On Wednesday, December 12, the four finalists of "The X Factor (US)" season 2 were battling it out for the three spots in the finals. In this semifinal round, each of them would sing twice, one was the song they chose for themselves and another song picked by their mentor.
Tate Stevens came out first, belting out Craig Morgan's "Bonfire". Britney Spears thought it wasn't his best performance, but the other judges disagreed. Demi Lovato called it "a freaking amazing performance," while L.A. Reid stated, "You picked the song and you lit this stage on fire." Simon Cowell also praised his song choice which declared what kind of songs Tate wanted to record.
In his second performance, Tate sang Clay Walker's "Fall" dedicated to his wife. Britney liked it, calling it a "direct hit." Simon used a metaphor to say that Tate had a great chance to get into the finals, saying, "We are supposed to be a reality show. There is about as much chance of you going back to your old job as there is me flying to the moon tonight. Let's be clear."
Carly Rose Sonenclar picked "Your Song" by Elton John, who is her father's favorite singer. L.A. commented, "You did things with that song I've never heard before." Demi thought the performance "still very predictable." Simon was bickering with Demi over her comment, before sharing his own opinion and saying that it wasn't Carly's best performance.
Britney picked John Lennon's "Imagine" for Carly to show her "whole new side." L.A. and Demi loved it, but Simon still wasn't impressed. He said that Carly leaving a piano and later returning again "made a beautiful song fussy."
Emblem3 delivered their take on Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" for their first performance. L.A. gushed it was a "big $5 million moment. That was the first time I really saw you as recording artists." Simon believed it would take the boyband to the finals, saying, "If this doesn't get you into the final, nothing will."
Later, the threesome sang "Hey Jude" which was picked by their mentor Simon. L.A. called them "teen heartthrobs like The Beatles," but Demi thought they shouldn't be compared to the Beatles yet, adding, "They're getting there." Britney also praised their "A-level performance."
Fifth Harmony covered Ellie Goulding's "Anything Could Happen", which L.A. deemed "the very best vocal performance you've ever done." Demi said "it felt really great," but Simon admitted it's "going to take a miracle" to get them into the finals.
Simon picked "Impossible" for the girls in hope that it would "surprise a lot of people." Fifth Harmony had sung it earlier on the show, but this time they inserted some Spanish lyrics. L.A. said they did "a decent job," but thought their choice was "a little bit lazy." Britney said, "I would be really surprised if you guys are here next week," and Demi expressed a similar skepticism. Simon, however, defended his act, "You've been one of the strongest acts tonight."