The Top 10 contestants of The X Factor season 3 were revealed after a surprise double elimination on Thursday.

The show began with all twelve acts performing a tribute to Lou Reed, the music legend who died last month from liver disease at the age of 71.

"A tribute, of course, to the great Lou Reed, who passed recently,'" said host Mario Lopez. 

The acts sang his previous hit Perfect Day as an image of him in an oversized black-and-white photo was displayed behind them on stage.

Following the tribute, viewers learned almost immediately that Simon Cowell's girl group Sweet Suspense earned the least amount of votes this week. The elimination of the group left the X Factor co-founder visibly disappointed.

"An unpopular decision here tonight," said Lopez. "There's a look of shock on Simon's face."

"I can't believe it. I thought they were fantastic last night," Cowell responded dryly. "Look, girls it was not your fault. I don't know what happened here. Without being rude there were worse people than you last night."

Lopez then announced the nine out of the 11 remaining acts that were deemed "safe" based on the votes earned following Wednesday's episode. He shocked the audience when he revealed that Demi Lovato's act Khaya Cohen and Kelly Rowland's mentee Rachel Potter were the bottom two acts. The pair had to battle it out for the four judges to decide who should return next week.

"These two are going head to head, singing for survival'," Lopez said. "[It's the] battle of their lives. The judges are going to decide which act will be leaving the competition. This is the final showdown."

Cohen sang Joe Cocker's Don't Give Up On Me and Potter trailed behind her with a rendition of Shania Twain's From This Moment On. When it came time for the four judges to decide, the majority voted to send Potter home.

"There's no reason in the world why two of the best vocalists in this competition are in the bottom two," Rowland said before voting to send home Cohen.

The other three judges--Cowell, Lovato and Paulina Rubio--all voted to send Rowland's act Potter home.

The remaining Top 10 contestants are:

BOYS (Paulina Rubio)

Carlito Olivero

Tim Olstad

Josh Levi

GIRLS (Demi Lovato)

Khaya Cohen

Rion Paige

Ellona Santiago

OVER 25 (Kelly Rowland)

Jeff Gutt

Lillie McCloud

GROUP (Simon Cowell)

Restless Road

Alex & Sierra

The X Factor airs on Wednesdays & Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST/7 Central on FOX.

Watch the recap of the shocking double elimination here.