'X Factor': Contestants and judges reflect on the finals

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xfactor-final-three-fox.jpgIf there was ever a time to lay it all on the line on "The X Factor," Wednesday (Dec. 21) was that night. After an evening of star-studded duets with R. Kelly, Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette, the finalists then gave their last solo performance. Following the show, the contestants and mentors took a moment to reflect on the night and their journey during a post-show press conference.

Here's the best of what they had to say.


Simon Cowell on Melanie Amaro's chances
: "I was nervous until that very last song by Melanie. And if that doesn't win the competition, I might as well give up...My gut, my heart tells me that Melanie should win after tonight."

Nicole Scherzinger on Josh Krajcik's duet performance: "A great artist doesn't make it about just themselves when they're on stage. They give love to others, not only the audience, but to the other artists on stage. A lot of artists get on stage and it's all about them and they forget who they're singing with. It's about giving when you're performing. And he just gave so much."

Melanie Amaro on a last minute song switch from "Nights in White Satin" to "My Own": "He [Simon] said it was too British...I was just like, 'Are you sure about this?' And then he gave me that look like, 'Are you not happy with it?' I was like, 'Maybe I'm not happy with it, maybe I am.' And then he said, 'O.K. We'll think about something else.'"

Paula Abdul on the problems with the duets: "It was hard to hear...[Finalists] were given the challenge of keeping their presence and their integrity in their performance and not getting lost...[And] they're sharing it with someone who's created monstrous success. It's a lot to take in. So, you know what, you learn."

L.A. Reid on Chris Rene's stage presence during the finale: "He let himself go. He was honest. He was having fun. He brought joy to the stage. He brought joy to the judges. I think he brought joy to the fans. And I think that's what this is all about."

Josh Krajcik on his duet of "Uninvited" with Alanis Morissette: "She's charming, she's real. And I'm real. So we were a good fit in that sense. And the song is great...The fact that she wanted to sing with me was an honor...I didn't want to make it 'Josh featuring Alanis,' I wanted it to be truly a duet."

Chris Rene on
his performance of "Young Homie" : "I feel like tonight, that's how the song really is. I've done it different times and tonight is where it came alive...This was the best performance I've ever done."
Photo/Video credit: FOX