Turns out the Restless Road didn't lead to the finale.
The country trio was knocked off "The X Factor" on Thursday's (December 12) results episode, just one exit shy of the finale. That leaves Carlito Olivero, Alex & Sierra and Jeff Gutt to compete in next week's finals for the show's grand prize, a $1 million recording contract.
The members of Simon Cowell's country three-piece, who received mixed marks for their performances on Wednesday's episode, were thankful for their time on the show. "We just want to say thank you to everyone who even got us this far. Without you guys, we wouldn't even be here," Restless Road's Colton Pack told host Mario Lopez after the group got the boot. "We're so blessed to have this opportunity. And I promise you this is not the end of the road for us. You'll be seeing us in the future."
Cowell expressed his dismay at their elimination. "I'm really disappointed, guys," he said. "But you know what, I've said this before with other groups in this situation, it's not the end. You've been an absolute pleasure to work with."
Even without Restless Road, Cowell still has Alex & Sierra in the finale. The group scored big with their cover of Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" on Wednesday, and on Thursday night the song was still No. 1 on iTunes' Top Songs chart. "We just want to thank everybody that's voted, everyone that bought the songs on iTunes last night, this is incredible," the group's Alex Kinsey said. Added Cowell, "I think they've been incredible to work with, they got better every single week, the final would not be the same without them and I'm really happy for you guys." The two lovebirds then performed Passenger's "Let Her Go."
Carlito Olivero, who had to sing to stay alive twice in the competition, made it through to the finals after a stellar night on Wednesday, and he was amped to get his ticket punched to the big showdown. "Oh my God, man, I love y'all so much, man," the Chicago singer said. "You don't understand, you just made my dream come true. I love y'all so much. Man, Latino forever, bro!" Paulina Rubio's contestant then sang Elvis Crespo's "Suavemente."
Detroiter Jeff Gutt was the last finalist announced, and was left to sweat it out with Restless Road for the final slot. When he got the good news, the single father from Detroit was thankful to his fans and to his mentor, Kelly Rowland. "Thank you so much for voting, and oh my God, I don't even know what to say," he said. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. And thank you, Kelly, for everything." He said he was ready to get to work on winning the finale right after his performance, and he kicked out a killer version of Journey's "Open Arms" to close the show.
The three finalists will face off on Wednesday's two-hour performance episode, and a winner will be crowned on Thursday's two-hour finale, which will also feature performances by One Direction and Mary J. Blige.
Enrique Iglesias was also on hand Thursday to perform his new single "Heart Attack," which is not to be confused with Demi Lovato's single of the same name.
What do you think of "X Factor" 's final three? Let us know in the comments!