'X Factor' finds an 'It' girl
December 23rd, 2011
01:15 PM ET

'X Factor' finds an 'It' girl

"X Factor" went out with a bang Thursday, announcing the winner of the season and bringing special joy to Simon Cowell, the show's creator. (Interestingly enough, the reality series also came in No. 1 among unscripted shows in ratings for the fall, according to Entertainment Weekly, surely only furthering Cowell's joy.)

Backstage interview with Melanie Amaro and Simon Cowell

It was a two-hour ride filled with great performances and flashbacks and teary-eyed stories from the people who knew the finalists best. We even got a chance to see the top 12 contestants revisit the stage. From Stacy Francis to Lakoda Rayne to Stereo Hoggz; they all sang the opening song together.

And then the show really began:

For the celebrity performances, "X Factor" brought out Justin Bieber and Stevie Wonder, and yes, it was spectacular. The duo did a number of Christmas songs, and out of nowhere came former contestant Drew Ryniewicz!

She took the stage, gave Bieber a hug and launched into a performance of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town," looking like she won the lottery.

Former U.K. "X Factor" winner Leona Lewis performed, and she's never looked better. So composed, elegant, and of course, so beautiful. She sang Snow Patrol’s “Run," and it was nice to see someone who has been through the competition show how successful one can be after winning.

But the "best collaboration of the night" award goes to 50 Cent and Astro. We first heard Fiddy do his old hit "In Da Club," to which I challenge you to find even one person that doesn’t want to stand up and dance when that song is played.

Then halfway through the song Astro hopped on stage to rap the rest of the lyrics, which was a nice image. Finally, Astro was able to do his thing with a real hip-hop star.

Not to be outdone, Pitbull also performed solo before Ne-Yo joined him to sing "Give Me Everything." It’s the song LOTS of ladies were waiting for, and before it was all over, former finalist Marcus Canty joined them.

Just when you thought the song couldn’t get better, Canty added his vocals and actually made an improvement on the track. I didn’t think it was possible, but Mr. Canty did it.

When we finally got to finalists Melanie Amaro, Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik, they each performed a Christmas-themed solo. Melanie channeled Mariah Carey with “All I Want for Christmas is You,” while Chris Rene went with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Then, Josh Krajcik belted out “Please Come Home for Christmas.” All three sang their chosen songs just as well as the originals. Well done, "X Factor."

Before the winner was announced, they decided to eliminate one of the three finalists earlier in the show. The person to first get the boot was Chris Rene. There was so much shock and awe that host Steve Jones suggested that they go to a break to absorb what just happened.

So many people apparently thought Chris had it locked up, but alas, he didn’t.

After what seemed like an eternity, Steve Jones finally announced the name we'd been waiting for: Melanie Amaro. Simon Cowell nearly fell off stage. Josh, meanwhile, was being the ultimate gentleman, saying, “Melanie deserves it!”

So now that it's over and Melanie gets her $5 million recording contract and a Pepsi commercial, what did you think of the finale? Did Amaro deserve it?


soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. seoreview

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    May 30, 2012 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
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    May 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. prdkya

    O41SOP nicsdenasivn

    January 9, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Evaline

    That's a gieunnely impressive answer.

    January 6, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. lojenk

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVdV4X2M2AI&w=640&h=390]

    December 27, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jefferson

      Aloha!!! Congratulations to Melanie and Daryl! a very beautiful and rinamtoc couple! Maybe they will have their too! can't wait to see their wedding photos! very nice shots, by the way! fantastic job!

      April 24, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Winoma Dyson

    The X-Factor was a "hit show" for my husband and I, who are retired. We were all into it. I was betting on Chris Rene
    all along- I loved his story and he was so humble. He was a well talented person and so I was rooting for him. I truly know that Melanie's singing (her voice), was impeccable. She is the true "winner", after all what Simon went through to get her back in the show. I must now truly believe that what is for you.....will be for you. That was DIVINE!!!!!!

