The final three botched their duets with celebrity superstars, but soared with their solos. Which one got YOUR vote?
We had a rocky start to tonight’s final The X Factor performances. The first songs, which were supposed to be exciting and touching duets with famous artists, were totally awkward, poorly executed messes — leaving us scratching our heads and feeling disappointed in the final three. However, Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro and Chris Rene all made up for their lackluster starts with INCREDIBLE second performances. In fact, I’m still sitting here with chills — completely conflicted about who should be deemed the $5 million winner.
Josh Krajcik with Alanis Morissette: Josh started the night off singing Alanis’ eery single, “Uninvited,” which the judges enjoyed, but I thought seemed awkward. Every time Josh looked at Alanis, she was singing out toward the crowd. I felt like he was desperately trying to connect, but she wasn’t feeling it. I just can’t see this song touching America’s hearts…at this point, I was hoping his second number was much better.
Chris Rene & Avril Lavigne: I’m not sure how they decided on Avril as Chris’ partner, but I definitely didn’t see that coming. Although “Complicated” was way more fun than Josh’s “Uninvited,” I thought it was one of Chris’ weakest performances. He sounded off key and looked uncomfortable, which is so unlike him. That said, Avril didn’t sound that hot either. “[You sounded] a little shaky in the takeoff, but you came out on top,” Nicole said. Side note: L.A. Reid said Chris celebrated his eighth month sober yesterday — I’m so proud of him!
Melanie Amaro & R. Kelly: Tonight was the first time R. Kelly ever sang “I Believe I Can Fly” as a duet…and it should be the last. Melanie, who has been consistently strong the entire season, flopped. The song wasn’t bad, per se, but it was definitely too low for her register. I agree with what L.A. said: “We can’t make excuses — this is a five million dollar contract.”
At this point, no one seemed worthy of getting signed. I hope they never have guest star duets again.
Josh Krajcik: After his weak first performance, Josh really redeemed himself with a bluesey rendition of Etta James‘ “At Last.” He picked up his guitar, stood there and wailed. It was simple, heartfelt and utterly genius. “This is what we call a five million dollar song,” Simon raved. “What I liked about it was it was all about you and what we liked about you in the first place.”
FINALLY! This is The X Factor we’ve been watching all season…
Chris Rene: Side note: I wish they didn’t spend so much time on the “see how far they’ve come” video packages. It kind of takes away from the music. That said, I’m thrilled Chris brought back his original audition number, “Young Homie,” because it gives me chills every time I hear it. There’s just something so likable about his easy, laid back personality. It warms my heart. I know he’s not the best singer in the competition, but this isn’t American Idol. There’s no denying it — Chris has “the x factor.” Simon said this was Chris’ “five million dollar song” — and I think it literally is. He’ll definitely get signed after this, even if he doesn’t win.
Melanie Amaro: And then came the powerhouse that is Melanie Amaro singing Beyonce‘s “Listen.” That girl can WAIL. What an excellent song choice! After that performance, I think Melanie might have gotten herself a $5-million Christmas present this year. “That wasn’t a $5-million performance, it was a $50 million performance,” L.A. said. Simon almost started crying, saying, “I am so, so proud of what you just did.” I think everyone was, to be honest.
Even though the first half of tonight’s The X Factor finale was terrible, all three contestants redeemed themselves with their second performances, leaving me completely at a loss for who should win. Josh is undeniably talented and sellable. Chris is already packaged and ready to be sold as an artist — he doesn’t need to brand himself from scratch. And then there’s Melanie, who doesn’t miss a note, has a great story and is beautiful. All of them are so good in their own ways.
What do you think? Watch their performances again, below, and vote. Who should win The X Factor?
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