We’re finally here! Either Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene or Melanie Amaro will be the very first winner of the “X Factor“. To be honest with you, I’d be okay with any of the three winning. I know, sacrilegious right? But it’s true. Each excels in a style so different, it’s like comparing apples to oranges to plums. In other words, impossible. With most of the “X Factor” headlines this week focusing on behind-the-scenes drama, it was nice to get back to the talent. Whether or not Steve Jones or Nicole Scherzinger return next season, it’s all pointless until we take care of this season. So, let’s get to it.
For the final performance night of the season, the three finalists sing two songs apiece. On the latest series of the UK version, the finalists sang a duet with their respective mentor. Since LA Reid and Simon Cowell aren’t recording artists, the US version couldn’t follow in the footsteps of the Brits. Instead, they corralled three musical superstars to duet with Josh, Chris and Melanie. Canadians Alanis Morissette and Avril Lavigne belted their tunes with them, along with R. Kelly on his track. Have any ideas on who was paired with whom?
While, I normally balk at the idea of doing repeat performances, I loved that the producers made the contestants sing their initial audition songs for the last round of competition. Way to bring it back full circle. Cue Elton John’s “Lion King” soundtrack. Check out all the performances below.
Song: Uninvited by Alanis Morissette
Great song choice and duet partner for Josh. Didn’t Alanis look fantastic? God, I love her. Like all the Final 3 contestants, Josh was shaky at first but then found his groove. As much as I love Alanis, I almost wish that Josh sang it on his own. For me, their voices didn’t meld well together. As a side note, how breathtaking was their backdrop tonight? The way those haunted-looking trees moved towards the audience was mesmerizing.
Song: Complicated by Avril Lavigne
This duet was probably the most random of them all, but it sorta worked. Especially during the part where Rene was allowed to freestyle. It may have not been the best vocally, but they seem to have the most fun on stage together. Avril should really consider doing a duet with Chris, it might put her back on the pop charts. Plus, they had great chemistry and Lavigne was the only duet partner to solicit votes for her finalist. Totes cute.
Song: I Believe I Can Fly by R. Kelly
Given that Melanie has torn the house down in the past with her gospel-inspired performances, this was a bit of a letdown. Not that I have any confirmation, but I blame R. Kelly for this. I have a feeling he wasn’t willing to compromise and find a key both Melanie and him could sing. Melanie wasn’t awful, but you could tell she wasn’t comfortable with the lower key. Hopefully, the digital birds in the background foreshadow she soars above this setback.
Before the finalists sang their second song, a completely random group “performance” was done. I air quoted performance because it made absolutely no sense. It was mostly robots dancing around while Melanie, Josh and Chris belted a couple of ad libs to Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us“. Complete filler and a waste of time. Poor Josh. He looked as excited to be there as he would getting an enema.
Song: At Last by Etta James
AH-MAZ-ING. Even though I cringe at the thought of another reality contestant singing “At Last“, I was floored by Krajcik’s performance. The guitar accompaniment was genius. His initial audition was great, but this time around it was beyond phenomenal. Krajcik just might win based on this.
Song: Young Homie by Chris Rene
While Krajcik superseded his initial audition, Rene, IMHO, delivered an equal performance. That said, I enjoyed it a bit more this time because I actually knew a few of the lyrics and have a stronger connection with him having seen him twice a week since September.
Song: Listen by Beyonce
If anyone had a tremendous mountain to climb, it had to be Melanie. When I first saw and heard Amaro slay Beyonce’s “Dreamgirls” ballad, I was literally on my feet and a little misty. It was one of two auditions I remembered and rewatched. Thankfully, Melanie delivered an outstanding performance. I still was a bit weepy but didn’t get shivers. I think it was because I was on the edge of my seat hoping she didn’t hit a bum note. For once, all four judges gave her the praise she deserved. No “expected” nonsense or other ridiculousness from LA Reid.
Given that all three have never been in the bottom before, we have no idea how they rank amongst each other. With no real basis to formulate an educated guess, I’m going out on a limb and say it’s between Josh Krajcik and Melanie Amaro. I’m knocking Chris Rene out for two reasons. I don’t think he appeals to as broad of an audience as the other two. Secondly, he’s from Santa Cruz and if voting patterns are similar to that of “American Idol“, he’s got no shot. Typically, singers from the south win Idol. With that in mind, Melanie is from Florida while Josh is from Ohio. I’m predict Amaro wins by a slight margin. Hopefully, the producers release the voting numbers as they do in the UK version.
What did you think of the final performance night? Which duet was your favorite? Who do you think will win and should win? Sound off below.
To check out all high-res pics from this season, head over to our X FACTOR US gallery by clicking on the picture below.