In Friday night's semi-finals, the judges and the audience fell for junior singer David Archuleta after he sang Alicia Keyes' soulful song "Fallin'".
"I hope one day he lets me open for him, said comedian Robert Rothstein who also beat the competition.
Judge Nathan Morris from Boyz II Men assured Archuleta, "If we needed a fifth member, you'd be it!" Yet Archuleta won by just decimal points.
He beat competitor Victoria Kelly with the home viewers' vote of 16.1 to her 15.9 votes. David said it took a while for his win to sink in. "We weren't that sure who won because they said Victoria's name first," David said.
But now that it is clear, he said lots of people have been calling the family. "Just everyone's all excited. It's like everyone's pinching each other to see if it's real or not," he said.
Rothstein's family may be pinching themselves as well. When he was young cracking jokes, "Nobody thought I was funny," he said.
But on Friday, judges thought otherwise. He got the lion's share of stars: 18. In home audience scoring, Rothstein tied with competitor Tommy Chunn with 15 stars.
Rothstein started doing comedy in his mid-20s when he said he discovered comedy clubs. "I grew up in South Carolina. I had no idea how someone became a comedian. That was before comedy clubs were everywhere. Well, that would be nice. But I have no idea how you do that," he said.
If he wins the finals, he will get not only $100,000, but also a CBS development deal and a guest spot on a CBS show.
Both he and David will compete with the winners of the next semi-final (March 14) in the finals on March 19.