The first part of the “X Factor” finale was definitely a mixed bag for me. It was great to see some special guest show up in the first round, but those guests ended up overshadowing the contestants. Well, mostly. Avril Lavigne couldn’t overshadow anyone.

So it was round two where the Top 3 really shined and we can only hope America votes based on those performances.

As always, I’ll review each performance and assign each the grade I personally feel they deserve.

ROUND ONE. In order of performance:

Josh Krajcik, “Uninvited.” At first I thought “now why would this lug of a guy be singing an Alianis Morrisette song. I thought that because I never in a million years though a special guest would show up during a performance that America was actually voting on. But I was wrong. She did show up and I thought it was very random. Josh did not pull out his best performance ever and Alanis upstaged him just a bit. B-

Chris Rene, “Complicated.” If I thought Alanis and Josh were a weird pairing then imagine how I must’ve felt when Chris was paired with Avril Lavigne. Weird…. Much like Josh, Chris wasn’t at his best. But Avril’s such a blah singer at least she didn’t upstage Chris. It did get better later in the song when Chris put his own spin on the song. I’m just happy there’s a round two. B

Melanie Amaro, “I Believe I Can Fly.” What planet must I be from? I ask that because in NO shape or form believe this song is one of the best or most important songs ever written. I couldn’t disagree more with the judges on that one. And is R. Kelley even allowed to be on TV anymore? Anyway, Melanie is never a bad vocalists, but she does have the tendency to be boring. During this one, she nearly flatlined. She was just kind of absent. Maybe she hates this tack song too. B+


Josh Krajcik, “At Last.” It was such a smart move to pull out the contestants’ original audition songs. And the fact that Josh did a stripped down acoustic version of this classic song was pure brilliance. He surely picked up some non-fan votes with this great performance. I loved it. A+

Chris Rene, “Young Homey.” I was a little afraid that Chris wouldn’t do this one again since he used a bit of it a couple weeks ago. So I was very happy when he did. I’m so not tired of this song yet. He could’ve performed it every week as far as I’m concerned. Chris won me over when he first sang the song and he did it again Wednesday night. I think Chris might have actually won the X Factor with tonight’s performance. As the judges have said, it’s not just about singing. It’s about an energy, a passion, a connection to music and an audience. And Chris nails those areas. A+

Melanie Amaro, “Listen.” Melanie nailed this song the first time we heard her sing it and she did it again Wednesday night. Her performance reminded me how much I liked her the first time and how happy I was when Simon brought her back into the competition. But for the past several weeks (including Round One this week), she’s bored me. But I remember now how amazing she is. An energy and passion that she sometimes doesn’t show was definitely there this time. A+

Who should win this contest? I have no idea. If it were based purely on vocal ability, then it should be Melanie. If it were based purely on passion, heart, presence and likability, then it would go to Chris Rene. If you base it on all the above, then it would go to Josh. What a tough one. I think I’m leaning just a tiny bit toward Chris. But then I quickly change my mind and go with Melanie. But then I think of Josh. Aaaaaaah! OK, Chris. That’s my final answer.

What did you think of the performances? Who should win this $5 million contest?


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