The X Factor USA draws to a close tonight (December 22, 2011) after a phenomenally successful first season that has stretched back as far as September, with auditions dating back as far as March of this year. The show was renewed in November, meaning that a second series will happen, to the delight of Simon Cowell; but before that the finale of the inaugural run hits screens on Thursday with three evenly-matched competitors vowing for the chance to become the first winner.
Melanie Amaro, Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik have never really looked troubled on their way to the final in truth, despite early attention going to youngsters Astro, Drew and Rachel Crow - the latter particularly causing outrage when she was eventually evicted from the show after Nicole Scherzinger refused to save her. Now though the final trio will found out their fate, after duetting with established stars on last night's show. Amaro teamed up with R&B eccentric R Kelly, Rene sang with Avril Lavigne and Krajcik appeared alongside Alanis Morissette.
Perhaps of the three it's the latter's appearance in the final that's the most surprising - 30 year-old Krajcik possessing a much rougher rock n' roll style in comparison to crooner Rene and the soulful Amaro who has both the looks and the voice to make a real impact at the top. Ultimately though it'll all come down to the public vote at a star studded event that'll also see Justin Bieber perform, among others.