The X Factor Top 3 Performance Finale Recap: It's All Just a Little Bit of History Repeating

The voting portion of The X Factor‘s inaugural season ended not with a bang, but with some poorly conceived duets, repeat performances of the Top 3 contestants’ audition songs, weeping children, screaming mayors, a startling new twist in the sordid tale of Nicole Scallywag’s weave that we will never mention again, and the sad sight of an empty suit enthusiastically crossing its sleeves into an X formation — its sole remaining means of transmitting “personality.”

Even Simon Cowell struggled in the hype department, noting that the Josh Krajcik-Chris Rene-Melanie Amaro showdown would likely be “the closest final we’ve ever had.” (Um, dude, it’s the only final you’ve ever had — at least in this country.)

We also got glimpses of the contestants’ most rabid fans shot via sattelite from their natural habitats: Josh’s old high school in Ohio (because he’s a hard-workin’ everyman); a nightclub where Chris used to perform (edgy!); and Melanie’s enormous church (because God has personally ordained her victory, and her subsquent indentured servitude to Pepsi).

X Factor’s Astro on ‘Getting to Rihanna’s Level or Higher,’ the Aggravation of Being Seen as Cocky

But in spite of the production’s failures, there’s no denying the Season 1 Top 3 are a talented bunch, even if you’ll never convince me that their performance order was determined by random drawing of lots. (OK, sure, maybe lots were drawn…under Simon Cowell’s careful supervision. “Josh, you’re walking the plank first. Chris will obviously go second. Melanie gets the Pimp Slot! Bloody fantastic!”)

Anyhow, let’s review the proceedings, while also making a pact never to use Steve Jones’ pre-approved Twitter hashtag “#NoPointsForSecond.” (Stop trying to make those catchphrases happen, Steve. They’re not going to happen.)

Josh Krajcik (with Alanis Morissette): “Uninvited”
My inner conspiracy theorist wonders if the show’s producers selected this particular track to let Josh know he was not, in fact, invited to take home the Season 1 crown and that $5 million prize. Sure, it wasn’t like they made him sing “Don’t Cha” while flanked by the Pussycat Dolls — though I bet Nicole would’ve blithely agreed to it — but the verse was pitched too low for Josh’s comfort zone, making his vocals sound wobbly and tentative. Even worse, the moody, rambling melody left no room for the last of the “over 30s” to show off his soulful, bluesy side. I will admit that the spooky “Tim Burton Forest” background was visually stunning, but you’d think that after three months of mentoring, Nicole might’ve made some meager attempt to unscraggle Josh’s “dude in a local blues bar” presentation, no?

Chris Rene (with Avril Lavigne): “Complicated”
If the Josh-Alanis duet seemed a little random, the Chris-Avril pairing made as much sense as a chocolate-caramel trout. There was Avril, adopting a Billie Joe Armstrong accent and slouching about the stage with a “hey, whatever, I’ll just get up here and have some fun and hope that a few thousand people get inspired to stuff a stocking with one of my CDs” attitude. And there was Chris, um, well…I can’t say he was exactly singing. It was more like bouncing around and providing some gasping background noise while showing off his shiny new leather jacket, white shirt, and gray fedora. “The moment you’ve been waiting for,” Chris lied, “Avril Lavigne!” And the judges threw truth out the window, too. Nicole briefly considered doing her job — “it was a little shaky in the takeoff” — but then the audience booed her, and so she changed course and smiled pretty and told Chris that he “came out on top.” (How much is she getting paid for this gig?) Simon and L.A. then picked up the mantle of delusion, telling Chris that the tragic audio feed of the collaboration could be a No. 1 hit. Not unless it’s released by “Avril Lavigne featuring Chris Rene and Auto-Tune.”

Melanie Amaro (with R. Kelly): “I Can’t Believe They Picked This Flippin’ Awful SongI Can Fly”
Completing the trifecta of dubious duets, we had Melanie — in a copper chainmail and black satin gown that helped her cleavage attain new heights, and standing against a background of (ugh) soaring bird figures — performing what L.A. Reid described as “one of the most important songs written in the last 50 years.” In addition to revealing that there are some keys that can make Melanie’s flawless voice sound flat and quavery, this also proved L.A. is one of the following: A) completely insane; B) utterly void of good taste; or C) willing to say anything to fit into The X Factor‘s predetermined narrative. Nicole made a good point that Melanie did what she could performing the song in R. Kelly’s preferred key, and that she really did shine on the ad-libs, but let’s be honest: Would even Melanie’s biggest fans want to rewind the DVR and watch this again? (Another question: Did I get through this paragraph without talking about the man who had a hit single called “Thoia Thong” aggressively waving Melanie’s hand in the air while turning “fly” into a 27-syllable word?)

