The five finalist were supposed to sing fans' choice for the second performance, but due to 'an error in communication' they had to perform the songs which they only prepared one night before.
Getting closer to the finals, the remaining five acts on "The X Factor (US)" were further tested on Wednesday, December 7. Melanie Amaro, Marcus Canty, Rachel Crowe, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene had to perform two songs, one of which had to be a dance number, but the pressure was getting higher in the second performance.
Before entering the second round, host Steve Jones made a shocking announcement when telling the audience that the contestants would not perform the viewers' choice as it was planned. Due to this "error in communication with the song selections", the five finalists would now sing the songs selected by their own, but they only found out about this the night before.
Kicking off the competition that night, Melanie belted out a dance remix version of Adele's "Someone Like You". The judges agreed it was good, but Paula Abdul complained that the song was too short. For the second song, she chose "When You Believe" by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Proud of his protege, Simon Cowell said she sang "incredibly."
Marcus performed Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody" for the dance number. After criticizing the singer who landed on the bottom three last week, Simon had to admit that it "was a very, very good performance." He added, "You came back strong." L.A. Reid gave a similar comment, "You came back like a champion," after Marcus sang Leon Russell's "A Song for You" for the second performance.
Rachel's first song that night was B.o.B's "Nothin' on You". Clearly fascinated by the young singer, Nicole Scherzinger said, "I'm just waiting for the Rachel Crow doll to come out." The 13-year-old girl performed another Michael Jackson's song, "Music and Me", after last week's tribute to the late pop star. Instead of commenting on her vocal, the judges preferred to praise Rachel's personality.
Josh put his own twist to Rihanna's "We Found Love" for his first performance. While Paula and his mentor Nicole were fascinated by this, L.A. Reid and Simon agreed that they could never really see him doing this song. Josh, however, rose up with his second song, The Beatles' "Something". Simon commented, "Compared to the first song I think this was a massive improvement."
Chris brought another number that features Rihanna, "Live Your Life", which is taken from T.I.'s album. According to Paula, "This is one of the most fun performances I've seen." He further impressed the judges when performing an original song which includes a line, "Where do we go from here?", on the lyrics. Simon gushed it was "a stroke of genius," while L.A. stated, "I could not be more proud."