The X Factor USA – Who Will Win?
Josh Krajcik opens the competition, coming out on stage with simple lighting and a smile. He sings Univited, by Alanis Morissette. Soon, Morissette joins Josh on stage, singing her hit song.
Josh has a nice start on the song, making a soulful and haunting flair. When Alanis joins in, she takes the song to another level, with a magnificent vocal showing. She pulls Josh with her, and lifts him to another plateau. This was a very nice performance. Chris René is up next, and he sings Complicated, the first hit for Avril Lavigne. He puts a reggae/hip-hop spin on it, and on the chorus, is joined by Lavigne.
I have to admit, I find it odd that LA Reid introduces him , starting with a pronouncement of 8 months clean. As if often the case, Chris starts off the song with a weak opening, having trouble finding the key. Any key, really. Once Avril is singing with him, Chris lays in a rap section that was good. Lavigne, who was in very good voice, was really stellar in her performance, and for me, overshadowed Chris. The judges are quite supportive, and seem to be willing to disregard the off-key beginning. Melanie sings the R.Kelly song, I Believe I Can Fly. We now know what this means, and who will be joining her soon.
Melanie starts off the song rather well, although there is a hint of nerves. Once she is joined by R. Kelly, the song takes off to another level, and the song builds really nicely. They are joined by a gospel choir, and the song ends with vocal flourishes from both, although, honestly, Melanie‘s are more on key. We quickly learn that is the first time R. Kelly has performed the song as a duet, and he is happy to have done it with Melanie. LA thought she was a bit overshadowed by R. Kelly, but Nicole thought that was because the song was sung in R. Kelly’s key, not Melanie‘s. Paula is impressed by Melanie‘s conviction, and Simon adores her. After a break, we are treated to a performance from the Las Vegas show, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. It has another week in Vegas, and then starts touring.
It started with robotic disco balls dancing to Michael, singing They Don’t Really Care About Us, from Michael’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I album. Soon they are joined by Chris, Melanie and Josh, who sing a little, dance a step or two, but mainly, stay out of the way of the mirror-bots.
After another break, it is time for Josh to sing his second, and final song of the night. After a tape to remind us all of his back story, Josh comes out with an acoustic guitar to sing At Last, the great Etta James song sung at his first audition.
It was a nice cover, well done. While Josh didn’t blow me away, he didn’t turn me away, either. And, thus far, no one has blown me away yet. However, the judges loved it, and are unanimous in their praise. Perhaps it was more dynamic in person. (And it does give me pause that only last week, it was announced Ms. James is now terminally ill. Very sad.) Next up, we have Chris, who, according to his mentor, will have a defining moment for his career. His video roll reminds us of his addiction issues, and how he is still clean today. He is there to sing Young Homie, also his audition song, an original song written by Chris.
He does a good job with it, and the judges start to fall all over him, including Paula’s constant chant of “Vote! Vote! Vote!” They are truly getting behind Chris as an artist, and a seeming favorite to win. The talk has brought the the crowd to a frenzy. After a break, it is time to be reminded about the story of Melanie Amaro, how Simon sent her home, how he brought her back, and the discovery of her Island accent. She comes out to the stage to sing Listen, Beyoncé’s hit from Dreamgirls.
Once again, Melanie has no problems singing the song that was her audition piece. She has the big voice, and the vocal range. That was a fantastic performance. Again, the judges fall all over themselves to say how great Melanie is. It was a beautiful performance, to be sure. I will say, there was something about them bringing back the audition songs that was a tad underwhelming. It left me without a “wow” moment, for we had heard and seen all that before. Give me something new, let them blow me away.
So, who will win? I have no clue. If I were to read the judges tonight, I would say it is going to be Chris René, or maybe Melanie Amaro. They seem to be so tepid with their praise for Josh Krajcik, I would think he is not there. However, with these shows, you never can tell, and I could be reading too much into the mentor’s comments. But I feel as though the momentum has been moving in Chris’ direction in the last few weeks. But I am just trying to guess the pulse of America, which I often get very wrong. So the only way to be sure is to watch the results tomorrow night, Thursday, December 22, on Fox at 8PM, the winner to be announced by 10PM. Guest stars include Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey, surely there to sing Christmas releases.
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Anybody who has a background in music will tell you that Chris Renee can't sing. He has a terrible voice. The only thing he had going for him is stage presence. Sure, he'll land a contract regardless of whether he wins or not, but much of his vocals will be auto tuned like so many others because his voice is not naturally good enough. Josh and Melanie on the other hand have powerful natural voices, that Chris Rene cannot even compete with. If this competition is based solely on vocal talent, which I believe it should be, then Melanie or Josh deserve to win. And for those saying Chris is so original, tell me how. This is not a song writing competition, it's a singing competition, so by him writing his own lyrics means nothing.
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I liked Josh by far the best. Only problem is that the kids and people these days just don't like the good older music anymore. I have heard some of the new "pop" and think frankly, it is terrible these days. He has a great voice though. Chris has talent in songwriting but isn't the better at singing. Melanie has a fantastic voice, but Chris and Josh both are really better when it comes to talent as they both can play instruments while performing great. Josh had a voice that gave me chills; just a voice that could make you feel the "Krajcik Magic". I find the under-appreciation for Josh very disappointing as he is just so amazing that it is sad what music has turned into these days. Really, Melanie would do fantastic with a career in music. Chris is a good song writer and could get far as well. Josh is fantastic, but his music is under appreciated in the groups today. Josh would likely still get some notice however.
Overall, I really do want Josh to win. He doesn't deserve to have talent and then go back to wrapping burritos or barely scrapping by, singing at small joints. I want him to taste the success of what he could become through winning X-Factor. He is the ONLY reason I watch it.
You don;t seem very confident in your augury, Howard!
I say chris...he has everything going for him but perfect vocals. That can be fixed. The other two are just 'meh', IMO. I hope it's Chris. I have thought for the past 2 weeks Chris or Melanie. I would be a tad surprised at this point if it turns out to be Josh.
I don't agree! Chris can sing but not as good; othewise, he wouldn't have passed the audition if he can't sing! Secondly, I don't unerstand what people mean by "gospel"/"church" singer. Good, big voice is good, big voice, is there any different a "church" singer and "non-church" singer? Then, what do people mean by "boring"? Does that mean a singer has to jump up & down like a monkey?This not a comedy club. As long as the songs are not too boring and she doesn't show any emotion from the song
Respectfully disagree Johnny. Melanie has the best voice, but she is boring and way too predictable. If you go to youtub e and type in Gospel singers, you can find a million Melanies. I cheered for Josh up until last night, now I like Chris to take it all. He has it all, he does it all, and is the most original. Josh is amazing as well, he is probably the most diverse of the 3. But Chris is so original, I have never heard anyone sound anything like him.
just the opposite he 's trying to make it in this world, no longer a gangster. He's very appealing. Chris or Josh for me, I wish they could both win and split the 5 mil.
I agree Josh is my favorite, great singer and not old as some of the comments have stated, I'm sure he will do great with the new music as well, let's not forget most of the music he sang was picked for him.
Melanie is also a great singer, but bores me the same thing over and over.
Chris not a great singer, but has something that X factor, also I think he is more upbeat and would do great in the pepsi commercial.
I couldn't vote last night.... because I would feel guilty, either Josh or Chris for me
Now don't over-commit yourself there Howard! LOL! I think we all know that the vote can go any which way already, dude!
I am not confident, Mikhail. I find them all to have positive and negative aspects. And with not knowing how the voting has gone - in essence, none of these three has been in the "bottom" during the run. But who knows if someone is barely scraping by, or another is a runaway winner.