"I think everything happens for a reason. And now the door is open for us to really show the world what we can do, so I'm excited about that," Lyric Da Queen told Us Weekly post-show. "We literally feel like this is divinity. An experience like this, you have to take out what you can take out from it."
Lyric Da Queens' bandmates, Jemelle and Julien Joseph, said they plan to "move forward" as a group after the show. "There's nothing like us in the industry right now," Julien explained. "We're planning on moving to L.A."
After Lyric 145 was given the axe, nine acts were then declared safe. Jennel Garcia and Paige Thomas -- both from Demi Lovato's team -- were then forced to sing for survival.
Garcia, 18, performed an emotional rendition of Hoobastank's "The Reason," while Paige, 22, sang Coldplay's "Paradise."
The four judges -- Lovato, Cowell, L.A. Reid and Britney Spears -- were surprised to see the standouts in the bottom two. After Reid and Spears voted to keep Thomas in the competition, Lopez asked Cowell for his vote. The acerbic Brit refused, forcing Lovato to choose between her teammates.
With tears welling up in her eyes, Lovato announced that "the act that I'm going to send home is Paige." Had Cowell chosen to save Garcia, viewer votes would have determined which contestant would be going home -- but he chose to keep Thomas in the competition instead.
"It was fun to see Demi squirming during that moment. Because she thought she was going to get out of it and I thought, 'You're not,'" Cowell told Us. "I just thought with Jennel that she lost her spark and her personality, and with Paige. . . she would have better prospects. And she's a more interesting artist to watch. Jennel, she just shrunk when she got here."
A "bummed" Lovato admitted that "it wasn't an easy night" for her. "I think that Jennel definitely didn't deserve to go home and I couldn't let her go home tonight," the 20-year-old singer told Us. "I've invested so much time, so it's not like I am losing a contestant -- I am also losing a friend that I worked so hard with over the last couple of weeks. It is kind of a blessing and a curse that I get so close to my contestants."
Garcia revealed that she was "really surprised" to be going home so early in the competition. "I had a little more faith in myself and I thought maybe I'd last at least another week. But everything happens for a reason," she said. "I have to keep telling myself that."
The Rochester, Massachusetts, native believes she could have survived this round of eliminations had she been able to perform a different number. "I really put up a fight about singing 'Proud Mary' because the other song we were working on was 'You Oughta Know' by Alanis Morissette, which is way more me than 'Proud Mary,'" she told Us. "But everyone disagreed and said 'Proud Mary' was the one. Clearly it was not."
The remaining acts include Thomas, Arin Ray, Beatrice Miller, Diamond White, Fifth Harmony, CeCe Frey, Emblem3, Vino Alan, Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens.
Tell Us: Do you think Jennel Garcia and Lyric 145 deserved to be eliminated?