The X Factor (US) “Final 3 Perform” Review

Can they mention the Pepsi commercial one more time? Because I’m not sure which the contestants think is more important. A $5 million recording contract—or the freaking Pepsi commercial. I mean, you’d think that any aspiring mega-superstar has to aspire to numerous Pepsi commercials. Maybe even a Dr. Pepper spot or two. But… Pepsico needs to dial down the Captain Obvious.

(Then again, this is The X Factor. Subtlety isn’t exactly what they’re aiming for.)

On to the show! There were weird and nice and weirdly nice moments on tonight’s episode. Not the least of which was this gem by Simon: “This is going to be the closest finale we’ve ever had.”

Brilliant, especially given the fact that this is the show’s inaugural season. Simon is known for his honesty. So there you go.

I guess the “shocker” was the fact that the contestants would be singing duets with “rock royalty” (?) on the performance show rather than the actual finale, like the way American Idol does it.

On another judging note, I couldn’t decide which was more bizarre, Nicole Scherzinger’s freaky-deaky hair or her off-white (the worst color in the world) boobelicious dress. I couldn’t stop staring. For multiple reasons.

I guess that was the point.

Side note: Am I the only one who thinks a Michael Jackson tour without Michael Jackson is weird? I suppose if the whole tour had guest singers of quasi-star caliber (and I’m talking more wattage than anything The X Factor can produce) then it would be a little more than a show rather than a circus. But anyway.

On to the contestants!

1. Chris Rene: Chris did his first duet with a raccoon-eyed Avril Levigne, singing her hit “Complicated,” and it was… okay. Nothing I’d pay to see. I guess it’s cool that she let him adjust her lyrics a little, adding a little bit of his Rene-ness to the mix. Chrtis’s second song was preceded by his sob story—expected—but then dude got to throw down his original “Young Homie,” which I didn’t expect (though I should have). And he knocked it out of the proverbial park; that song sounds as good pumped up as it does stripped down. I need to buy it. If anything can dethrone the Amaro train, it’s that.

(Side note: you’re not really cool until you can make up your own signature hand gesture.)

2. Melanie Amaro: I actually wasn’t into her early rendition of R Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” The register was too low to be a typical soaring Amaro song (L.A. Reid was right about it being R. Kelly’s key). But just like the rest, it got better once they brought the actual singing star out. Though more than the others, as was said, it felt more like an R. Kelly performance. He completely overshadowed her. Her second song, Beyoncé’s “Listen,” was much better, but predictable. Somehow uplifting yet boring in the same breath. I get that the judges fawned, as I knew they would, but for me her final performance felt staged. Don’t get me wrong—it was damned good. But for me it fell short of Chris Rene’s honest home-grown song.

3. Josh Krakcik: He kicked the show off by dueting Alanis Morrisette’s “Uninvited,” which… honestly, started pretty weird. It sounded better when Alanis took the stage, and Josh showed us his ability to harmonize, whuch was pretty good. I think he’s gonna have a pretty damned good recording voice, and may be a natural choice for future duets. That said… still kinda weird. Krakcik’s second song was stronger, much more in his wheelhouse, all growly and bluesey, and basically awesome. Was it inspiring enough to catapult him over Melanie Amaro’s massive fanbase or Chris Rene’s chick following? I doubt it. It didn’t have the crowd frothing, like the other two. But stranger things have happened. Flippin’ Krakcik magic!

If you think Michael Jackson fans are slightly weird, follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you Wackos!