The X Factor (Season 1)

The X Factor (Season 1) (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The X Factor is an American television music competition to find new singing talent; the winner of which receives a $5 million recording contract with Epic Records. The first season began airing on Fox on September 21, 2011 and concluded December 22, 2011. Melanie Amaro was announced as the winner, and Simon Cowell emerged as the winning mentor.

Based on the UK format, the competition consists of auditions, in front of producers and then the judges with a live audience; bootcamp; judges' houses and then the live finals. Auditions for the show began in March 2011 and concluded in June 2011. The show was hosted by Welsh TV presenter Steve Jones, while the original judging panel consisted of Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid. Cole was later axed from the show after just 2 audition cities and replaced by Nicole Scherzinger.

An early preview of The X Factor aired during the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 12, 2011. Another preview was shown following American football coverage on Fox on September 11. The show was simultaneously broadcast in Canada on CTV or CTV Two, depending on schedule.

Judges and hosts

At the time of announcing the U.S. version of The X Factor, Cowell was the only confirmed judge. He later said that he was taking the choices of who to join him on the show very seriously, saying, "It's pointless hiring judges who don't know anything about the music business. I'll probably go and find someone who did what I did for a living. I was an A&R guy for 20 years." Many people were rumored to be in the running to join the judging panel, including Nicole Scherzinger, George Michael, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Elton John, Mariah Carey and Jessica Simpson, though Cowell denied that Perry and John were. Eventually, Grammy Award-winning record executive, songwriter, and record producer L.A. Reid, former UK X Factor judge Cheryl Cole, and Cowell's former American Idol colleague Paula Abdul were confirmed to join Cowell in the judging panel.

Cowell had previously indicated that The X Factor may have had two hosts. Numerous people were speculated to host the series, including High School Musical star Corbin Bleu and UK X Factor host Dermot O'Leary. On May 8, 2011, Nicole Scherzinger and Welsh presenter Steve Jones were announced as co-hosts of the show.

On May 26, 2011, it was reported that Cole had been removed from the show and was set to be replaced by Scherzinger. Reports varied over whether she was fired because American audiences had trouble understanding her accent, because of a lack of chemistry between her and Abdul, or that she had stepped down herself due to homesickness. Cole's departure was officially confirmed on June 6 in a statement from Fox, which also confirmed Scherzinger as her replacement. Jones would then serve as the sole presenter. On August 5, 2011, Cowell announced that the reason why Cole left was because he offered her the job in the UK version back and he felt that she would have been comfortable there. He said that if her departure had anything to do with her not getting along with Abdul then he would not be judging the show.

Selection process


}} Auditions for producers began in Los Angeles, California, on March 27, 2011, at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. They then took place in Miami, Florida, on April 7, 2011, at the BankUnited Center and continued in Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center on April 14, 2011. More auditions took place in Seattle, Washington's KeyArena on April 20, 2011, and Chicago, Illinois's Sears Centre on April 27, 2011, and finished in Dallas, Texas's American Airlines Center on May 26, 2011.

It was reported that The X Factor had broken the auditions record in Los Angeles on March 27. It was reported that over 20,000 people auditioned in Newark, New Jersey, and it was also reported that over 5,000 people auditioned in Seattle.

The MyStudio HD audition booths opened in Honolulu, Hawaii; Phoenix, Arizona; Nashville, Tennessee; Anchorage, Alaska; Kansas City, Kansas; and Denver, Colorado. Originally scheduled to end on April 30, 2011, the booths' opening ended up being extended until May 8, 2011. After it was announced that people auditioning through this method was in such high demand, auditions at the booths' ended up being extended until May 15, 2011.

On June 3, Cowell announced that applicants could upload a video of them singing onto YouTube and it was opened for one week only (June 9). Selected applicants would appear in front of the judges.

The last set of auditions took place during May and June, 2011. These auditions individually occur simultaneously before both the judges and a live studio audience; and with such audience in attendance able to applaud/cheer approval or disapproval and perhaps influencing the judges.

Audition city Date Audition venue Date aired Judging panel
Los Angeles, California May 8 and 9, 2011 Galen Center September 21, 2011 Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid
Chicago, Illinois May 19 and 20, 2011 Sears Centre September 28, 2011
Newark, New Jersey June 8 and 9, 2011 Prudential Center September 29, 2011 Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and L.A. Reid
Miami, Florida June 14 and 15, 2011 BankUnited Center September 22, 2011
Dallas, Texas June 21 and 22, 2011 American Airlines Center September 22, 2011
Seattle, Washington June 28, 29 and 30, 2011 KeyArena September 21 and 28, 2011
Auditions footage first aired on September 21, though they were not aired in the same order that they occurred.


