khaya Cohen is sent home following another surprising double elimination

By Lee Hernandez
Updated November 22, 2013 02:00 AM

Simon Cowell called him “a singing hamster” on Wednesday night and on Thursday’s show, contestant Tim Olstad took his final spin on The X Factor.

The Minnesota native, whose performance of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” on Wednesday won praise from judges Demi Lovato and Kelly Rowland, was eliminated after ending up in the bottom two and singing for survival against fellow contestant, Carlito Olivero.

Olstad sang Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up,” to try and stay in the competition, while Olivero took on the Labrinth song “Beneath Your Beautiful.” Olivero won easily and all three female judges elected to send Olstad home, which meant that Cowell didn’t even need to cast his vote.

Khaya Cohen, 16, who was in the bottom two last week, was also sent home even though Cowell called her “an amazing singer” following her performance of the Beatles song “Let It Be” on Wednesday night.

“It was a fun experience,” Cohen said, while Lovato – who supported the young singer throughout the competition – told her: “I couldn’t be prouder of you. You literally have one of the best voices I’ve ever heard, so please don’t stop singing.”

A total of eight acts will be moving on in the competition, including: Rion Paige, 13, Josh Levi, 15, Ellona Santiago, 17, the all-boy group Restless Road, and the boyfriend-girlfriend duo Alex & Sierra, whose performance of One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” prompted Cowell to say they have “a serious chance of winning” the competition.

Lillie McCloud, 54, also made it through after Cowell called her performance of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” “absolutely brilliant,” as did Jeff Gutt, 37, whose version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” earned raves from Cowell and Lovato Wednesday night.

The eight remaining acts will go head-to-head on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.