The X Factor Top 3 Performance Finale: Follow Along With Our Jaunty Live Blog!

Predictions for The X Factor Performance Finale: One contestant will sing a monster-truck-style ballad. One will bust out an original composition. And one will play an instrument.

We’ll get a glimpse of the Paula Abdul Chair Dance (TM pending). Nicole Schlewbacca’s lashes will glimmer with dewy residue (though no actual tears will muss her foundation). L.A. Reid will take potshots at any vocalist he’s not personally mentoring. And Simon Cowell will call something “bloody fantastic.”

Of course, whether or not my prognosticating proves accurate, one thing is for certain: As the show rolls on, I’ll update you on who’s performed what and offer my opinions of said performances in 10 words or something close to it. So keep refreshing the page for all the good, the bad, and the certainty of Nicole trying to force Josh to sing something dreadful. (Oh, and come back to TVLine mid-Thursday morning for my full episode recap!)

Ready, set, discuss!

Josh Krajcik (with Alanis Morissette): “Uninvited”
Sigh. That song fit his voice like a Size 28 jean fits my midsection. He’s going to need a showstopper in his second number if he wants to get the win.

Chris Rene (with Avril Lavigne): “Complicated”
Mrrrrrr. That might be worth $5 million if this show was called America’s Next Top Song Whisperer. I am not feeling this finale.

Melanie Amaro (with R. Kelly): “I Can’t Believe They Picked This Flippin’ Awful SongI Can Fly”
Honestly, I’d have taken “Trapped in the Closet” over that supersized slice of treacle. A little low for her comfort zone on the opening verse, but (ugh) her voice did kinda soar near the end there.

Josh, Chris, Melanie and Cylons on Steroids: Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us”
I cahhhhhhn’t with that.

Josh Krajcik: Etta James’ “At Last”
Absolutely the right choice of song and arrangement, and performed beautifully. (Speaking of perfection, though, I can’t help but plug Melinda Doolittle’s version here, too.)

Chris Rene: “Young Homie”
Simon’s right, that was his $5 million song. (And I’m only a tiny bit bothered that it’s the third time he’s sung it on the show since January.) ¡Melanie had better braaaang something uptempo!

Melanie Amaro: Beyoncé’s “Listen”
Dayum. Her vocals just ate everyone else’s vocals.

OK, your turn. Hit the comments with your thoughts on the X Factor performance finale, and please come back to TVLine mid-Thursday morning for my full episode recap. And for all my reality TV news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mary says:

    The duets leave something to be desired. Hate the song, but Melanie was the best.
    Chris and his celebrity both were off key, this his why today’s music suck it is called auto tune. Josh was out of his element. He has a good voice, but I’m not seeing star power, his eyes bug me, looks deranged.

    • ana_muti says:

      I never once saw a comment about Josh’s eyes until Simon mentioned it. Then all of a sudden, it was as though he gave people some solid hook to criticize him with.

      He looks like a man who’s passionate about what he’s in the midst of creating.

    • Shindig says:

      if you watch a lot of vocalists, they make bugged out faces a lot of times — it’s just how it works sometimes

      • Kiki says:

        I ADORE Josh, but I’m afraid his “insane” look will lose him votes–they should coach him to close his eyes when he feels them bugging out. And I noticed it before Simon even mentioned it–I was saying, “What’s going on with his expression? He looks crazy!”

        The reason it’s important is because stars. don’t. look. crazy!

        And Melanie is losing votes by not smiling.

        Chris’s voice is too weak. But he’s a good songwriter.

        Josh is truly my favorite, but Melanie is extremely talented vocally, and Chris is a creative songwriter (and bad singer).

        • Shindig says:

          True, but not completely. They hide it, as you said, but not all. Kinda depends on what kind of music I guess. I lol’d imagining someone like Katy Perry doing that. I wish Josh would have gotten to sing an original track, because I think he’s a good songwriter as well. It’s not entirely fair one contestant is identified as such, but that’s the show’s fault. I don’t hate Chris, I enjoy plenty of groups where the vocals are very weak (Smashing Pumpkins, Everclear, 238445 other bands) — but his “genre” isn’t my cup of tea. Melanie is excellent.. but not my cup of coffee, either. I’d kill to hear Josh sing with Pearl Jam, though.

  2. ana_muti says:

    Are they singing just two songs, or three? I thought it was three, but there wouldn’t be enough time…

  3. Bad Breaker says:

    I just wish Josh had picked another song. It was exactly like his audition (plus guitar). His “Wild Horses” is still probably my favorite performance of the whole season.

