First off, let’s make this official: this isn’t Tommy’s “I loves me a diva” or Donovan’s “I can appreciate a classic” version of X Factor US, this is mine. I’m fellow writer Adam and for the most part people either hate or hate my reviews so let’s just get that straight right away cause I will be pulling no punches this evening for my (succinct I promise) recap of yesterday and today’s finale of X Factor US. Dono is away at his handsome hubby’s family Xmas thing and Tommy is glued to her eBay screen hoping Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery somehow ends up back on sale so for now, you’re stuck with me ;)

I’m writing this article as the show occurs and hope to have it up and ready to be pummelled by unfortunate Chris Rene fans by the time the glitter falls on our winner ;) Tonight we were “lucky” to be graced by the famed likes of Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Leona Lewis, Ne-Yo, Pitbull and (are you kidding me, “I hate gays”) 50 Cent. But, what you came here for is the RESULTS!! Also, me bitching super quickly about the missteps of last night so without further adieu…

First off, Josh KraJcik congrats, you look terrible but sing like a scruffy, bear angel and I’m sorry but are not my choice for this premiere year of X Factor US. To be honest, I was going to give you 2nd place going into tonight but I’m going to early predict (it’s 5 minutes until air time so I promise I’m not cheating) you’re doing out first. I honestly believe that America votes too strongly based on “who I feel for” and “who I wanna F____” and you ain’t winning moley. Last night with Alanis doing “Uninvited” you did NOT match up (though christ her hair and performance was dead on) and your re-audition piece was you at your best but I’m gonna predict, just not good enough.

Chris Rene, I have never been your fan. You have that whole sob story thing going to a T! Avril did her best to back you up last night but again the mix did not compute and while I do appreciate your addition to her classic song “Complicated” and your re-do of your original work “Young Homie” (awful title), you will only come as far as your fan base will take you: 2nd. I think Donovan did a great job in last night’s preview and analysed this right with his “southern votes are the only ones that count” assessment.

And so, I present you with MY winner: Melanie Amaro. R Kelley was glitter bombing his way onto that stage with a well-paired performance of the classic “I Believe I Can Fly” and her re-sing of Beyonce’s “Listen” was so well suited to her final performance on the main stage. I honestly believer her sultry but attainable looks and sudden revelation of a secret “shameful” accented past will bring her to centre stage come award time. So, let’s get onto tonight…

Nicole you look like a look-at-me failed prom queen in your full length (albeit vaguely pretty dress), Paula pouffy fuchsia is NOT your colour, like WOW: Simon and LA, suits and jackets as per… nothing for me to rag on ha. Cut to the “Final 12″… REALLY? Is this truly how you want to show case this program as it struggles to find a second season? Live singing has never sounded so awful: voices thrust together that never should have been there in the first place. First off, I never EVER understood the Marcus Canty thing (cough cough and neither did America apparently with their constant attempt to kick him out despite dumbass Nicole’s attempt to avoid pulling the lever), secondly, how many backup dancers DOES one need? Here’s a hint: 20+ is too frickin’ many. So, lame, stereotypical opening group crap aside, oh and the useless platitudes of drunken judges awaiting their own performer to win (sorry Paula)… we are ready for the main event: an hour and a half of filler and advertisements before we find out who executive producer Simon Cowell- i’m sorry, “america”- has chosen as the winner.

Melanie Amaro opens to- maybe an ironic jab at her competing judge LA Reid’s signed- Mariah Carey and “All I Want for Christmas”. The performance is slightly lackluster but very up her alley. Dancers are certainly cute (I’m saying this as fellow writer Tyrell sitting next to me is friends with half of them haha) but a little too cumbersome to the piece. The only insult I have about the whole thing is Nicole Scherzinger calling her- once again ugh- a “princess warrior”… Didn’t Simon make fun of you enough last week for that over-the-top “I promise I don’t hate women although I’m the only reason barely any of you are left” attitude of yours? Before the commercial we see a montage of Melanie’s biggest fans and family sweetly wishing her well as the winner-to-be (fingers crossed here!) cries herself out of a response.

Next up is Chris Rene who open with: “From me to you… listen”… Ugh, we get it Chris, you’re the people’s choice award of scratchy karaoke singers. Performing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (sorry Jewish brethren), Chris’ finger twitches and seeming attempts to sign language the boring song pretty much match up with the performance. I honestly can’t value LA standing up at EVERY SINGLE PERFORMANCE one of his boys put out there: even this Mr. Reid… really? I do love Simon smiling his way through Nicole’s crap and Paula’s end-all accolades of “YOU are the most amazing” that we’ll all here ten minutes from now and ten after that with each and every performer. The male judges follow up by tipping their hats to his hard battle with addiction and commitment to stay healthy. I do truly appreciate and value the work Rene has done to get to this point, let alone survive, but do have to wonder if an amazing singer without a story can actually make it on a show like this…? A question for another day, as for now we’re inundated with heart-wrenching stories from people in Chris’ life congratulating him on where he’s got to: truly he has earned this moment in the sun, that’s for sure.

