December 11, 2013 10:44pm PT by Cortney Wills
'X Factor' Recap: Final Four Battle It Out In Semi-Finals
The final four contenders brought their A-games to The X Factor semi-finals on Wednesday night when each act performed three songs; a duet, a song selected by their mentor and one chosen by viewers.
The jam-packed format left no room for a guest performer, but there was plenty of excitement to fill the two-hour running time without any extra fluff.
Carlito Olivero impressed the judges with his version of "Boyfriend" that was perfectly suited for his swooning fans. His mentor, Paulina Rubio, selected Marc Anthony's "I Need To Know" as his last attempt to snag a seat in the final round and the judges were pleased with his spicy delivery.
Simon Cowell said he didn't know if it was enough to get him to the finals, but said it was the Menudo cast-off's best night of the season.
Restless Road struggled through "That's My Kinda Night" but redeemed themselves with Simon's pick; "Wanted." Kelly Rowland praised their performance and noted that the usually reserved trio really rose to the occasion to stay in the game.
Alex & Sierra lived up to the bar they set last week when they tackled "Little Talks" and all four judges agreed it was one of their best showings so far. They did even better with their second song of the night and drew tears from Demi Lovato and the other two ladies on the panel for their emotive take on "Gravity."
Cowell didn't shed any tears but he sang the duo's praises after they took their final bow.
"I would like to bottle the last ten seconds of that song and keep it for the rest of my life because it was perfection," he said.
Even though the lovebirds maintained their front runner status, Jeff Gutt gave them a run for their money with "Hallelulah" earning him a standing ovation from everyone on the panel. By the time the show was over, his version had already crept to the No.1 spot on iTunes.
His second song, "Demons" was almost as captivating as the first and he proved he has a real shot at taking home the big win with his raspy-rocker flair.
The duets were an interesting way to pit performers against each other in a head-to-head style showdown. First, Olivero went up against Alex & Sierra with "Falling Slowly" and the couple was clearly cut out for the romantic sentiment of the song, leaving Olivero in the dust.
Gutt and Restless Road battled over "Every Breath You Take" and the rocker proved victorious over the country trip, despite their best efforts.
With all four finalists displaying solid singing chops on Wednesday night, it's anyone's guess who will land in the Top 3 come Thursday.