Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato expressed shock at the results.

But two of the strongest female singers had to perform Thursday night to stay in "The X Factor."

Rachel Potter, 29, a University of Central Florida grad, was ejected from the Fox singing contest. She was in a sing-off with Khaya Cohen, 16, of New York City. Mentor Rowland voted to keep Potter. But the other three mentors -- Lovato, Paulina Rubio and Simon Cowell -- threw their support to Khaya. Cowell said he had to go with the singer he thought had more potential.

Potter, who lived in Orlando six years, performed on Broadway in "Evita" and "The Addams Family" before jumping to Nashville to concentrate on country music. Two other Central Florida acts – Lillie McCloud and the duo Alex & Sierra – are among the 10 finalists still in the contest.

Earlier in the show, "The X Factor" dropped Sweet Suspense, a trio mentored by Cowell. He had raved about the group's performance Wednesday.

Are the viewing voters going against the mentors?

On the next episode at 8 p.m. Wednesday, the Top 10 acts will perform songs by United Kingdom artists from the British invasion. One Direction will sing on the next results show at 8 p.m. Thursday. One act will be ejected next week, Fox said.