As a palate cleanser before Round 2, we were “treated” to the Top 3 providing barely audible backing vocals to a track of Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us,” all the while being upstaged by a bunch of musclebound robots (not Steve Jones) who danced and pranced and flashed dollar signs, question marks, and peace symbols on their chests. Here’s something you might want to discuss around the Holidee Table: Was the song a social commentary on corporate greed and the destruction of the middle class in America? Or was it a winking acknowledgement that The X Factor is more beholden to the estate of Michael Jackson than it is to its own viewers? (Ding ding ding!) Anyhow, back to the performances that counted for something…

Josh Krajcik: Etta James’ “At Last”
Even if Josh is headed for third place — a total inevitability — it was one of the true pleasures of the X Factor season to watch the burly Ohio native break free of Nicole’s often maddening mentorship and get back to the stripped-down rock-soul vibe at which he excels. I can’t pretend I wasn’t disappointed that the Top 3 repeated their audition tracks — after three months of “boot camp” and “mentoring” and “artistic growth,” the producers basically had them start at the very beginning? — but at least Josh put a new spin on his number. Turning “At Last” into an acoustic-driven ballad put his explosive vocals front-and-center, and drove home the message that Josh doesn’t need Swaybots or backup dancers or a wall of lights and sound to capture our imaginations. And in the long run, getting that message across on the national stage — at laaaaast — might be worth more than a $5 million contract and a Pepsi commercial.

Chris Rene: “Young Homie”
If L.A. Reid had really wanted Chris to have “A Moment Like This” moment — and provided the producers would’ve allowed contestants to perform something other than a repeat of their auditions — he’d have let the Season 1 “dark horse” break out another original track that hadn’t already been performed twice before on The X Factor stage. But based on its own merits, Chris’ third performance of “Young Homie” was a jubilant — and well-sung — affair. Flanked by a team of dancers and set in front of a backdrop of black-and-white geometric images, Chris worked the stage with the magnetism and energy of a seasoned vet. Not even Simon could mute his praise, telling Chris “that was your $5 million song” and adding that he hoped America got behind the contestant who just marked his eighth month of sobriety. Paula, with her typical restraint, wept openly, squealing “You make everyone fall in love with you and I’m going to stalk you to the ends of the earth and the end of time!”

Melanie Amaro: Beyoncé’s “Listen”
When Melanie is “on,” it’s hard to describe the breadth and power of her voice. It kind of reminds me of that scene in Independence Day, where the gigantic spaceship casts its massive shadow over the entirety of Manhattan. Similarly, Melanie’s performance of “Listen” — a mesmerizing blast of glory notes, vocal swoops, oustretched arms, hair extensions, and diva inspiration — overshadowed everything that came before it and everything that came after it, too. I barely remember the judges’ critiques or anything that followed Melanie’s final note — I think there was a child crying, a guy from Melanie’s church (maybe the mayor of Sunrise, FL?) testifying, and Nicole talking about how she doesn’t feel alone anymore (wait till she’s replaced by Cheryl Cole in Season 2).

But who cares about those details? Just like Kelly Clarkson planted her flag into Season 1 of American Idol by ripping the lid off “A Moment Like This,” so too did Melanie scorch the X Factor battlefield with “Listen.” L.A. declared it a “$50 million” performance — I don’t think he does his own accounting, but I digress — and Simon said what he’d wanted to say ever since the audition rounds: “You, for me, should be the winner of The X Factor.” Let’s just hope that before Thursday night’s finale, Melanie’s mentor teaches her the fine art of hitting a glory note beneath a tidal wave of confetti.

What did you think of the X Factor performance finale? Who do you think deserves the Season 1 crown? Hit the comments to discuss, and for all my X Factor news, reviews, and interviews, 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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89 Comments
  1. Jason says:

    Melanie deserves this. If another white guy with guitar wins one of these shows, it’ll be a sad day. Melanie is a superstar.

    • BLT says:

      Melanie is limited in her talents. At least Josh and Chris can play multiple instruments and Chris is a songwriter.

      • ana_muti says:

        Josh is a songwriter as well. Check it out–he’s a creative guy.

      • @BLT says:

        Oh puleese….This is a singing competition and her voice is so far above theirs (and they’re both talented in their own way) but……

        • wiredream says:

          Actually, you’re wrong. I can’t stand any of the Top 3, but X-Factor is NOT a singing completion. It’s a contest to find the best entertainer. Don’t get your karaoke TV reality shows confused. Idol USED to be a show about singing, but that ship sailed years ago. Now it’s the world’s most expensive popularity contest. Of course Melanie should win, but no one who’s won Idol in the past 6 years should’ve won, but they did.

      • seattlejohn says:

        How can you tell how talented any of these folks are since this show has been more about the judges and their interfering with song choice/staging/styling…which is why I stopped following this on tv and just read these recaps instead. I am curious how any of the contestants will fare in the real world and assuming responsibility for their own developement as singers/entertainers. I’m hoping for some great music to emerge but I don’t think we barely saw anybody’s true range and capabilities thru the X-FACTOR artifices.

      • Vetle says:

        Dude, or dudette: Josh is ten years older (or more?) than Melanie. Of course he has more experience (thus, playing more instruments etc), he played in bands too, I think.

    • Leon says:

      Right on, no moor of da stinkin wite guys wiinin. Dis is a singin comp, and de dont do the singin.

    • cookielove says:

      Melanie Melanie Melanie……WOW!!!!!!!

    • susela says:

      But she doesn’t have the “X” factor—she’s not particularly appealing and doesn’t have much personality or charisma. The only thing interesting about her is that sometimes she has an accent and sometimes she doesn’t.

    • Wendy says:

      I will say again, what I have said from the beginning. Simon orchestrated the whole “sending Melanie Home” thing from the very beginning to get her the exposure and early support to set her up to win the whole thing. Yes, he is that conniving/smart.

    • gregk says:

      Melanie was the only one you could hear, especially her final song, and we have voted for her all season. Once again the sound quality was horrible, especially tonight in the finale! Could barely hear them sing, even with the volume on my 60-inch plasma turned all the way up. The sound mixing was terrible. Also the judges prejudiced commenting ruined the show all season long; need to do away with this.

  2. Sam says:

    Michael, I love you, but Avril did no such slouching. She got up there and delivered a lot of energy and a pretty good vocal.
    But I agree with everything else.

  3. jason says:

    If Melanie does not win there should be a congressional investagation. She was amazing.

    • BLT says:

      Ridiculous. While Melanie can sing, she DEFINITELY does not have the “X-Factor” that this show is supposed to be all about. Why would I want to buy a CD of someone who sounds like Whitney or Mariah when I ALREADY have Whitney and Mariah recordings???

      • Ben says:

        Melanie has the X Factor in spades. If you don’t want to get her album, don’t. If I had her singing Listen on my iPod, it would get as many plays as anything else.

      • Jaded says:

        I totally agree with this! No one can argue that Melanie has an unbelievable voice-definitely the best in the competition. But she is just another Mariah or Whitney. There is nothing interesting about her. Chris and Josh are musicians. And while Chris most definitely isn’t the best singer, he’s the best performer. With Josh a close second. Chris’s original tracks are awesome and the only things from this whole season that I would think about downloading. I do wish he would stop the grunting thing though.

        • yeah says:

          haha, it just sounds funny to hear the words “but she is -just- another Mariah or Whitney”…. who only sold about ten trillion records

  4. Jake says:

    Thanks Michael for all your recaps this season.
    Looking back it has been a disappointment.
    I don’t understand how I can like the UK version so much and here this season just felt artificial, manipulated and overblown. Maybe something gets lost when you lose the accent–kinda like Melanie when she slips in and out of hers.
    Anyway, I don’t understand your love for Chris–a 10 week season and we’ve heard Young Homie performed or revisited about 15 times.
    Josh who has a great voice but can never break out as a mainstream singer.
    And Melanie who has a whopper of a voice, but shows less personality Leona Lewis ever did and that’s saying something.
    I think Simon is eating humble pie over this show’s performance in the UK and will be working extra hard to give Melanie truly breakout songs that will land her on the charts just to make a point that this show is more relevant than every other singing show we’ve seen.
    And as much as Nicole has been maddening, she really is responsible for this season’s more memorable moments.

  5. RJ says:

    Oh Michael! I wish you were right about Cheryl Cole replacing Nicole. Sadly, I don’t think it will ever happen.

    Oh, and Melanie should win tonight but I don’t have much faith in the voting public.

    • Alexiel says:

      Yeah as much as I want her to, I don’t think Cheryl Cole will return to X Factor USA. Simon said it himself, he offered to double her pay to return to the UK version but she refused then he asked her to come back to the US version but she declined that as well. She was probably so pissed at him so Season 1 had to endure the blathering idiot Schwartzbot.

  6. Michele says:

    Michael, you are not paid enough. Your comments are priceless!! I laughed out loud on a NYC bus…nobody even flinched. Melanie should take it all. There hasn’t been a voice like this in years. I wouldn’t have watched if she weren’t on. The show is overblown rubbish as they say in the UK. Yuck!!

    • Sadie says:

      …laughing out loud in my cubicle … Slezak’s columns are the best thing about this highly over-hyped show!

    • Bonnie A says:

      I think I just watch this show so I can follow Michael’s reviews. I also laugh out loud, sometimes for awhile! He can write a phrase that so PERFECTLY explains how we’re all feeling about some of the very ridiculous aspects of this show.

      I CANNOT watch the screen anymore during the performances. Why do they have to have some many lights, and birds soaring, and such a loud audience? I just don’t feel connected to the singers, partly because they don’t zoom in on them enough.

  7. KathyA says:

    I was disappointed in the Finals, to say the least. I expected the format to allow the “acts” to shine, & allow the voters to make a valid decision.
    Instead, the duets were obviously not to showcase the acts, but the guest stars. In 2/3, the key was so off that our favorites sounded TERRIBLE, at least in their first solo sections – both way too low. I cringed.
    And then, why choose the try-out songs, when SO many other songs would have been more exciting!
    I think that Josh merits the title, but won’t get it.
    Very disappointing.

  8. raftrap says:

    This recap couldn’t be more right. I still don’t even know what happened after Melanie Amaro stopped singing, it was just the perfect amount of perfection, it was the last word, she has to win this, that would make many of the terrible decisions this show made at least count for something, yet it would seem appropriate for her to lose tonight (despite already winning on so many levels) in the same show that: A) Fired Cheryl Cole after 4 days but has kept Nicole Scherzinger (That has to be like the weirdest name to type, I still have to Google it) for what it feels like ten thousand. B) Is an afront to the rightful pecking or elimination order like no other show has ever been before C)Has sucked the will to live of a host who seems to be one of the nicest most likeable guys on this earth except when he is actually hosting the show. D)Has the (hopefully) future winner sing “I believe I can fly” with a backdrop of doves and R Kellys. (Slezak on the Cheryl Cole mention…from your fingertips to God’s eyes).

  9. D. says:

    Haley Reinhart for the win!! Oh…

  10. Michael Schaeffer says:

    Love the remark you made about Cheryl Cole in your review. We all would love to see that happen!

  11. rob says:

    best moment of the night was when LA said that his favorite album of all time was “Jagged Little Pill” All I could think about was him doing the intense ,spastic head bob jam to “Ironic”

  12. tina says:

    I like Melanie and think she should win out of what’s left of the competition, but i don’t get the look on her face during judges comments. Not sure if it’s a smugness, too cool for school or a cockiness, but it’s a little off putting to me. I think Nicole had done Josh a great disservice this whole competition perhaps in attempts to make him more mainstream, she gave him songs that didn’t fit his voice or personality. He should have been singing song full of soul like “At Last” all throughout the competition. I think he’ll suffer form Taylor Hicks syndrome, where after this competition, he doesn’t have a mainstream niche and will just go back to doing what he was doing before.

    • Michael Schaeffer says:

      Let us wait and see until after tonight to pass judgment, shall we?

    • Jack says:

      About Melanie’s face during the comments, I think she was concerned because it seems she messed up a little bit. There’s a part in the last chorus where she’s singing ahead of the track, and she does that little ad libbing “Ohhh” to let it catch back up. I might be wrong, but it any case, it was still stellar.

    • Ben says:

      I think you probably didn’t get it because you may not have caught that Melanie screwed up the ending. It wasn’t a major stuff up, but because I did catch it, it seemed fairly clear that Melanie was upset with herself and thought she had just lost herself the contest. That is what I would call the exact opposite of cockiness or smugness, in fact I think it shows she still has an underlying insecurity about her ability (as even Simon said, she thought she wasn’t good enough when she was cut). Hope that explains it for you – if you get the chance to watch it back, just listen to the last 20-30 seconds and you will see what I mean.

    • Trisha says:

      I disagree in regards to Josh, he is a blues/rocker and a songwriter. I did the research and had the pleasure of listening to his Indie albums. This man is unbelievably talented and will be around long after this vomit inducing show.

      • kms says:

        Lots of super-talented artists don’t make it big in the industry, alas, because it’s more about image and flavor-of-the-month style fads than art or originality. But even if Josh *does* end up like Taylor Hicks, is that really such a tragedy? Hicks is doing pretty much the same thing he was before Idol, but he’s easily earning ten times as much for it now. Josh is certainly going to be positioned to make a comfortable living making music full-time, and so he’ll be able to put plenty out there for those that want it. Superstardom is great if it happens, but it certainly isn’t everything.

  13. katherine says:

    To be fair, the 27-syllable “fly” is in the original recording.

  14. Joy says:

    Blah. After that thoroughly uninspiring hour and a half of of weak performances and predictable rehashes, I didn’t feel like voting for ANYBODY. And perhaps more importantly, I felt considerably less interested in buying their debut albums than I had prior to watching it. Nice job, producers — in the game-defining moment, you dropped the ball.

  15. abel says:

    oh melanie amaro u did it you are magnificent really u must win

  16. JJ says:

    Great and more importantly ACCURATE recap.

    What a random selection of “superstars” to sing duets with. This was the best they could do?

    Josh and Alanis was PAINFULLY bad. Josh wasn’t just out of his comfort zone but also out of tune. That song suits Alanis’ voice and not many others. Chris and Avril singing a very dated song that doesn’t suit Chris but the worst part is that a mediocre singer like Avril out sang Chris. Sad. Who invited R. Kelly? All those kids in the audience would make me think his violating some kind of court order. It was decent.

    I’m glad Josh got a second song…well I was until he was make all those “oh no she dinnit!” facial expressions. Chris singing the sour tuned “Little Homie” again? The only thing this performance did was solidify the stereotype that white people can’t rap. Is anyone else bothered by the “remedy/recipe” Mraz lyric rip-off? Melanie out sang them both. She should win.

    All in all it’s been an odd season. Definitely lackluster and forced. Who would have though all these months later that Cheryl Cole might have gotten a gift with that pink slip?! She was VERY much missed and could’ve saved this show from the painful Dunkleman-like embarassment that is Nicole Sherzinger. The judging panel needs work. Drop Nicole. Fast. Also…I know folks claim to lover her but please get rid of Paula Abdul. The most commonly cited reason folks do not watch this show is because “it looks like an American Idol rip-off” and Paula only reinforces this. Bring back Cheryl and hire Mariah Carey.

    I really really hope that Melanie wins because if Chris wins it’s basically telling me “don’t bother watching next season” because I’ll be completely out of step with this show. The judges false condescending “praise” for a recovering addict is a joke. Chris winning is a pat on the back for voters to make themselves feel good because they gave his “story” a winning ending. He can’t sing. He just can’t. Plus…I think he’s a lil’ crazy.

    • Michael Schaeffer says:

      Dunkleman was dropped after the first season of Idol. Nicole Scherzinger will be dropped for the second season and Cheryl Cole will be back!!

      • Selbs says:

        Re Dunkelman – it’s my understanding that it was HIS choice to leave because he didn’t think American Idol had a chance of succeeding! Lucky decision for Seacrest. Talk about luck. The biggest no- talent in the business and he’s on top of the world. But, I digress. Melanie was purely inspirational and everything else last night – from those horrific duets, hometown screamers and Josh and Chris repeating their audition songs (yes, Melanie did too) – should end up winning the big prize. Regardless of some of the material Simon foisted upon her, each performance was stellar and she appears to be a charming woman as well. No histrionics, just pure talent. Good luck, Melanie.

    • Calista says:

      1) It’s “oh no she di-int” …
      2) “white people can’t rap” … ??? Someone needs to tell the millions of M&M fans.

  17. abel moges firew says:

    melanie u make me so happy u have da potential u did it really its difficult to choose all r da best but melanie is best of best

  18. ana_muti says:

    Alanis M paired with Josh? What better way to subvert him. Producers sure didn’t want him to win!

    I’m not a fan of big-voiced divas. Mel is great, but I more often than not muted while she was singing–not because she wasn’t good at what she does, but that I’m simply not interested in what she does.

    It was Josh, for me, from the start.

  19. Dave says:

    Anyone else find the entire thing staged. I mean seriously, Simon reaches down and drags Melanie out of reject perdition because he “Made the biggest mistake of his life” Oh the drama! And now she is the clear favorite to win? Please no one will convince me the whole thing isn’t staged. The only way that will prove me wrong is if Josh or Chris win. I am not trying to take anything away from Melanie’s talent either because she is a very talented singer. It will just seem awfully staged if the one person that had to be brought back into the compition is the one that wins.

    • Frescobaldi says:

      You read my mind … I Melanie’s initial rejection was staged.

    • mary says:

      Who cares if it is staged or not at this point. The truth is Melanie is talented. If she wins (by votes nor judges) se deserve it big time

      • Dave says:

        All three are very talented and deserve to have contracts so that really doesn’t matter if they deserve it or not. The fact is that I am saying the whole thing was staged for Melanie to win. They creators and jusges of the show picked Melanie to win from the begining and that is what is going to happen. It’s not about who gets the most votes. They can throw any number of votes out there and say Melanie got the most she wins but you will never truly know if that is true or not. You do not actually see the results as they come in. I do not want to watch a singing compition that is not even a compition. The same has been said about American Idol before but It just seems a little more obvious with X-Factor. All this is depending on though if she wins the whole thing. If she does I will not be watching next season. Not that it really matters since I am not a nielsen family.

        • Trisha says:

          I agree, Simon and the judges have also manipulated the votes with comments, actions, song choices and whatever other means from the beginning.

    • Ben says:

      Believe what you want. Did Fox also stage the polls on every site that have Melanie getting the most votes? What about the polls pre her boot which had her audition as the favourite? I don’t think Melanie’s position in this competition has been changed one iota by her dropping and being picked back up.

      The dropping her and picking her back up might have been staged for dramatic purposes. Alternatively, Simon and his lackeys cut her and afterwards the producers of the show pulled rank and said she had to be in. I find this more likely.

  20. Sybil says:

    A very disappointing finale. The duets belonged on the results show, not the performance show. But I suppose it was in keeping with the emphasis on spectacle rather than, you know, actual singing.

    Melanie’s second song was amazing, even though I would have liked to hear her do something new. Josh was good, but I fear that he is a niche artist and not someone who could have broad mainstream appeal. As for Chris, I wish him well with his recovery and think he could make a successful career out of writing songs for other people to, you know, actually sing.

    Melanie FTW.

  21. Shindig says:

    I really enjoyed Josh’s second song, it didn’t remind me THAT much of the first time he sang it. I like Alanis Morisette, but honestly her songs are /hers/ — almost every cover I’ve heard of her songs just sounds awful.

    I don’t understand the Melanie hype that much… I mean, I guess I do. But geeze guys.. she has a fantastic voice, but it’s so stale. We have no idea what she’d do as an artist, granted, but I’m so sick of hearing perfect ballads with “inspiration.” And what was up with that church? Looked like a stadium to me

  22. Lisak says:

    Well for one thing the x-factor has waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much production drowning out the contestants. In another year i hope they lose the boatloads of dancers and fireworks and god knows what else and let the contestants sing.

    Josh is the only one whose concert I would pay to attend. Melanie can do what the other dime a dozen divas can do.

  23. Maggie says:

    Chris will end up with a contract, but not this one. Enough with the love, peace and joy Melanie. We get it. Josh … an incredible and mature voice with the balls to back it up. By all that’s right in a “talent show”, Josh should take it all wrapped up in a Christmas ribbon.

  24. CJ says:

    If she was the winner to Simon, why did we have to endure that awful, “I’ve made a mistake” scene. It was clear from the beginning that she was getting the Leona Lewis edit.

  25. Ryan says:

    Talk about a conceited review.

