The X Factor: Save The Best For Last

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Before we get to the good stuff, like who should win the $5 million recording contract and starring role in a Pepsi commercial, we should first focus on something very important: what color is Steve Jones’ suit? Is it a shade of black or it is purple? Perhaps plum even? I spent the good part of 90 minutes trying to figure out what color his suit was. Also important to discuss off the top: why is Nicole Scherzinger’s hair so ridiculous? It’s like someone opened up a huge box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and just plopped one on Nicole’s head. It kind of made me want to run to the grocery store and buy a box of Swiss Cake Rolls and just eat them all. No apologies. Just dive in and not look back. All right. Now that Steve’s suit color and Nicole’s Swiss Miss Roll are out of the way, let’s move on to the more important stuff: the final performances for your votes of the first season of ‘The X Factor!’

First up was Nicole’s last Over 30 act, Josh Krajcik. When Josh came on stage, this haunting piano part of a song started playing. I knew I had heard it before, but I couldn’t figure it out. Then Josh starting singing off key, and I still couldn’t figure it out. Then, the off-key singing continued and then the chorus arrived, and I got it! Josh was singing an off-pitch version of Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited.” It had been such a long time since I’d heard the song, I kind of had forgotten about it. In fact, I’d kind of forgotten about Alanis, too. But then, Josh started saying something after the chorus and before I knew it, there was Alanis on stage to sing with Josh! What? Semi-famous singer duet night?!?! It must have been because it was ‘The X Factor’ finale, after all. This lead me to wonder where Alanis has been all this time, and what rock producers pulled her out from under. Was she hiding out in ‘Fraggle Rock?’ Regardless of what (Fraggle) rock Alanis was under, it was nice to see her back. Also nice was hearing her sound just as fantastic as she did back in the day. She was singing way better than Josh was. However, her jumpsuit choice was extremely unfortunate. Poor Alanis. Fashion disasters die hard. After the performance ended, Steve asked Alanis how it was to sing with Josh. She said he was a “very soulful man.” That’s a very Miss Universe/good answer, I suppose. Then the judges had their take. All judges, other than Simon Cowell sang Josh’s praises. Then Simon, who apparently has the same abilities to hear things as I do, called Josh out on being intimidated and not himself at the beginning of the song. So true, Simon. So true. After all that, there was a live look in at Wooster, Ohio, where Josh’s Grandma got to give her support to him. She was a cute lady. She will certainly rack up some votes for Josh.

Second up with his celebrity duet was the remaining boy, LA Reid’s Chris Rene. As if any of us had forgotten, LA reminded us that Chris had been eight months sober now. Yes, LA. We get it. He’s sober. And eight months. That’s almost a full-term pregnancy. We get it. Clean enough to have a baby. It’s coming through loud and clear. I think it’s great that Chris has remained sober and clean, but at some point, he has to rely on talent and not his story to get him through. However, the beginning of his song was not so hot. The notes were way off. And then, despite the bum notes, I figured out what Chris was singing. “Complicated.” A song by Avril Lavigne. Really? What was the celebrity theme? Washed up Canadian pop star night? Who would Melanie Amaro sing with? Anne Murray? While it was nice to see Avril had a job again, what wasn’t so nice was the way the sound people turned up her vocals so much higher than Chris’. Yes, I know he’s not the greatest singer, which is why he should have just rapped and let her sing the chorus. He could have been her hype boy. As with Josh, it seemed Chris was really nervous at the beginning, but when he got to his rap part, it seemed to turn around for him. Nicole and Simon were on the same page with Chris being off at the beginning, but hitting his stride at the rap. Then Paula Abdul rambled off something about how ‘The X Factor’ isn’t about hitting all the right notes. Hmm. It’s only kind of a singing competition then, Paula? Whatever. Predictably, LA couldn’t say enough wonderful things. So, I guess the judges really want either Chris or Josh to win. Then we visited Santa Cruz, California, where a watch party for Chris was going on. There was some woman who made a cake and some of Chris’ friends from rehab there to support him. I’m guessing the rehab friends just came for cake. Because that’s the only reason I show up somewhere. If cake is promised, I’m there.

Last up with her celebrity duet was Simon’s remaining girl, Melanie. She stepped on stage looking more radiant than ever. Then she opened her mouth and started singing “I Believe I Can Fly,” which made me nervous because most of us know what happens when R. Kelly steps in the building. I was just hoping Melanie had a little extra security around or wasn’t about to bust out the remix to ignition. I’m not sure R. Kelly ever got over gettin’ hot and fresh out the kitchen. Luckily my concerns were not warranted because he and Melanie pulled off the best duet of the evening. Melanie and R. Kelly definitely got the best production value. They got a choir. They even got a little falling glitter action. The glitter kept getting stuck in Melanie’s lip gloss and getting in her mouth. It did not affect her performance, though, which shows the sign of a true professional. No matter how much glitter gets in your mouth, you keep singing. It’s the first rule of superstardom. Despite the glitter attack, Melanie gave R. Kelly a run for his money and sounded fantastic. Their duet was hands down the best one. Then R. Kelly said something about how Melanie was “on her way to the moon.” My Dad, however, thought he said Melanie was “on the way to the morgue.” Which these days could have been correct. Maybe R. Kelly was confused and thought he was singing with Lindsay Lohan. Nicole, Paula and Simon all agreed the duet was fantastic. LA, however, thought Melanie lacked emotion. I’m really sure he says mean things just to razz Simon and Melanie, which really isn’t fair. Melanie is by far the best in the competition and LA just needs to realize that. Blah. Then we visited Melanie’s church in Florida where some guy said, “Mel Bel, you just tore it girl.” That’s going to be my new favorite phrase: you just tore it girl. Get ready, 2012. You about to tear it up girl.

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