  4. Yo says:

    I seem to be in left field tonight. That is okay, cuz I like Josh.

  5. Jaded says:

    Did Chris Rene overcome hardship at some point? If only they’d tell us more about him.

  6. ana_muti says:

    Well that answered THAT question.

  7. Jaded says:

    He’s so likeable but that boy can’t sing worth a damn.

  8. Allie says:

    I can’t be the only one who’s sick of “Young Homie”, right?

    • Billy says:

      I remember during the audition when he sang it I was just waiting for Simon to say “Come back in ten or fifteen years after you learn how to write songs and take vocal lessons.”
      This show is so rigged…

  9. Bad Breaker says:

    Young Homie…again, that’s 3 times this season. C’mon man. I guess Melanie will sing Listen. I could have just watched the auditions again.

  10. Margo says:

    I can see Chris Renee winning…not that he’s my favorite but he’s is a great performer. Only thing is he sounded out of breathe? :S

    • My Alter Ego says:

      He sounded breathless yet again? Surprise, surprise.

      • Crystal Fan says:

        If Chris can’t perform even one song without becoming breathless……how the h ell is he gonna perform an entire show *if* he wins the $5 mill contract and has to take his homie show on the road??

  11. Shindig says:

    I thought Josh’s second song was awesome, my favorite of the night so far and probably of his recent performances. I’d listen to it. But Chris.. are you seriously singing that song AGAIN?!?!

    • jennrae says:

      It didn’t seem like they had much choice.

      • Shindig says:

        I realized it right now they’re all probably just forced to sing their audition song. I’m not watching the filler crap before the songs, so I probably missed any announcement.

        • jennrae says:

          Nah, I don’t think they announced it. If they had I would probably have already changed the channel. I think they should have chosen their best/favorite song instead.

          • Shindig says:

            Haha, you know, that’s probably why they didn’t. I understand it was probably a “look at where they were, look at now!!” type thing, but we saw those auditions about 20 times already and it’s old. I really enjoyed Josh’s, the guitar was really fun. Chris has pulled a “radio” on Young Homie, and I totally forgot Melanie’s audition. but it was stale all in all because of nothing “new.” I don’t even like the way idol does it, personally

  12. Ugh says:

    Paula, WTF. Chris is not worth $5 million, no wonder XFactor ratings are no where near Idols. Chris is deff likeable. But C’MON, his pitch was off. Young Homie? I know what I’m tripping on and it isn’t you. If he wins, last time I ever watch XFactor.

    • Sherry says:

      I have practically been forcing myself to finish this season and my husband quit watching weeks ago. He won’t even stay in the room if it’s on.

      But I agree, if Chris wins I will not watch next year. Might not even watch if he doesn’t win.If Chris had been on AI I bet he would’ve been one of the “bad auditions” that they show periodically for a laugh. He simply cannot sing but I guess that puts him in good company right along with most pop singers these days.

  13. Bad Breaker says:

    The judges sure seem to be pimping Chris for the win…even Simon.

  14. Mary says:

    I guess the judges want Chris to win. Best song from him for the whole season.
    Auto tune here we come. I personally wouldn’t see him in concert, but I will admit the song is catchy. I wish them all the best, but none of them makes me want to follow
    Their careers.

  15. Bonnie says:

    At Last is one of my faves, and yes Michael, Melinda Doolittle’s version was superb!

  16. Jaded says:

    Wow, Melanie’s really defying her characterization as predictable and boring.

  17. Bonnie says:

    Now that, boys, is how to sing. Bravo, Melanie

  18. will says:

    Ridiculous finale. Chris can’t sing worth a lick, and how do you get away with signing the same song 3 times. I don’t care if he changed the lyrics, he’s not good. Josh is good, Melanie is good, yet they think Chris is amazing. Jesus…dude sucks.

  19. Margo says:

    I wish Melanie didn’t sing these kind of ballads all season long…but either way…she blew the vocals out the box with her rendition of ‘Listen’…that was great.

    But I don’t see her winning over Josh or Chris

  20. Jaded says:

    Melanie’s got the best voice hands down. Chris is the best performer and Josh is the most interesting. I could only see myself buying an album of Josh’s.

    • ana_muti says:

      Oh snap! I wrote the same thing before seeing your post. Agreed totally.

