Normally, each contestant receives feedback on their performance as soon as they've finished their song.
But this week the judges were asked to hold their feedback until the contestants had each performed their first of two songs. The five contestants were then brought out on stage together to hear what the judges thought.
"Jason, in the first song I loved hearing your lower register which we never really hear," she told contestant Jason Castro. "The second song, I felt like your usual charm was missing. The two songs sound like you're not fighting hard enough to get into the top four."
Castro, like all the other contestants, had only sung one song.
The contestants looked confused and host Ryan Seacrest appeared to be looking off-stage for a cue from the producers.
"Just on the first song," Jackson interrupted.
"Oh my God, I thought you sang twice," Abdul said, looking flustered.
"Paula, you're seeing the future, baby," said Seacrest.
The show returned to its usual feedback format when the second round of songs commenced.
The contestants sang the songs of celebrity guest coach Neil Diamond on the show.
David Archuleta and David Cook receiving the best feedback of the night. Brooke White redeemed herself from last week's poor performance in the judges' eyes by singing a heartfelt version of "I Am, I Said."
Abdul and Jackson gave Syesha Mercado good marks. Cowell thought she proved she's a good singer and actress, but that her second song wasn't memorable enough to keep her in the competion.
All the judges were underwhelmed by Castro.
When it was all over, Cowell observed, "This is officially the strangest show we've ever done. But I like that."