    December 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joy

    All Melanie Amaro haters listen up . . . she did not sing all Whitney or Mariah songs. She sang one Whitney, two Mariah's, one Whitney/Mariah duet, three MJ's, two R Kelly, The Eagles, REM, Adele, Nina Simone/Michael Buble, Beyonce, then a David Bowie with Josh, Blackstreet with the final four, and i'm so digusted with some of you, I can't think if there's any others, but those are the ones that come straight to my mind. . . . like i said before, if you don;t like her . . you don't like her . .. but she won . . move on. . . next !!!!!

    December 26, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. samia margo

    the winner is Josh. He is a very musicien. I'm just waiting to buy his cd.

    December 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Snarky

    Random FACT: This show is stupid and you're stupid if you watch it.

    December 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. daddy justin bieber

    "It" girl? Did you not see her awful post winning interviews? As bad as Rick Perry in a national debate! And wait until she gets caught making some kindof video in the future. We'll see how much of "It" is there.

    December 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DappaD

      Well, if you think you can do better go and try and walk a mile in Melaine shoes, having an accent does not make you different, find faults and cannot come up with a solution is all that I am seeing you people do, can't you just congratulate the young woman for what she did?...She have come along way and it's people like you who put down people need to be seen more than ever.....try to compliment rather than finding faults or just don't watch the show and "Be a Bloody Man".

      December 25, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. carol23

    I tried watrching this show. but could not stand the fake drama from judges. Singers were no better than Idol. Melanie sounds great-but like too many others. Love Josh's voice, but don't see him as next great thing either. Best of luck to both of them though. Simon has such a big head-no way he deserves to get paid what he does. Paula's comments are SO over the top-she tells everyone they are good-when they are not. Nicole's crying got so old. What she did on night Crow went home should have her gone for next yr-but hey, it was the drama they wanted tor media to pick up on. The mentoring is silly-they should stop the groups and take turns mentoring them all. People were let go because of who their mentor is. Guy host is just ok. This show was a huge disappointment, so I could not watch every week. Really-time for singing contest shows to go. Maybe instead of audition shows they can go on road to dive bars, and other places to find talent that does not come to auditions.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sharon Herods

    Nicole was awful, I hope Simon does not bring her back. She made no sense most of the time and I wouldn't allow her to judge a frog contest. LA Green is a completely biased judge. He tried to put down anyone that was not his and his comments were so inappropriate he made himself look incompetent. Do not want him back either. I was disappointed in Paul, but Paula is Paula, you just got to love her for her dizziness. Simon, I was so proud of him, he gave compliments to all that deserved them and gave great advice (most of time) to the contestants.
    As for the finals, Chris had a good sad story and I could see him staying for awhile, no way to the end. There were two that should not have went home when they did due to this. Drew should have been in the finals. She has such an awesome voice, very unique. And, of course, Rachel....what a personality and voice. I know both of these we will hear from again. Did they get it right regarding Josh and Melanie? They were both outstanding. I will buy either of their albums.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Virginia Abreu de Paula

    Guess I didn't get the meaning of X Factor. I really thought it was something extra, originality, a charisma, etc. The winner didn't have to have a big voice to win the competion. It was not supposed to be about voice. This would be for the other show, called The Voice. So, how come Melanie wins? Yes, she sings well, her voice goes touches the sky...but what about the "it", the charisma or originality? She's got no X factor at all. They need to change the name of the show. My last comment is related only to my taste and I respect others, so respect mine. Gosh, she is so corny!

    December 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pete Colwell

    Okay, I'm british, so you wont hear me say too much against Simon Cowell (Like he cares what I think!) and I think he hit the jackpot with the results final. I thought it was brilliantly produced show, and I also thought the final three and the eventual winner were just about correct. I say 'just about' because Melanie continually sang songs where her voice could still be heard above the mammoth vocal backing that she was provided with, whereas Josh was drowned out far too easily by backing singers, particularly in the semi finals when it really mattered.

    If I'm to be honest (as Simon would say) my preference was Josh, as far as talent is concerned. He could play a piano, guitar etc, and has a brilliant voice. I just wish he (or Nicolle) had done things differently, and used different backing arrangements. He also looked like he needed a change of imagery. I so wish he hadnt appeared to the TV masses continually looking like he just got off work early, and ran all the way to the show without tidying himself a bit! Had he done those things, he could quite well be the winner now!

    As far as the judges go, I dont want to see Nicole or to a lesser extent LA Green again. Nicole was blatently constantly making sure she was center stage, and lost track of the fact that she was meant to be judging other people! I hope next time that Simon decides to bring Cheryl Cole over (from the UK version) as was the original plan. LA Green was passable, but again only just. In my opinion, he had far too much to say with his ridiculous observations about the other contestants, just so that he could start a farcical argument with Simon.

    Make no mistake, Simon emerged the total victor, in every sense of the word in that final.

    December 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simon Fan

      I agree with you about most of the things you mentioned. There are a couple of things I would change next time around:

      1. The host: Enough with British hosts!!! He is the worst I have seen.
      2. The judges: Paula is getting old, she has a soft spot in her heart for all male contestants and can not judge objectively. She WANTS them. Nicole is so superficial, so unprofessional and the worst judge. She absolutely needs to go. LA Reed was very dishonest. He played it in favor of his guys.
      3. Some of the rules: The judges unprofessionalism calls for changes. The way Paula and Nicole judged (with the lower part of the body) the contestants who sang for survival was very upsetting. Each judge shoul give a certain amount of points which should be combined with the public vote.

      Good Luck Melanie and Josh!

      December 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • moon627

      HA ! :))
      I just kept thinking that if the host Steve (?) would grow out his hair he could be Russell Brand's twin brother

      and did you notice how everyone was ignoring him ? Cuz he's not worth listening to – get a new host for the show!

      December 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jennifer

    Melanie sounded like other people because she always sang whitney...the reason it was boring is because the songs she sang were rather old and outdated....becuase she didnt change them up hardly at all like some of the other contestants did with their versions.....however, she no doubt had a better voice than chris rene..I have no doubt that with a 5 million dollar recording contract, they'll find her some decent songwriters and she will do just fine --just like leona lewis did.....

    December 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      . .always sang Whitney??? I am so tired of people saying that. She sang one Whitney, one Whitney/MiMi, two MiMi's, three MJ's, two R Kelly's, Adele, The Eagles, REM, Nina Simone/Michael Buble, Beyonce, and probably someone else that i can't quite remember at this time. So would everyone please 'stop it' with the all Whitney/MiMi?Celine crap. She won . . if you don't like her, you don't like her, just stop with all the excuses!!! Damn !!!!!!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  16. SeriouslyThough

    MELANIE AMARO you deserved this win! It's about time someone got to their knees and thanked God for the blessings they have received. Melanie is not only blessed with a beautiful voice and spirit (all the other contestants loved her) but she also PUBLICLY gave thanks to God, who gave it all to her! Good for you! God bless you and I will be listening to you for a very long time.

    December 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Bob Mulligan

    Can somebody tell me NICOLE found it necessary to cry every week? wHAT A THEATRICAL PRINCESS! Get her off and please Paula, quit trying to mimic her. And last, Good Riddance LA.

    December 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  18. jude

    As per off-key Tiah and Simone during camp week, Simon chose them over Melanie coz he clearly thinks with his lower head rather than use his upper head. It's no secret that he loves mocca, caramel & chocolate. Tho Melanie has some of that.

    December 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  19. pam

    GOD GAVE MELANIE A GIFT HER VOICE!! CONGRATS MELANIE, I AM SO BLESSED TO BE ABLE TO HAVE HEARD YOU SING. KEEP ON USING GOD'S GIFT!!! KEEP SINGING AND MAKE US ALL PROUD. GOD BLESS YOU.

    December 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard Fore

      @Pam, GOD DOES NOT EXIST SO SHUT UP WITH THE CRAZY RELIGIOUS SCEBUTTLE

      December 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  20. deb

    I was rooting for Chris–such an original, soulful singer. But not surprised he didn't get it since I tried several times to vote for him and each time there was a busy signal. Wonder how many people that happened to?

    Melanie had the strongest voice, and deserves what rewards she receives, but I agree with another commentator, that her voice just like so many we already hear. Chris and Josh brought something new and interesting, the kind of music I would enjoy more.

    December 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Roscoe Chait

    Melanie deserved to win. She is extraordinarily talented and a delight to watch. The show, on the other hand, is a dog. I know that insults dogs and I don't mean to. The phony bickering among the judges, the cra**y advice, the horrible production, including noise and poor audio, contribute to an overall negative feeling about the show. I watched it last night to see who won–but for most of the show I had the audio muted and read a novel through the awful parts, which was most of the show.

    Throughout the series, the performers were sometimes asked what they would do with the $5 million, but that was deceptive, to say the least. It is a $5 million dollar recording contract, no doubt most of the money going to marketing. The record business is notoriously corrupt, with artists getting little of the profits. The artists make their money on live concerts while the record producers and promoters steal the majority of the record sales. In particular, LA Reed has proven himself to be a woman hater on the show and is a creep and stinkbomb, the product of too many years wheeling and dealing.

    I wish Melanie all the best in her career. She is a wonderful talent and person and will become a huge star. Josh will also do very well, even though he didn't win.

    As for the show, I will not watch it again. It is annoying and the judges and judging are perverse. The judges don't follow the rules they created (i.e. Nicole voting against Rachel so there would be a tie, and the folks at home would have the vote). I don't think viewers ask much from a show, but we do demand fairness–and these dolts did not deliver.

    December 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeriouslyThough

      Wow Roscoe!...the season might have been a dog...with all the things you mention....but the FINALE was another thing! That show was amazing...no judges talking and bickering, stellar performances by EVERYONE, from the guests to the returning 12. You've got to be kidding! Even had Beiber back to his old self...singing soulful like a young Michael Jackson and not the little silly pop version they turned him into. THE SHOW WAS HOT HOT HOT! You should have turned the mute button OFF because you missed some brilliant performances.

      December 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Katie

    Melanie has a strong voice, but Josh is a musician. He sings, plays guitar and piano. He sings like a MAN (where as Rene sounded more female, IMHO). Josh's rendition of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was unbelievable. He deserved to win. However Melanie is excellent, despite the fact that she sounds like other well-know talent. I prefer different to same old same old.

    December 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      Thank you. You stated perfectly – I will also buy Josh's CD as soon as it's out. He definitely has the most talent as you so aptly expressed; piano, guitar, and vocals. Chris is endearing – I love come-back stories. Melanie is gifted and blessed. That being said, I felt the "same old, same old" fit. No one can replace the original "Whitney." Can't wait to go to Josh's concert. Won't spend the money on the other talented two.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • DappaD

      Of Course she was the hit girl....just remember it's who can sell records and not just a one genre person....Melanie is versatile and can sell CDs and also pleasing to the eyes, I guess all her life it was people like you that she was hiding from, who cannot and will not accomplished what she have done thus far.....Go Melanie.....she deserve it.

      December 25, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  23. gumbo

    Predictable Amaro had great vocal chops, but Chris Rene had the whole package, vocals, visually interesting, captivating and entertaining so much more than Amaro. Makes one wonder who voted on this one. Where are the people who know what works on stage?

    December 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mermaid

    Melanie might have a great voice, but she is boring, boring, boring! Brings nothing new to the music scene at all. I won't be buying any of her albums or over-blown balad tracks either! Josh Krajcik was my choice, as his voice is soulful and real! I am hoping he lands a record deal with someone who will let him shine sans all the over-produced glitz from the bloated show...won't miss the stupid dancing either...

    Chris Rene...seriously? He could hardly carry a tune!!!! Looking forward to Idol again, even though I hope they can make a better selection than a dorky kid who can't hit the high notes!

    December 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeriouslyThough

      I just KNOW you are not talking about Scotty from Idol...you just lost all believability with that one! I have seen him live...and he is phenomenal, even better than on TV! Check CD sales lately? You obviously do not know talent when you see it.

      December 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      AI was so pathetic last year....not ONE strong voice outa the whole pack of freaks. Alfred E. Neuman winning???? A joke.

      December 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  25. kim smith

    My choice was Josh. He is versatile and I would definitely buy his first album. AM hasn't got personality and a repeater. Her voice is not unusual on the music scene. She is now, out of my horizon!

    December 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  26. innerjuju

    The surprise wasn't that Amaro won, she certainly deserved that, but that Cowell actually dismissed her in favor of the off-key Tiah Tolliver.

    December 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • soul912

      I couldn't agree more with you! I am glad he realized his mistake soon enough.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  27. kim

    i can't believe chris rene didn't win. i thought it was a sure bet on chris rene as 1st followed in 2nd by josh, and definitely 3rd to melanie. wow, another pop star girl that we hear on the radio ALL day long. nothing new. chris and josh brought originality and they were truly artists. but this show was simon's baby...i figured since melanie was his she would win. i couldn't be more disappointed.

    December 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim Smith

      Yeah, it was a big disappointment to me too.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Chris Rene unnnnh unnnnnh SUCKED.... so sick of hearing crap music these days. Melanie and Josh had it all over him throughout the season.... couldn't believe he lasted as long as he did. White trash through and through. The best person did win and the runner up was a near equal. Can't wait to hear her and Josh's first albums. Intelligent music masters and incredible artist. Congrats to both.

      December 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      hey, jack. chris is one of my good friends so stfu saying hes white trash since you dont even know him you ill mannered, ignorant piece of crap. im not about to argue about who sounds better, everyone has their own taste in music, but when you insult a friend like that then you have gone way too far

      December 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Melanie has professional vocals as an amateur whereas chris had the likeability. I didn't think he'd beat Melanie for a second.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DappaD

      Get with the program and understand that Melanie is a great singer....kudos to Josh and Chris who might I add are also talented, but America got it right this time around, so be happy for Melaine and stop sounding like you have a chip on your shoulder, maybe next time when XFactor is on air who can go ahead and try out and see how far you'll get.

      December 25, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Are you freakin kidding me? Hey, I really liked Chris and was behind him to pull up to the finals..but dude...they got can't really sing all that well. Great stage presence and totally likable...but c'mon.....Melanie had an AMAAAAAAZING voice that shook the rafters each and every week. No way she wasn't going to win that....and deservedly so.

      December 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  28. portalpunk

    im frickin FIRSTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • soul912

      @ portalpunk: You are a racist and I am so glad America is not you....Melanie is a great singer and people who have taste voted for her. Open your heart and see beyond the accent! Happy Holidays!

      December 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • portalpunk

      @soul912 Not sure what the heck your talking about,I'm FIRST TO POST ON THIS BLOG ARTICLE. How to you get racist out of that you moron.

      December 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • weimtrainer

      Wow soul912, hyper-sensitive much? Your accusation is completely baseless. Exactly which one of the 3 horrible words in portalpunk's post alerted you to the fact the he is a racist? "I'm", "Frickin'" or "Firsty"? Help me undersatnd how you came by this knowledge so easily. If he had typed 8 words you would probably accuse him of being Hitler himself. YOU are the one that should "check yourself".

      December 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |

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