    • Irishize says:

      Agree, but I’d probably rather buy Chris than Josh, he’s not my usual cup of tea, but I’ve really gotten to like his performances

    • Yo says:

      She has an incredible voice, but this is show biz and Chris REne will win, for whatever reason. Whatever this is, it is not a singing competition.

    • matt says:

      Disagree, the whole time I heard Melanie singing I was thinking how much better it sounds when Beyoncé sings it. Josh has the best voice, I hope viewers vote based on what he’s done all season, because he deserves to win, but Melanie will probably win because the judges love the melodramatic moments she provides.

  21. erin says:

    This girl has diva written all over her face – she can sing but she is so fake

  22. ana_muti says:

    Mel is a fantastic singer, but I’d never buy her music. I hope she does well; I hope they ALL do well. Choosing her over Josh is like saying you like apples rather than oranges. I like ’em both, both for difference reasons.
    Chris will have his following too, and by the way, I not only like apples and oranges, but I do like the occasional pear too.

    But my votes go for Josh, whose music I WOULD buy. He’s more real to me, and represents me more than Mel.

    • Shindig says:

      This sums up my feelings as well

    • Grace says:

      Thank you. This exactly.

    • matt says:

      Chris René is a pear lol. That isn’t exactly the food item I’d associate with him..

      • ana_muti says:

        I’m stretching here, but think of it–most times, pears need to be plucked from the tree unripe (really). They’re not ready to eat. They have potential, but have to ripen first. Lot of trouble and effort, enjoyable for a brief time. Apples/oranges last a whole lot longer.

        Chris isn’t ready for his close-up yet. Not to say he’s totally unripe, but he needed more time to mature and get his vocals stronger.

        That’s the best I can do before coffee.

  23. Shindig says:

    Melanie, your vocals wow me, but thank you for the trial of Ambien via TV. Yes, she did a “dance” song (lol) during Dance Music night, but please inform me of a non-inspirational/ballad song she has done. It’s likely I’m missing -one-, but this is because I lost interest in her

  24. Lisak says:

    I will buy josh’s album .. i’ll go see josh in concert …

  25. Jaded says:

    Melanie has an amazing voice, but I could go buy a Whitney album if I want to hear a great voice. Chris is a great songwriter, performer, and not a bad singer. Chris definitely has that something special. He’s two original songs are the only tracks I would download from the entire season.

  26. Grace says:

    It really grinds my gears that Josh was the ONLY one to take the chance to sing a song that wasn’t something he’d already done. To me, being a star is coming out better than you started and constantly improving, and to me singing the same songs the same way is not the “X Factor.” Ugh.

  27. Ashley says:

    WOOOOOOOO, Melanie killed it. Out of the performances tonight she did the best, ballads are her thing. You won’t see ADELE singing an up tempo song, ever. Melanie is kinda like that. Melanie FTW. If she dosen’t win, what a shame really.

  28. Gus says:

    Just came to be on performance playbacks…Josh is monster from “Where the Wild Things Are”

  29. me says:

    Melanie is a snooze singing the same old ish every week. They really believe people will buy this? and look at her crying already like she has it in the bag. This is the last I’ll be watching this garbage show

  30. karenb says:

    F3=Astro, Drew and Rachel.

    Coulda been so much better. Sniff sniff.

  31. mary says:

    Simon just lost the show for Melaine. She was the best of the night but the demo
    Are young girls and their moms, so she doesn’t stand a chance in h..ll. If she does
    Not win then I hope Chris does. Yes he can’t sing but he does have stage presence.
    Sorry Josh is a good singer, but lacks star quality.

  32. Marty says:

    Yep Melanie killed it. Hers to lose!

    Chris and Josh aren’t even in the same league. At the end of the day it comes down to vocals.

    • ana_muti says:

      I don’t agree with your premise that Josh doesn’t have the vocals. He has quite a following himself because his vocals aren’t something we’ve heard every other day from diva-type singers. Josh will fill audiences and sell CDs for the same reason Mel won’t–he’s unique, has the power, the voice, and the creative artistry.

    • Shindig says:

      I have to completely disagree with “not in the same league.” It’s not necessarily false.. they’re apples and oranges — but Josh is a fantastic singer. His first song was just as off in the intro as Melanie’s was. She sounded awful at first. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t come down to vocals. I don’t think it ever has. If she has the package most voters want, she will, but it’s not solely the voice. Otherwise Chris would have been gone.

