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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

X-Factor, Dec. 21 – Who Had the $5 Million Performance?

Simon thinks we should just accept right off the bat that all the acts tonight are going to be a bit nervous, but when it kicked in, particularly when Chris introduced the rap, he had total confidence and joy to be there, and that could be a record. He calls it well done. L.A. tells Chris he looked at-home with Avril, like they were cut from the same cloth. They were two stars who really complemented each other. He agrees that record could be released and become a number one hit.

Back in Santa Cruz, Chris’ next-door neighbor is waiting, and she says the atmosphere there is electric and awesome and insane. She loves Chris and is so proud of him, knowing him since he was a baby. A Santa Cruz baker has made a huge cake just for Chris. A couple of his friends from rehab are there, and they believe in him. Along with a whole host of other people.

Simon introduces Melanie, telling us to get ready. She sings I Believe i Can Fly, which means she is joined onstage by R Kelly. Even Melanie seems to be feeling the nerves. Her voice isn’t stunning as usual, but like the others, really shines once she combines with R Kelly.

After the song, R Kelly calls working with Melanie unbelievable. There’s no doubt in his mind that this girl is going all the way. Steve points out this is the first time R has sung the song in a duet.

L.A. calls this one of the most important songs written in the last fifty years, so Melanie was really lucky to get the chance to sing it with him. To be honest, she knows he loves her, but he felt like she got a little overshadowed by R on the song. He’s not sure if it was in her key, as he didn’t get the full-on Melanie he’s used to hearing. It was great, but he expected more. Nicole thinks Melanie did the best she could in R’s key. She got to shine on her ad libs at the end. L.A. doesn’t think they should be making excuses for someone in the finals. Nicole doesn’t think it’s an excuse, as she put 1000% into the performance, and it only takes one person to believe in you to make it. She thinks she soared on that song.

Paula calls it a privilege to sing a song that has gone down in history as one of the most prolific and inspirational songs. it’s fitting that Melanie was singing it with R Kelly. The conviction she had, even though she wanted more emotion, has made us believe in her, because she believes. Simon isn’t going to say much to “Grumpy and Thumpy,” because that is what is called showing respect to the person you’re singing with. To him it was a incredible duet, and most importantly she din’t look like someone in a talent competition, but someone who could be a really important established artist, He is felling really good for Melanie right now.

In Sunrise, Florida, a bishop and Melanie’s friend state they’re excited and shout out that they’re going crazy. They love her and are praying for her. They think she can do it. She just killed it, and they are very proud of her.

Before the finalists sing for the final time, there’s an extra surprise of a performance from the the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour from Cirque do Soleil. It’s something the finalists should be asking themselves, if they could ever reach that point in popularity, to have a Cirque du Soleil show built around you and your performances. It’s amazing when you think about it. The finalists themselves get it on it, taking center stage.

Josh is up for the second time tonight, and Nicole explains he’s a single dad making his daughter proud. He explains he’s a regular guy from Ohio that plays music. His mom remembers music always being in his life. He’s used to play in small bars and did what he could to scrape by. After struggling for awhile in Los Angeles, he came back to Ohio slinging burritos. Josh feels that it’s finally his time. He knows he needs to reach out and grasp it. He sings At Last with his guitar and is just amazing. This guy is putting it all out there to win.

L.A. tells Josh he is proud, noting he looked so at home up there. The first time he saw him, he envisioned him just like that. He’s such a rock star. He made the song his own, and that’s what it’s all about. Paula adds to that that he’s one of the most authentic, real, kind-hearted people she’s ever met. Whether it’s fully loaded, orchestrated, or stripped down, it’s undeniable, he owns the stage.

Simon has to hand it to Josh, as this is what they call the $5 million song. It’s the one that will determine his fate. He took that massive risk, with the guitar, instead of the piano. What he liked about it was it was all about what they liked about him in the first place. It’s going to be a close call tonight, and he can feel it. Nicole tells him from day one he’s shown just by being him it’s possible. He’s been himself, delivered, and every single performance she is just honored to be a part of the journey with him. Music loves him. If America believes in the Krajcik Magic the way she does, we need to vote for him. He’s worked his whole life for this.

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