'The X Factor' recap: Duets

x-factor-premiere-fox.jpgThe three finalists start things out by interviewing about their humble respective beginnings, and then the voice-over guy shouts over them that it's the finals, and all three of them basically say they want it really really bad. It's Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik and Melanie Amaro, in case you forgot, and they all seem to think it's theirs to win.

After the titles, Steve comes out onstage in an even snazzier suit than usual and gives the credit for the finalists' success to -- who else? -- the judges, of course. Cue the entrance of L.A., Nicole wearing her hair like a hood ornament, Paula and Simon. And then out come the final three themselves, dressed much the same as always. Standing in front of one of two Christmas trees decked out on the stage, Steve gives shout-outs to the finalists' hometowns, with live shots of screaming, sign-waving crowds packing Josh's old high school gym in Wooster Ohio, Chris Rene's old nightclub singing venue in Santa Cruz, California, and Melanie's megachurch in Sunrise, Florida. Steve lets the judges make some supportive comments, which they all do, and even Simon says it's going to be really close. No hurry, though. We'll be starting after the ad break. In fact, the first commercial is a Pepsi montage featuring the final three. So I guess they're already getting a head start on that commercial that's even better than the five-million-dollar prize.

Steve welcomes us back and invites us to Tweet tonight using the supportive hashtag #NoPointsForSecond. I'll get right on that, but don't be surprised if I only use the first seven letters.

Moving on to the competition, Steve tells us that the order of the performances was determined randomly, and we'll be starting with Josh. He appears on a red-lit stage in front of a fairy-tale forest singing "Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette. Not a great song for him, I'm sorry to say, even with Drew gone. But suddenly he stops and introduces Alanis herself, who comes out and joins him in a duet while he grins like a starstruck loon. Does everyone get to do something like this?