Before Josh even appears, we are honored to watch a faux desperado attempt by Steve Jones (gigantor host that needs to go by the way) to flirt with the ever ditsy and unaware Nicole. I get that feedback is an issue with microphones, but sugar, you look slow up there. On to the performance: “Please Come Home for Christmas” by the Eagles… thank god for a real, non super-sappy song. Josh is made for this type of music but unfortunately none of this matters as we get into the final vote. Simon makes and important note to acknowledge the fact that age should not matter when talent is concerned… and then Nicole tries to make up some words with “flimpin’ love” as she tries to back up the once heart-felt notion. Can we talk about how cute Josh’s best friend is? His girlfriend is not QUITE on camera material… also, HOW OLD IS YOUR DAUGHTER? I feel like if I went on a date with her the only issue would be the fact that I’m hugely gay, and weirdly enough NOT the age difference…

Justin Bieber: meh. Your outfit brings up (well, lunch) but thoughts of futuristic fashion failures. You look like a fem-bot from 2020 if lime green suddenly (oh, and by the way it never will) came into style. Stevie Wonder attempts to give you some credence as you close your eyes David Archuleta-style to “The Christmas Song”. Also, what ARE the driving gloves for? You getting into yet another parkade accident? Oh, and stop stressing the eyelashing: “Lesbians who look like Justin Bieber” is going to start just being called “Oh hey, here’s pictures of Justin Bieber”. Next up is “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” as dancing takes over and Justin’s “singing” takes a back seat. Congrats to the 10-year olds that take the stage! Unfortunately, there apparently wasn’t enough time to get Biebs out of his M&M lime atrocity… BUT, then we get Drew pulled onto the stage (Justin’s choice to win the competition and MINE too early on!) to finish off and hug the crap outta this boy. Selena is NOT gonna be impressed (Tyrell just informed me, I’m only half sure I know who she is haha).

AND HERE WE HAVE IT! The first to leave the show in 3rd place is…. CHRIS RENE!!! Gotta say, I’m a little surprised (and by the looks of Josh and Nicole’s face, so are they!). I believe this was a lack of geography and per capita on the part of this performer as he truly is “what America goes for” in terms of backstories and cuteness… he’s just not from the right state/part of the US. He takes to losing extremely well (I honestly believe they all know everything going into this stage of the game) and bows out wishing the best to the rest and appreciate his opportunity. A graceful end to a very decent showing on this, the first year of X Factor US. Well, I’m already one prediction off (score one for Donovan), who knows if I’m gonna be right come the final showdown of Josh v. Melanie!

Post commercial it opens to a fun montage of the Top 5 Worst Moments from X Factor US- wow, “Chadd is angry” is just awesome- as is Rachel Crowe’s fall from grace… understandable considering her age but still pretty damn epic. We get Simon (cough executive producer’s cough) Cowell’s “find” Leona Lewis sing: “Run”. To be honesty, at first I thought it was Nicole with the pulled back, super tanned “am I or aren’t half something” look, but once the well-tuned notes and purposefully under-produced performance begins it’s pretty obvious who this diva is. The judges all talk about this being the best blah blah blah ever and now we move into finding out for sure that next season IS happening. Also, apparently that 50 cent (seriously?) is next up.

We cut back to the contenders behind stage, comparing identically curled hairstyles (awful) and Josh showing off Mellisa Ethridge’s latest under-jacket silk apparel, leading into a “battle of the bitches” as we re-watch the TRUE interest of this season: the S(c)ee YoU Next Tuesday fight between the male judges as they mock and rip each other to part sometimes in spite of the acts on stage. Oh right, 50 cent is here too. Not that you can tell, because it’s about 80% bleeped out and hopefully blurred out considering the “bootylicious” plus size models “dancing” around a bath tub on the stage. Yup, that’s right: a bath tub. Next up some RANDO ebony and ivory male duo saunter, confused onto stage (Tyrell and I are guessing some basketball players?)… it really doesn’t matter as this performance is completely out of place and wholly not in sync with the rest of the year. We all knew hip hop and rap were never gonna be the ultimate winners of this show vote-wise (Rene does NOT count in these categories), so maybe this is Simon trying to appeal to a previously un-tapped resource of viewers and voters who have written X Factor US off as “some honky show for honky folks” as they head into Season 2. Oh, and Astro was there. Fail.

The ensuing cry off between Nicole and Paula was pretty funny as we all wonder how many hundreds of dollars of eye make up was busted on these drama queens’ faces but ruined by the Swiss Family Robinson musical backdrop. Post this is Ne-Yo and Pitbull’s “International Love” and “Give Me Everything”. Once again, really? You clearly have millions to spend on production on this show and you stick with simple range tune with an off-putting failed white pimp backing up some lavender-jacket also sunglasses inside “singer”. Oh, and Marcus Canty was there. Fail.

FINALLY, we’re at the end. To drag this thing out as much as commercial space will allow, they appropriately duo David Bowe’s “Heroes” and match up a little better surprisingly than the celebrity pairings from yesterday. Okay, random singing aside… who wins…?

MELANIE AMARO!!!

Five million dollars richer!!!! Never truly the “underdog”, but until recently, certainly never the true front runner, this girl absolutely sung herself into this spot. She took her time “showing us her true self” as Nicole and Paula would have you believe, but once she opened up about her past and her heart-felt fears and aspirations about 5 weeks ago she became unstoppable. Josh Krajcik absolutely poured himself into this show and certainly deserved to be Top 3 but it’s Melanie’s power ballad epic voice and emotional experiences that clinched the win on this one. Forcing her way through her final song, tears and smiles and all she proves herself to be a class act until the final moments of “Listen” as her mom wells up in the front row. Congrats to you Melanie!! Homorazzi certainly loves ya and so do I!!

So, what did you think?? Sound off below… Did you hate who won, love it or wish it had been ____? Also, let me have it on the review! Especially if you hated it ;) A pretty good year for X Factor with just enough judging dramas and outrageous voting moments to keep us watching next year… wouldn’t you say?