What Is A 5-Million Dollar Song Made Of?

The American franchise of the Brit's X-Factor was concluded with a Latina, Melanie Amaro, winning the most coveted 5-M$ recording contract and a cool Pepsi endorsement!
I stopped watching singing competition for quite a while now, 'coz my appetite for all its "drama" has gone bland.  But The X-Factor USA offered something new - an extravagant, concert-like format in every elimination round, as if it's already "The Finale." 

Like any other reality TV shows, I always wonder how much truth is attached to its storylines. But I' m not saying I don't dig 'em at all.  Take Melanie's case. She was eliminated in the preliminary screening but Simon Cowell suddenly felt stomach-sick with his decision to kick Melanie out. So, he set aside his pride, admitted his mistake and literally fetched her back to the Top 12 bunch and the rest, as they say, is history. Maybe that kind of story sells.  It provides a richer plot in what could have been a sappy saga. Its predictability somehow added to its charm because it gives us a reason to stick around just to prove our theories were right in the first place. Maybe that's the fun part?!

So whenever time permits, I would check how it turns out. I've pretty much covered the audition and few parts of the actual competition.

So, here are my favorite contenders in their memorable performances:

Drew Ryniewicz
Drew is fresh.  In a competition where most contestants showcase their awesome but, oftentimes, acoustic-wrecking vocal range, Drew is a welcome change. She has that folk-y aura, calm but with a rock flavor in it. Her voice is a combination of soulful and soothing sound of  Sarah Mclachlan, pleasantly raucous, rock tone of  Alanis Morissette and  whimsical vibe of Dolores O'Riordan (of Cranberries). And to top it all, she's only 14. It's the kind of raw talent that you would want to see flourishing. She's  definitely to watch out for.

Chris Rene
Chris Rene exudes the X-Factor.  If I am to solely base it on the competition's title, it will be a definite home-run win for him. He came in the audition with a touching story to tell - an ex-junkie who hopes for a second chance. And he came prepared - performed his own song, "Young Homie," which featured his triumphant emancipation from his previous doped life. He evokes a certain charm, that you would want to see him through-and-through in hopes that he'll never stumble again.  This might be his real ticket to stardom. So far, it's working. He actually finished third, a significant feat for a not-so-technical singer.  

Josh Krajcik
It is not Josh's strongest performance... but it's the most memorable because he sang with one of my most favorite singers of all time, Alanis Morissette, and performed one of my most favorite songs of all time, Uninvited. Need I say more? I like Josh because he truly believes in his talent.  It may come across as arrogance but, for me, it is simply a genuine confidence in himself and his fierce singing prowess. When he sings, he roars - just like Simba roaring atop the Pride Rock to assume his Lion King stature in the Pride Lands. It's a kind of roar that soars and trembles in a good, affecting way! 

Melanie Amaro
This is a very predictable win. Strip aside all the drama and all of Simon's hullabaloos, Melanie can still win the competition because she is really good. When I saw this performance, I had goosebumps. My only concern is that she embodies the stereotypical image of a contender in any singing competition- a belter, the kind who would really belt out the highest octave every chance she gets to prove she's exceptional. And I always end up muttering, "Tsk, tsk,  just 'coz you could doesn't not mean you should!" Sometimes, it gets boring already.  I grew up believing that the only credible singers were Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.  So, my younger years were pretty much spent appreciating the mind-boggling, eardrum-breaking voices of the divas.  I got tired of it, so I sought refuge from the "alternatives" or any genre that  would soothe my tired, dilapidated eardrums.  But to be fair, Melanie has what it takes and Paula couldn't be more right in putting it like so, "Melanie, you and your voice is like a fine china, just bring it out in the most special occasions. It's amazing!"

Well, since the competition is over, we'll just have to wait and see who will emerge triumphant in the real world. I still have my fingers crossed for Drew.

Do you agree with me? Or you have other roster of favorites? Com'on, I'd like to hear your picks!  You may post a comment below.

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wow. she sure did belt it out! what a voice. :)

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