December 22nd, 2011
03:59 PM ET
I only have one word to sum up “X Factor’s” season finale performance show, and it's "amazing." (OK, and one other word: Surprising!)
First up was Josh Krajcik. He took the stage and sang Alanis Morissette's “Uninvited.” But seconds into singing he stops and invites Alanis on stage to perform it with him.
At first it sounded a bit awkward, because both voices are so uniquely different, but toward the end it worked. And it worked well, with L.A. Reid calling Josh’s performance “surreal.”
Then it was Chris Rene’s turn, and he performed a song that surprised me. For some reason, I never thought of his style to be similar to Avril Lavigne’s, but that was the artist he was placed with.
He starts out singing Lavigne’s hit “Complicated,” adding his signature style and soul to it. When Avril shows up, I notice right off the bat that they have chemistry. I don’t know if it’s Chris' personality or what, but both were like high school kids having fun playing instruments in their garage. Loved it.
Nicole Scherzinger was up first with her critiques, saying “it was a little shaky in the takeoff, but you came out on top.” Paula heaped lots of praise on Chris, just as she did with Josh. Simon weighed in to say he thought it was well done, and L.A. told Chris that he looked “really at home” with Avril.
And then they saved the best for last: Miss Melanie Amaro! Immediately, when I heard her sing the first few words of the R. Kelly hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” I knew she’d picked a song that best reflects her vocal strength.
She then welcomed R. Kelly to join her on stage to finish singing his hit. Can you believe he sounded just as great as he did years ago when the song was first released? Their performance was just refreshing. Simon Cowell even stood up in the middle of the song in approval.
You would think L.A. would be a slam-dunk when it came to Amaro’s pairing with Kelly, but not so fast. He told her he thought R. Kelly overshadowed her on the song. But Nicole and Paula thought Melanie “soared” and that her conviction was great. Simon, of course loved it.
With the duets out of the way, we lined up the solo performances. First up, Josh: The unofficial Joe Cocker performed Etta James’ “At Last” again, and he nailed it. He was in his element with this song. Just when I thought Josh would be a close second, I now feel he might actually win this thing.
Next up was Chris Rene, who went back to basics with a song he wrote, "Young Homie." He owned it, and made me understand why people keep downloading it on iTunes. Both Paula and Nicole ate it up!
And then Amaro took the stage to sing Beyonce’s “Listen." It was heart-wrenching and sounded better than the original artist, if I can be honest. I mean, Amaro certainly SOUNDS like a professional already.
Amaro, Krajcik and Rene all chose the perfect songs for their solo performances last night. They showed why they should have a $5 million contract! But after tonight's show, only one will win. iReporter Al Mealey is putting his money on Melanie Amaro - as does Simon Cowell, in the video below from iReporter Chris Morrow:
Who do you think SHOULD win "The X Factor"?
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