      • Marty says:

        When it comes to selling CD’s I think vocals are going to play a huge part.

        It would be easier for me to like Chris if he chose a side.. is he rapping or is he actually trying to sing? I don’t think he’s that great at either. Melanie on the other hand can sing her butt off and will sell CDs. Josh will too.. I can agree on that.

  33. Bad Breaker says:

    Melanie does so much better when she leaves the mic stand and prowls. He hand/arm movements are awkward. I think that’s part of why she comes off a bit artificial. I always laugh when she sings about her heart and grabs her abdomen.

  34. Vinessa says:

    Love the show. Gives people a chance who would never have the opprotunity. Not to be rude but can’t stand the host. He is def no Ryan seacrest. Please get someone new. (sorry host) love the rest of th panel. I think Chris Renee is original and gifted.

  35. Vote For Melanie says:

    ‘Nuf Said

  36. Selena says:


    Melanie is boring. Same thing week in and week out. It got old real quick. Her only somewhat upbeat song was a dance version of an Adele song. Blahhh..

  37. Vanessa says:

    Is it just me, or has anybody else noticed that the announcer on xfactor sounds exactly like the announcer from the Super Smash Brothers video games???

    • Shindig says:

      To be completely honest, the announcer always made me picture the singers lining up in a Super Smash Brothers/Soul Calibur fight. Or Celebrity Death match, lol

  38. Davey says:

    Good luck Melanie. You do have a good voice but I won’t buy your album.
    Chris, I don’t think you can sing on key but that doesn’t matter according to Paula.
    Josh, I like you the most but you didn’t take any risks tonight. I still find you more interesting than the others.

  39. Sis says:

    oh goodness
    i just read the song choices and i don’t even have any interest in watching..

  40. JoJo says:

    Is it just because I have a headache, or did Melanie just give me a headache?

  41. Elena says:

    First round: This was a wash; they were all bad or uninteresting. I didn’t like the pairings or the songs for the contestants.

    Second round: They all did very well although I’m disappointed we had to hear audition sounds again (and WTH, “Young Homie” a THIRD TIME).

    My observations: While I like Chris least because he can’t sing, this song is catchy and people seem to like him. I don’t know if it’s due to his back story, but I have to wonder how far that will carry him as an artist. He CAN write, however, and as long as they’re all as good as “YH,” he could be relevant on the pop charts. Josh has great vocals and is a skilled musician. As long as he stays away from love songs (they clash with his crazy eyes), he’s good to go. I can’t see him on the pop charts, though. Ditto with the diva, Melanie, because pop music has changed so much. She’s more AC. Obviously, she can sing circles around the other two. While she doesn’t come across as super animated, I can’t rule her out because these contestants haven’t been allowed to work on themselves as artists. This show has been all about the judges and their competition with each other and how they molded their talent. I have no idea what Melanie would actually choose to sing for herself other than her audition song. Would she prefer something more uptempo? More daring? We just don’t know. I could see myself buying her album if the music was right. Ditto with Josh. Chris? No way. His style is just too different from mine although I recognize that he, more than the other two, has his finger on the pulse of what’s current.

  42. ana_muti says:

    This entire 1st season of XF has been a total let down. Simon doesn’t seem to realize that 12-year-olds competing with 30-year-olds is unfair to both age groups. I’m not interested in watching 13-year-olds melt down on live TV, nor am I interested in hearing undeveloped 13-year-old voices.

    I found someone unique in Josh Krajcik, and will stick with him regardless of whether he wins or not–winning a competition isn’t what is going to make his future. And my enjoyment and admiration of his voice and artistry isn’t dependent on whether or not he wins this talent show.

    But Simon has a lot of work to do, and I don’t think he’s going to be able to see past his ego to make the changes that are necessary to keep this show going. Not counting the talent of the finalists themselves, I have to rate Simon’s first season a C over all.

    • matt says:

      I really have no problems with the crazy format, I liked the melodrama it provides and I thought Rachel Crow the 13-year-old had the best voice on the show, with Josh the 31-year-old a close second. They are both superb artists, in my opinion, and I hope Josh somehow wins even though it’s looking like he doesn’t have a chance in hell because of all the Melanie love. As long as they fix the sound and replace at least Nicole if not both Nicole and L.A. then I am pretty sure I will watch it again next year. Too much microphone on audience screaming ruins the show, makes it even worse than AI.

