Final 3 Compete On ‘X Factor’; Simon Cowell Thinks He Knows Who Should Win
First Published: December 21, 2011 10:27 PM EST Credit: FOX
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- “The X Factor” and its $5 million recording contract is in America’s hands to decide.
Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene and the lone lady left standing, Melanie Amaro, took the stage for one last set of competition performances, and based on the judges’ comments, one contender may be in the lead. But who is it? Read on to find out…
Here’s how Round 1 went:
Josh, a burrito maker from Ohio, hit the stage with “Uninvited,” joined by Alanis Morissette. A little thrown off by the superstar power on stage, Josh was strong in his singing, but had a moment or two of insecurity standing next to the Grammy winner – and Simon Cowell noticed.
“Alanis — amazing, looks cute, by the way. Josh — I thought you were a little bit intimidated in the beginning,” Simon told the singer following his performance. “Then, as the song got into gear, I heard the old Josh back… It was an 8 out of 10.”
Chris dueted with Avril Lavigne on her song, “Complicated,” which featured one of the Santa Cruz performer’s own rap verses, something Josh’s mentor, Nicole Scherzinger, complimented.
“It was a little shaky in the takeoff… but your energy and the light around you is so flippin’ contagious,” she said. “You shined up there.”
Looking like the cat who got the cream, Simon introduced his contestant, Melanie, who sang “I Believe I Can Fly” alongside R. Kelly. Performing the tune in R. Kelly’s key signature made it less of a show piece for the powerhouse vocalist, according to Chris’ mentor, L.A. Reid.
“I felt you got a little bit over shadowed,” L.A. said.
Simon, however, praised his contender.
“You didn’t look like someone in a talent competition… It was a fantastic version of the song,” the Brit chimed in.
AH Nation Poll: Now that they’ve performed in the final, who should win “The X Factor”? Click HERE to vote!
With no clear frontrunner in Round 1, Round 2 was anyone’s game as the contenders performed without superstar help and in Josh’s case, without any help at all. Just a lone man on stage, the Ohioan took out his guitar and gave a soulful rendition of “At Last.”
“This is what we call the $5 million song,” Simon said. “This is the song that’s gonna determine your fate… and what I liked about it was it was all about you, what we liked about it in the first place. This is gonna be a very, very close call tonight, I can feel that.”
Chris tugged at heart strings when he performed the song he did at his audition – his own composition – “Young Homie.”
Giving his all on stage alongside dancers and spruced up musical accompaniment, the young man was in his element and he was moved to tears by the end.
“You are magic!” Paula Abdul screamed. “You are the consummate singer/songwriter, performer… You make everyone fall in love with you.”
Melanie, then took to the stage for her final number – Beyonce’s “Listen,” complete with a choir and vocal runs that showed her true musical prowess.
“That is the Melanie I love,” L.A. said. “That wasn’t a $5 million performance, that was a $50 million performance.”
Simon, however, went one step further, telling Melanie she was the reason he imported his foreign reality competition stateside, and, perhaps, putting her in the lead.
“I brought this show to America because some of the greatest singers in this world are from this country, and you just proved that,” he said. “You, based on that performance tonight, you should be the winner of ‘The X Factor,’ because you’re gonna represent this country all over the world.”
“The X Factor” crowns a winner on Thursday night at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX.
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