The 28-year-old took to the stage with his guitar to sing 'Where Do We Go From Here' for his second performance of the night, admitting in a pre-recorded package that he was nervous about sharing the song with the public.
"There's a little bit of anxiety because it is a song nobody has heard," he said. "It's scary. I'm only four people away from $5 million. I hope America likes it."
Watch Chris Rene performing 'Where Do We Go From Here' below:
Each of the Top 5 had originally prepared another song for their second performance but a last-minute "glitch" meant that they had to choose and prepare another track just 24 hours before the live show.
Following Rene's performance, judge Simon Cowell said: "At this stage of the show you have $5 million at stake, you're one step away form the semi-final and you decide to sing your own song. It's either stupidity or a stroke of genius, and I've got to be honest with you, Chris, that was a stroke of genius."
Nicole Scherzinger said: "The sky is the limit with you baby, congratulations that was amazing. I want you to take this moment in right now."
Paula Abdul added: "The universe works in mysterious ways, Chris. Had that glitch not happened you wouldn't have been singing this song. You have to trust the universe because it always works out right... This show allowed your originality."
Rene previously performed an original song called 'Young Homie' in his first audition, wowing all four judges.
Rene's mentor LA Reid referenced that in his remarks on Wednesday night, saying: "The night we met you at the original audition you did an original song. You've travelled this entire journey only to come back to where you started doing music you wrote and sang from your heart. I couldn't be more proud."
The other acts in the running for the $5 million recording contract are: Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, Rachel Crow and Marcus Canty.
Another act will be eliminated on tonight's (Thursday, December 8) live results show, which will also feature performances from Lenny Kravitz and Mary J Blige. It airs 8/7c on Fox.
> X Factor Top 5 poll - who was the best act of the night?
> Read Digital Spy's full X Factor headlines
Watch Chris Rene performing 'Young Homie' below: