‘The X Factor’ Recap: The Finals

the x factorS1E23: Guys, guys — it’s really happening! Finals week is finally here! And no, I’m not talking about those tests you take in college at the end of each semester (boo), I’m talking about The X Factor finals. After weeks and weeks of watching the contestants perform and observing the judges do absolutely nothing, it’s time to find out which act is about to get $5 million richer. And I gotta be honest….I have no idea who that’s going to be. These last three contestants have proven they possess the XYZ Factor time and time again — and since the results are always given IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, it’s hard to know where these three have been ranking amongst each other throughout the course of the competition. (That sneaky Steve Jones). But before any winners can be crowned, the acts must perform for America one last time, in the hopes of winning their hearts — and more importantly, their votes. all or nothing

So sit back, relax, and take comfort in knowing that the decision completely lies in your hands — meaning none of the judges can muck up the results (that we know of). So let’s get on with the show…

First to sing was Josh Krajcik, who sang a duet of Uninvited with the one and only Alanis Morissette. So wait, they’re singing duets with pros now? When was this decided and is it really the best decision? I feel like she overpowered him the whole time and poor Josh seemed too focused on trying to stay on key rather than put any emotion into the performance. Not his best vocals by far. But of course, the judges loved it, so what do I (or is it what do they) know? And to be fair, he was probably trying to figure out what was going on with Nicole’s hair, which would certainly be understandable. Either way, I wasn’t overly impressed, but based on the previous talent he’s exuded throughout the course of the show, I still think he’s a fantastic singer and deserves to be in this competition.

Up next was “8 months sober” Chris Rene who sang (you guessed it) a duet of Complicated with Avril Lavigne. Chris at least seemed a little more at home with sharing the harmony with someone else, but I’m still not thrilled with the whole singing-with-a-pro thing since it draws focus away from the contestants. Personally, I’d be kinda upset that someone was trying to horn in on my limelight during finals week, but Chris seemed thrilled (especially after she told America they should vote for him). The judges once again gave no advice and just sang his praises, so apparently judging is no longer relevant at this point in the competition (although if I think about it, I guess it never was). But he looked good, he sounded decent, and he came out truly owning the performance. I know he’s not the best singer out of the three, but with all his confidence and charisma, I feel like he could end up winning this thing.

Then came Melanie Amaro, who sang a duet of I Believe I Can Fly with R. Kelly and it was the best pairing of the bunch. Her voice is just so powerful and steady that it would take a lot more than another vocal to make it waiver. If this competition was based solely on vocals, this girl would be the obvious winner hands down. Time after time after time, she never fails to do an amazing job — and look absolutely fabulous. But of course L.A. hates all other competitors that aren’t his, so he didn’t think it was her best work (however since he couldn’t even recognize a Christina Aguilera song a few weeks back, I’m not taking much stock in what he has to say anymore). This girl is the real deal people! Simon said it best — Melanie didn’t look like she was in a talent competition, she looked like SHE was the pro.

Then kicking off the second round was Josh Krajcik, who sang (solo this time) At Last by Etta James, while playing guitar at the same time. Not necessarily the song I would’ve chosen him to sing, but he did a good job with it overall. Those scary faces of his have to go though because they’re a little stressful to look at. But other than that, it was a pleasure to watch, as always — and the judges agreed. L.A. and Paula called his performance purely authentic, Simon said it was both bold and impressive, and Nicole commented that it was a little piece of Krajcik magic.

Chris Rene hit the stage next, singing his go-to song Young Homie, one of his own creations. He did a good job, but I was a little surprised he chose to sing it since we’ve heard it about a million times before. I thought he would’ve tried going for something a little more bold or different, but I guess you go with what works and the judges ate it all up. No seriously, Paula freaked out and said he was basically the air that she breaths and Simon congratulated him on keeping his word to stay sober this whole time and encouraged America to get behind him and vote for him. I wonder what poor Melanie had to say about that…

And rounding out the final performance was Melanie Amaro, who sang Listen by Beyonce and it was fantastic. Not only was it a genius song choice, but she completely brought the house down with it. The emotion, the steadiness, the wardrobe — all of it would’ve made my girl Beyonce proud. Seriously, it was extremely moving and probably one of her best performances to date. L.A. called it a $50 million dollar performance, while Simon said it’s because of talent like hers that made him want to bring this competition over to America in the first place. It was a brilliant, perfect way to end the show. I bet those boys are nervous…

So who do you think will win the majority of the votes and become America’s very first X Factor winner? Personally, I think it will come down between Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro, but this show isn’t exactly known for its predictability, so anything’s possible. Sound off in the comments section below!