Just hours before The X Factor semifinals went on the air Thursday, judge/mentor L.A. Reid told Access Hollywood he was quitting his judge's gig.
"I have decided that I will not return to The X Factor next year," he told Access' Shaun Robinson in an exclusive interview. "I have to go back and I have a company to run that I've kind of neglected and it saddens me a little bit, but only a little bit."
L.A. said he needs to get back to business as the chairman and CEO of Epic Records. And he has no hard feelings for Simon Cowell or anyone else. "It was a nice break, it was a nice departure from what I've done for the past 20 years, but now I gotta get back to work."
But first he has to finish up work on Season 2. And Reid went about business as usual on Thursday's results show.
The Top Four final X Factor acts got together on stage to kick things off singing the appropriate I'm Coming Home.
And who would be going home?
Beloved country crooner Tate Stevens? Highly unlikely.
Teen powerhouse Carly Rose Sonenclar? Doubtful, although she wasn't flawless on Wednesday. "I feel really confident about her performance," said mentor Britney Spears.
Boy band Emblem3? Not if their crazed fans came through for them.
Fifth Harmony girl group? "I think it's going to be difficult for my girls 'cuz the other three are so strong," said their mentor Simon Cowell, but he added, "Like I said, I do believe in miracles."
And, without further ado ... surprise! Fifth Harmony was sent through to the finals.
It was the first act announced by hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian Odom. Britney Spears had a look of surprise and horror on her face. (Twitter loved it.) Simon smiled. "I could not be happier," he said. L.A. admitted, "I'm very shocked." Britney said she was "a little disappointed."
To give everyone a few minutes to calm down, Bridgit Mendler sang Ready or Not.
And then the second act going through was announced: Tate Stevens!
"For every country music fan out there, I am one of the biggest country music fans. Thank you very much!"
Bruno Mars kept the mood up by performing Locked Out of Heaven, rocking the stage with his dancin' band and a laser light show.
And then it was time for the big news: Carly Rose Sonenclar was through to the finals! "I don't even know what to say," said the teen, who looked extremely relieved. "Thanks for voting. Emblem3, I know you're going to go far. I'm going to buy your album."
The cute surfer-boy banders were booted off. Singer Wes Stromberg thanked their "awesome" fans for "voting their butts off." Simon said, "I'm very, very disappointed, but," he told the guys, "I mean this: You're going to have a huge career."