The X Factor USA Finals aired tonight, offering the contestants one last shot to secure fan votes. The top three are one step closer to winning the $5 million dollar prize, which is a lot of pressure. Based on tonight’s performances, we will witness one of them becoming an instant millionaire tomorrow.
Opening the show they performed duets, with top recording artists. This added more stress on the singers and incredible pressure to get it right. Not only were they down to their last shot of closing the deal, they had to step up their game by singing next to a super star.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Josh Krajcik was teamed up with Alantis Morrisette. While she is a popular singer with millions of fans, it just did not work. Although Josh sounded good, I did not like their sound together and there are so many better song choices for him. With his soulful voice, it would have also been great to hear him sing with an R & B singer. The judges seemed to like the performance, but I believe they were being kind. It was fun to see them joined by a professional singer, but this appeared to force the judges to praise their performances. With the exception of Simon; of course he did not bite his tongue and was actually right.
Chris Rene collaborated with pop star Avril Levine. Once again, this would not have been my choice. He has rapped the entire season, why team him up with Nicki Minaj? I did not care for his performance and it felt out of his element. The judges once again, seemed to enjoy it for the most part, but this was definitely not a $5 million dollar performance. L.A. and Simon even went as far to say “that could be a hit record”, if so, I would not buy it. This is the finals and although Chris has a huge following, he still needed a slam dunk.
Melanie Amaro seems to be blessed with luck. She must have extremely good karma or her angel Simon watching her back, because she was given the best duet partner of them all. Teaming up with song writing genius and singing sensation R. Kelly was perfect for her. She was also given a great song choice, “I Believe I can Fly”. Seriously, Simon really wants to win, because he kept her consistent record in tact. It was amazing to see R. Kelly back in the spotlight and this was a huge risk for Simon. Of course, L.A. Reid gave her a negative comment, but she was clearly the best of the three…round one.
ROUND TWO RECAP
Josh Krajcik was always my pick to win. However, tonight it was good that he was given a second song, otherwise Nicole may have hurt his chances of winning based on his first performance. The true soulful and authentic Josh came through singing “At Last” with just a guitar. This is more true to who he is and was a much better song choice. It may have helped him go all the way…although he may have closed the gap for Melanie with his first song.
Chris Rene is going far after this competition. He is an extremely talented song writer and was smart to sing his hit “Young Homie”, which landed him in the finals. Although some may believe a repeat was too safe, it is exactly what he needed to remind fans why he made it this far. Chris actually performs his own music much better than others and I just love that song. Fans chanted his name at the end of his second performance, which may be a sign that he could be the “dark horse” to beat.
Melanie Amaro singing “Listen” with so much passion and strength showed she is in it to win it. Her second performance put her back on top for the evening and she is giving Chris and Josh a run for the money. She definitely gave a $5 million dollar performance and the fans also chanted her name. Simon pleaded for fans to support Melanie and stamped her the winner, which likely helped increase votes for her tonight.
Last week I was certain Josh would win the competition, but after tonight’s performances it is not a “sure thing”. Melanie and Chris may have closed the gap, opening the door for an upset. If Simon loses he will surely sulk, and he should be sweating a bit tonight because the competition is stiff. We shall see tomorrow…and whoever wins will have a HAPPY HOLIDAY for sure! I would be thrilled for any of the three, they are all winners to me.