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"The X Factor" Recap: The Top Three Perform

Image courtesy of FOX (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of FOX (via ABC News Radio)

The first half of the two-part X Factor finale aired Wednesday night on Fox.

Carlito Olivero , who is mentored by Paulina Rubio ; Simon Cowell 's duo, Alex and Sierra, and Kelly Rowland 's "Over 25" rocker, Jeff Gutt [goot], took the stage for three performances.

Demi Lovato , who mentored the "girls" category, does not have any contestants remaining in the competition.

At the start of the show, the top three sang the Queen classic "We Will Rock You." Here's what followed:

Carlito officially kicked off the finals with a Spanish/English rendition of Shontelle 's "Impossible." Demi complimented him on his passion but said he needs to let go even more. Paulina raved about his bilingual skills.

Alex and Sierra covered the Ed Sheeran single "Give Me Love." Demi called herself a fan of the pair. Simon observed that they act the same both on and off screen, and that they're capable of representing the show around the world.

Jeff Gutt belted out Aerosmith 's "Dream On." Demi couldn't hear his vocals due to a technical issue, but she enjoyed it nonetheless. Simon said for the first time he believes Jeff believes he can win.

The second round of performances featured collaborations between the finalists and special musical guests. Carlito teamed up with Prince Royce on "Stand By Me." Kelly observed how comfortable Carlito seemed on stage with a major artist. Paulina added that Carlito has been showing off the potential he has.

Leona Lewis , a former winner of the U.K. X Factor, was joined by Alex and Sierra on a slower version of her hit "Bleeding Love." Demi said it was not Alex and Sierra's best vocals. Simon smiled and said the duo can change The X Factor much like Leona has.

Jeff returned to the stage alongside Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik . Together, they sang one of the Goo Goo Dolls' biggest hits, "Iris." Simon called it one of his all-time favorite songs, and said Jeff did a brilliant job with it. Kelly agreed.

For the final round, each finalist reprised a performance from earlier in the competition. Carlito delivered his take on Santana 's "Maria Maria." Simon said Carlito earned his respect with that song.

Alex and Sierra tackled "Say Something," by A Great Big World . Simon said they're the type of act that U.S. talent shows need, and they deserve to win.

Jeff finished the night with his version of Radiohead 's "Creep." Simon praised him, and Kelly urged viewers to vote for him.

Paulina took the stage halfway through the program, performing her song "Boys Will Be Boys."

The X Factor will crown a new winner during its two-hour results show, airing Thursday night on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time. The champion will receive a recording contract with Sony Music. The musical guests will include One Direction , Mary J. Blige , Pitbull , and Ke$ha .

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio