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'X Factor (US)' Finale Recap: Chris Showered With Praises for Singing Original Song

December 22, 2011, 3:56 am GMT

Josh and Melanie also receive positive reviews from judges, but the former is criticized for being 'a little bit intimidated' and the latter for being 'overshadowed' by the original singers.



The inaugural season of "The X Factor (US)" is closer to crown its winner. Three contestants left standing, Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro, took the stage to deliver their best performances in an effort to win the judges and audience during the final round on Wednesday night, December 21.

Josh was the first to take the stage that night performing a rendition of a 1998 single "Uninvited". The blues/rock singer was joined by the original singer Alanis Morissette who received standing ovation from Nicole Scherzinger, Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul. "It was absolutely beautiful," Steve Jones said.

The aspiring singer from Columbus, Ohio received relatively positive reviews from the judges. Still, Simon noted, "I thought you were a little bit intimidated in the beginning," to which Josh agreed. "She's completely disarming in her beauty and her talent," he said of his duet partner. Reid called the collab a perfect fit and let the audience know that his favorite album's "Jagged Little Pill".

Josh's mentor, Nicole, praised him for "giving" to the audience and thanked Alanis for supporting the performance. As for Paula, she couldn't think of a better way to open the competition. Also singing praise for "remarkable" Alanis, she added, "Not only did you hold your own, you kept your dignity and integrity and that's worth $5 million."

Chris was up next singing "Complicated" with Avril Lavigne. Nicole said he's "a little shaky in the take-off," but that couldn't stop her to enjoy performance because the "light" around him was "so flipping infectious." Paula, meanwhile, thought he didn't necessarily need to be perfect in delivering his note because he's being "current" and "relevant."

Simon praised him for showing off "total joy and confidence" and he's specifically fond of the part when they began rapping. The British media mogul additionally voiced his thought that what they did together on stage that night "could be an actual record." Agreeing with his fellow judge, Reid opinionated that the duet could be a hit. "You looked really at home with Avril," the label boss gushed.

Melanie was the third one to perform. She did "I Believe I Can Fly" with R. Kelly. "There's no doubt in my mind that this girl is on her way to the moon," the original singer of the single praised her. Reid, however, said she was overshadowed by Kelly, but Nicole defended her by noting that she did the best she could in the key and she "soared" on it.

Paula thought it was a "privilege" for Melanie to sing such a big song with Kelly, but she criticized her for showing lack of emotion in the rendition. Simon, meanwhile, said he was content with what she did on stage. "To me, that was an incredible duet," commented the judge who was usually harsh in giving his comment.

In the second round, Josh delivered Etta James' classic "At Last". He humbly said, "I'm just a regular guy from Ohio." The responses to his performance were better than those of the first one. Reid credited him for being comfortable on the stage, which was an improvement from the first which was criticized by Simon for "being intimidated." He additionally called him "such a rock star."

Calling Josh an "authentic, real, kind-hearted" person, Paula had nothing but good words. "It's undeniable. You own that stage," she gushed. Simon applauded him for taking a "massive risk" but managed to deliver the song quite well. Nicole said she's honored to be part of this journey with Josh and urged fans to vote for him.

When it's Chris' turn, he sang his original song "Young Homie". He was showered with praises immediately after the performance. "That was your five million dollar song," Simon said before adding that he's "a brilliant performer" and "a true gentleman." Nicole thanked him for sharing "that gift" with audience, Paula called him "magic," and Reid credited him for pouring himself into the song.

Melanie was the last one to take the stage. She covered Beyonce Knowles' "Listen". That's "$50 million performance," Reid exclaimed. Feeling empowered after hearing the rendition, Nicole stated, "that's what music is all about." Paula added, "These are precious moments. You delivered a stellar, stellar performance." Simon closed it by saying that to him, Melanie should be the winner of "X Factor."

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