  26. susanmarie says:

    No doubt that Melanie has the “voice” of the trio of finalists but their isn’t anything about her that makes her “stand out” in terms of personality, charisma or anything else. Added on to that is the wealth of outstanding female singers–i.e. Mariah, Celine, Barbra and so on. Chris Rene out of the three of them has the charisma, writes his own songs and does, indeed, “stand out” because there is no one I know that is like him. Josh really has the type of voice I like. He can sing “At Last” better than almost anyone–love his voice but he does need polishing. Again, who is out there like Josh? No one. I hope the choice is one of the last two for the above reasons. My main complaint is that the show needs to be re-vamped:
    1. The shows judges mentoring? Nicole is a mentor? Paula is a mentor? Simon and L.A. Reed have the qualifications but I do not think the others do and also, they seem to vote for the ones they are mentoring–not the ones that are superior regardless of what team they are on. Get rid of the mentoring stuff.
    2. They should sing without the Vegas strip showcase of background dancers and the supporting singers should enhance not distract.
    3. Nicole should be replaced….i.e. “I can’t make a choice, I love them both” PLEEEZE. She is a judge for heavens sake.

    • yeah says:

      actually paula has helped out some of the biggest names so she is certainly qualified, certainly for the choreography and staging part of things

  27. Madelyn says:

    Here’s a little eye-opener folks. Let me set the record straight. Don’t you know that in order to “win”, you have to carry the state of OHIO. If a candidate can carry Ohio, he is odds-on to win the race. Now get a load of this: Josh has Ohio eating out of his hand. GO Josh! Onward to VICTORY! :)

  28. Kari says:

    Hi Michael! I read in, I think EW, that the duet artists were chosen on the basis of their quick availability. They only decided to do it five days before the show. R. Kelly and Alanis had asked at some point to be involved, and R. Kelly knows Avril Lavigne. So that’s how that (reportedly) happened.

    As far as singing their audition songs, I read in an interview with Josh that he and Melanie chose their own songs without knowing what the others had chosen, and LA Reid chose Young Homie for Chris without the judges yet knowing what had been chosen for the others’ contestants.

    • Trisha says:

      I have read that Josh was the first to decide on his audition song. When LA got a hold on that he decided to have Chris do his audition song. Simon had wanted Melanie to do “Nights in White Satin” and changed his mind at the end and went with her audition song.

  29. darcy's evil twin says:

    Okay, haven’t watched the DVR recording yet but wow, this doesn’t sound promising.

  30. susela says:

    What a wretched final. The duets should have been saved for tonight on the results show (although they couldn’t do that and not look like a total “Idol” rip-off). Having the contestants sing first a duet and then their audition songs didn’t give any of them a chance to shine or be surprising and interesting. And the crowd! The hyped-up false mania is really tiresome—I’d like to be able to hear the acts.

  31. Debbie M says:

    I’ve been rooting for Josh throughout the season, but last night Melanie blew them all away with “Listen.” I absolutely HATE “I Believe I Can Fly” (and R. Kelly. Luckily Melanie is probably too old for his liking. Good thing Rachel is off.), but she did what she could with such a tired song. She blew me away in her audition with that song, and I think she actually sounded better the second time around.

  32. Leo says:

    I always find this review hilarious. Keep up the good work, Michael!

  33. Kursty Lee says:

    Melanie is just one of those Pia Toscano-type singers on Idol, good singer but no X-factor and not relevant in today’s market. Ugh, I hate Haley Reinhart being mentioned in the comments. She sings like a braying donkey.

  34. ejones says:

    I agree with susela, nothing exciting about the final. With all those double eliminations and a three person final, the contestants could get away with little variety in their song choices. Melanie showed she had a big voice and that was all, she will need more than that to break into the industry once the XF winner gloss has faded. It should be noted that Simon left out Melanie at the first call and it was only when the other judges told him what a stupid fool he was that he got her back into the competition.

  35. Red in Denver says:

    We all know these ‘reality’ talent shows are, IN REALITY, pretty contrived; but this one seemed more so than most. The fact that the ONE girl (Melanie Amaro) who had the biggest, DIVA voice, was rejected, but then brought back to (big drum roll here) WIN the WHOLE ENCHILADA …. was a bit over-the-top. The glamour, glitz, big dance extravaganzas and pyrotechnics, as well as the over-blown jealousy between the judges. I guess all that was meant to make it exciting. I can’t imagine that eyes weren’t rolling each week all across the country. I know they were in MY house. Shortly after they narrowed it down at the judges homes, I watched strictly to see Josh perform. I can appreciate Melanie’s voice, but am just not a big “diva’ music fan.