There has been surprise and sorrow along the way, but this is the final three I figured we’d end up with. I knew Josh and Melanie would be there, and figured the third person would either be Chris. They’re really talented, and they’re contestants that each one of the judges like. The burning question that will be answered this week is which one of them has The X-Factor?
Remote crews are set up in the hometowns of the final three as they watch the show. Interestingly enough, someone in the crowd of Josh Krajcik’s hometown of Wooster, Ohio, has a mask of L.A. Reid on a stick. L.A. isn’t his mentor, he’s Chris Rene’s. There is also a remote crew set up in Santa Cruz, California, in a club where Chris used to sing. There is also a crew in Melanie Amaro’s church in Sunrise, Florida.
L.A. is feeling proud of all three contestants, and especially his guy Chris, who has put in the work and come a long way. Nicole Scherzinger believes these are the three that were meant to be there, and she gives them all her love support, strength, and energy. She wants them to kick some butt, and tells Josh, “I got you.” Paula Abdul is proud of all three of them and sees them as separate unique, brilliant stars. Simon Cowell thinks this is going to be the closest final they ever had. It’s their first season, so I’d agree that it will be the closest final in a field of one.
First up tonight is Josh, and Nicole promises it will make Columbus, Ohio, look and sound good. He sings Uninvited,< and in the middle of song, introduces Alanis Morrisette to sing the song with him. His version of it is a bit more haunting than hers. It’s kind of spooky. I’m not sure I like them rolling out special guests on the voting night. Will someone get more votes because of the popularity of the established career of the person they’re singing with?
Asked what it’s like working with Josh, Alanis says he’s a very soulful man (although at first I thought she called him “smokin'”), and she figures of all songs for him to sing, this would be the most appropriate for someone so soulful.
L.A. calls the performance surreal, and found the pairing of Josh and Alanis to be natural. He refers to her Jagged Little Pill album as his favorite of all time. He thinks Josh seemed right at home with her, and predicts it will be a long night, as they started right at the top. Paula couldn’t think of a better way to open up the competition. Alanis was remarkable, and always has been remarkable. Paula knows Josh recognizes he was singing with rock royalty, but she’s most proud that he didn’t just hold his own, he kept his identity, dignity, and integrity throughout.
Simon points out they have to judge this. Alanis was great and looked cute, but he felt Josh seemed a little bit intimidated in the beginning, and feels he would have been as well. But as the song went on, he felt the old Josh was back. He gives him an 8 out of 10. Josh answers that, saying that Alanis is completely disarming in her beauty and talent, so he’s not surprised Simon felt that way, but it was an honor for him. Nicole thinks the sign of a great artist is when they can not just give to the audience, but the other artist, and acknowledge the others. She feels it shows how wonderful and giving he is.
Josh’s grandma and uncle are there watching in Wooster. His grandma’s heart is swelling up with pride, and she doesn’t think Josh would believe what’s going on there. They love him so much. His uncle hopes Josh can feel the energy there, and notes they’re behind him all the way. He requests that for his second song, he “kick it.”
L.A. introduces Chris, who he notes reached his eighth month anniversary of being sober just yesterday, and he couldn’t be more proud. Chris sings Complicated, and of course that means Avril Lavigne comes out to join him onstage. The song does well with an increased hip hop sound to it. The not only sound great together, they look cute together as well. This guy is 100% loving where he is. He has to be so grateful to have cleaned up his life. This is what it’s all about.
Avril calls Chris amazing and wants everyone to vote for him. Hearing someone else sing her song, and a dude on top of it, she thinks he kicked ass. Steve Jones recognizes that Chris clearly has the Lavigne vote.
Nicole notes the song was a little shaky in the takeoff, but he came out on top, and she couldn’t help it but feel his energy that is so flipping infectious at the end. She just loves him and loves that he puts himself out there and is vulnerable. He makes the songs her own. Paula knows that’s what it’s about in this competition, not being perfect note for note, but having an energy that connects with an audience and is relevant. It was wonderful and feel-good perfect, and the song is the antithesis of what his foundation is built on, simple transparent truth, and that’ what has carried him all the way.