updated 11/25/2011 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 11/24/2011 AT 11:00 AM ET
With the stakes raised on Wednesday’s double elimination show, X Factor viewers said goodbye to two contestants, leaving seven acts remaining.
Crooner LeRoy Bell, 60, and Lakoda Rayne, the last remaining group, were sent packing, leaving Simon Cowell to single out Nicole Scherzinger’s mentee Josh Krajcik as “the one I’ve always said I fear the most.”
As for the acts sent home, LeRoy Bell called his elimination “just another step,” while it was more of an emotional farewell for group Lakoda Rayne, who plan to reunite in Los Angeles soon and continue to perform together.
“This isn’t the end for us,” Paige says. “I think we have a very bright future.”
Paula Abdul agrees. “They have what it takes for a very sustainable career,” she says.
Without an act to mentor, “I have a lot of time on my hands right now,” jokes Abdul. “Simon asked if I’d be taking bribes [to sway votes] and I said, ‘Hell yes!’ ”