  43. GingerSnap says:

    This is what I came away with from the duets. Only Melanie sounded like she belonged there. Both Chris and Josh were overshadowed and overwhelmed by the artist they were paired with.
    This really comes down to the final $5 million song. Each of them appeals to a different demo, but who will we still be listening to 5 years from now? Whether she wins or not, Melanie is the only one who has the kind of voice and talent that can transcend musical fashions. She can flat out sing, and as she matures, we’ll see her become a better performer.
    People I work with keep talking about Kelley Clarkson being the first winner of AI and they somehow expect Melanie to do the same for X Factor. If The X Factor is going to become as valued as AI, it has to produce a star. Chris R or Josh aren’t that star. They are the next Lee DeWyze and Taylor Hicks. We’ll remember them for a season or two and quickly fade away.
    We’ll still be talking about Melanie 5 years from now. And I’m off to vote for her.

    • matt says:

      I am sick of everyone calling Josh just another Lee DeWyze. I remember Lee and Josh is way more talented than Lee was on AI, he has more charisma and star power too.

  44. Sebby says:

    If this were The Voice instead of X Factor, I think Melanie would win hands down. The girl has serious pipes. Problem is this show has only showcased her as a ballads diva and really limited her appeal. Her personality and on again/off again accent has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and we all know people don’t vote for contestants purely based on vocal ability. I love me some Josh and he has a beautiful voice as well. He has also shown more versatility than Melanie. Problem is that I don’t think he has a current enough vibe for the younger viewers. Chris undoubtedly has the weakest voice of the 3, but I think he could very well win this thing. Putting aside his backstory, he’s current and extremely likable. The kid is bursting at the seams with positive energy and has somehow managed to appeal to people that don’t even like hip hop.

  45. Raftrap says:

    Melanie ended the show with…it was really good, I don’t even know what to write.

  46. GingerSnap says:

    LOL, it’s funny that you assumed I was referring to Josh as Lee DeWyze, ‘cuz I was thinking of Chris when I wrote that!

  47. greg says:

    the most frustrating part of this show is that none of the judges actually judge. there is no way chris should be in the finals of a singing competition. simon is the only judge not blinded by rainbows and ponies and gumdrops, yet even he has got sucked into praising chris when he cant even sing a note.

    • Sherry says:

      Totally agree! It’s been like pre-school where every drawing is “fabulous”. Simon has been so disappointing this year because he has really given them a good critique for the most part. He did pick it up a bit over the past few weeks but mostly its been weak as puppy pp.

  48. Donna says:

    I like Josh but Alanis blew him out of the water. I do think his At Last was pretty damned good. I like Chris Rene and Avril but that was terrible. Melanie Amaro for the win, she’s an amazing raw talent, only 19 years old, and it seems no professional experience… and she can do that already??? Get her the right music and she’ll be a superstar.

    • Billy says:

      Thanks for the reminder that Melanie is only 19 years old. I keep thinking that she’s in her late 20’s and has alot of experience, and so have higher expectations of her. For her age, she is truly incredibly talented. Having said that, I still say Josh for the Win!

  49. jaxguy says:

    So often we read comments like, “current,” “great writer and performer, but can’t sing,” “he is a great performer,” and so on. The truth is most of America doesn’t like rap and hip-hop. It may be relatable to some, but not all. The problem with Chris, besides being a mediocre singer are his cliched mannerisms, hand gestures and his grunting sounds. It’s a big turn off. His first song was so out of tune it was horrific. I never liked his second song the other two times he performed it. I bet most of the people who watch this show will not support the winner, no matter who it is. Just look at the flops from the other singing competitions. Anyway the best contestant usually doesn’t win. How many of you own records by Lee DeWyze? Or Kris Allen? Melanie is the best vocalist on the show. She is not boring. If you think she is boring you need to reexamine your life. Jumping around a stage and grunting and crazy hand gestures does not make you talented or not boring. I find Chris boring because I haven’t like anything he has done. From the beginning my two favorites were Melanie and Josh. I was torn as to who I wanted to win. After last week I finally choose Josh. I don’t think he will win, but I think he should. I will buy his records. He’s a terrific singer and his vocals are so distinct and interesting. I don’t care who the mentor is, although I think Nicole is terrible. I’m just glad he didn’t end up with LA Reid, because he is by FAR the WORST judge. Here’s to you Josh, and I hope you make a record soon because I will buy it.

  50. BonesFringeFan says: