The mayor of Wooster and Josh’s best friend are waiting nearby in Wooster. The mayor explains they’re so proud of him. They’ve proclaimed it Josh Krajcik day in Wooster. His friend screams out that it’s sick and crazy, and he’s awesome. He’s holding his little daughter. This has got to be better than slinging burritos any day.
L.A. introduces Chris, who calls it a defining moment for this guy who has proven to be a real winner. Chris says it’s all come down to tonight for him. His mom feared for his life for several years, and Chris knows the only thing that saved him is his music. Chris made a promise to L.A. that day of his audition that he would stay clean, and has kept his promise. To L.A. That matters more than winning. For Chris, it now feels like there’s nothing he can’t do. He wants a good life for his son. Tonight he sings Where Do We Go From Here and Young Homie again, but picks up the speed. He even gets out in the audience on the catwalk. It’s his signature songs that sum up him better than anything else.
Nicole tells Chris that we all have a purpose in life, and he is serving his purpose with that song. While she talks, he has his face covered up with his hand like he just can’t believe he’s here. She calls this his and their belief anthem and thanks him for that gift. Paula tells Chris he is magic. If anyone has a doubt he is not a contender in this competition, he makes everyone fall in love with him.
Simon tells Chris it was his $5 million song. He remembers when they sat in the auditorium many months ago for his audition, and he asked him to to look him in the eye and promise he would keep the deal to stay straight if they would put him through. He stuck to his deal. Not only is he a man of his word, but he’s a brilliant performer and a true gentleman and a really nice guy. He hopes America gets behind him. L.A. recognizes that Chris poured all of himself into the song, and he’s never seen him do that so well. He hopes everyone got it and that they will vote for him.
As Chris and I suck up our tears, we go back to Santa Cruz with two of Josh’s friends. They cal it a fantastic performance and say they have known him so long. He has put in the work and walked the path. One of the guys has his first guitar. He’s become a voice, a hero, and an inspiration to the world. The mayor tells him thy are so proud of him.
Simon introduces Melanie, who will sing a song that has made a difference to hers and our lives. She’s always known this is something she wanted to do. She knows performing is the only way to make herself happy. She thought she had it and could go far, but was then sent home by Simon. He then realized this was just her not believing in herself, and brought her back to give her another chance. She got that confidence back the night she re-adopted her accent. Simon knew she could walk tall as she wasn’t hiding anymore. Tonight, she sings LIsten, and has the performance of her life. She reeks of the same confidence she found that one night. She no longer has to convince herself or anyone else.
L.A. tells Melanie that is the Melanie he loves. That wasn’t a $5 million performance, but a $50 million performance. For some reason, she doesn’t look happy. I don’t know if it’s the emotions of the song that took it out of her, or fear that it wasn’t enough, but she’s not happy. Nicole told herself she wasn’t going to do it in front of people, but Melanie showed up, and was the first person Nicole connected with on the show, and she brought tears to her eyes. She made Nicole feel she wasn’t alone and empowered her, and that’s what music is all about.
Paula wants Melanie to take it all in, as this is a precious moment, and she delivered a stellar performance. Simon is so proud of what she just did. He brought this show to America because he believed some of the greatest singers from the world are from this country, and she just proved it. He promises her that after this, she will never get teased again. Based on that performance, he believes she should be the winner, as she’s going to represent this country throughout the world.
From Sunrise, Florida, we go back to Melanie’s church. One of her friends and the mayor are standing by. Her friend remembers her singing in their living rooms and loves her. The mayor thinks she proved tonight that her time is now. They believe she can fly, as she’s a superstar. When she’s traveling the world, she needs to still come home to Sunrise. They love her there.
Unlike Simon, I don’t think Melanie ran away with it tonight. I’m predicting it will be what he was figuring early on in the night, a really close race between the three. All three of them have great stories and put it all on the line tonight, giving the performances of their lives. It’s not coming down to who had a better performance, as they all did. It’s more or less going to come down to a popularity contest, making the winner the person who truly has the X Factor.