Day 1 of bootcamp started with dance training with choreographer Brian Friedman and then the acts were called to the stage in groups of 10 to sing in front of the judges. After all of them performed, the acts were brought in front of the judges as part of one of three groups. Two of these groups made it through and one was eliminated, leaving 100 acts still in the competition. The judges threw a party for the remaining acts that for many lasted late into the night.

Day 2 started with everyone getting woken up at 6:00am and heading to meet Reid. He informed them that they would be put into "ensembles" and groups, and would be working with stylists, choreographers, and vocal coaches. They were given five hours to learn the songs they were given. One third of the acts would be eliminated by the end of the second day. Several of the ensembles performances were aired. The first ensemble performed "Creep", the second ensemble performed "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", the third ensemble performed "Desperado", the fourth ensemble performed "Wishing on a Star", the fifth ensemble performed "Superman (It's Not Easy)", the sixth ensemble performed "Feeling Good", the seventh ensemble performed "I Have Nothing" and the eighth ensemble performed "Run".

Day 2 continued with more ensembles performing for the judges. The ninth ensemble performed "What's Going On". Next, they showed a couple of quick shots of some ensembles, presumably consisting of all people that would not make it through to the end. The tenth ensemble that was covered in detail performed "I Won't Let Go". The eleventh (and final) ensemble performed "Chasing Cars". Next, the judges deliberated, and decided on which a third of the acts would be eliminated. Once again, three groups were brought in. Group 1 was eliminated, meaning groups 2 and 3 made it through to the next round of bootcamp.

Day 3 had all 64 acts perform for the judges. They were given a list of 35 songs at the end of the day 2 and were told to choose one that best represented them. At the end of this final bootcamp round, 32 acts would go through to judges' houses. This final performance was done in front of a crowd of 3,000 people. After each of the performances, the judges gave no feedback.

The first bootcamp episode aired on October 5, 2011 and covered the first two days of bootcamp. The second bootcamp episode aired on October 6 and covered the rest of Day 2 and the remainder of bootcamp. By the end of bootcamp, 162 acts were cut to 32, 8 acts in each category. The judges later found out which category they would mentor and their acts joined them at their house.

Judges' houses

Enrique Iglesias helped Scherzinger to pick her finalists in Malibu, California and Pharrell Williams acted as a guest judge helping Abdul to pick her finalists in Santa Barbara, California. Rihanna helped L.A. Reid choose his finalists in The Hamptons, New York. Mariah Carey was contracted to aid Cowell in France, but was unable to attend due to Hurricane Irene grounding her flight to Paris, so Cowell was instead assisted by three vocal coaches.

In the United States, footage from judges' houses was originally scheduled to air on October 12, 13 and 18. However, due to weather delaying the start of the 2011 American League Championship Series, the footage from judges' houses 1 was moved to October 13, with footage from judges' houses 2 seen instead on October 16. The footage from judges' houses 3 aired on October 18 as scheduled and featured footage of the judges revealing their four finalists (or five in the case of Cowell) in each category to take through to the live shows. In Canada, the judges' houses 1 episode was broadcast as originally scheduled on October 12. No episode was shown in Canada on October 13, with CTV and CTV Two opting to follow Fox's scheduling changes to take advantage of simultaneous substitution rules.

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Assistant Contestants eliminated
Abdul Groups Santa Barbara Pharrell Williams 2Squar'd, 4Shore, The Anser, Illusion Confusion
Cowell Girls France N/A Caitlin Koch, Jazzlyn Little, Tora Woloshin
Reid Boys The Hamptons Rihanna Skyelor Anderson, Tim Cifers, Brennin Hunt, Nick Voss
Scherzinger Over 30s Malibu Enrique Iglesias Tiger Budbill, Christa Collins, Elaine Gibbs, James Kenney
Melanie Amaro was initially eliminated from the Girls' category, but was invited back to the competition after Cowell decided he had made a mistake in not including her, bringing the total number of finalists to 17.


Main article: List of The X Factor finalists (U.S. season 1)
The final 17 finalists were confirmed as follows;


{{colorbox}} – Winner
{{colorbox}} – Runner-up
{{colorbox}} – Third place
Category (mentor) Acts
Boys (Reid) Astro Phillip Lomax Chris Rene
Girls (Cowell) Melanie Amaro Rachel Crow Drew
LeRoy Bell Stacy Francis Josh Krajcik
Groups (Abdul) InTENsity Lakoda Rayne

Live shows

The first two-and-a-half hour live show aired on a special Tuesday time slot on October 25; which followed the same format as the latest series of the UK show with each of the judges narrowing their number of acts down to three, without a public vote. The public vote started with the following performance and results shows starting November 2, which aired on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively (except for the live shows on November 22 and 23, that aired on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively during Thanksgiving). The two-part finale was held on December 21 and 22. Leona Lewis, the winner of series 3 of the UK X Factor, confirmed during an interview with The Sun that she had been invited to perform on one of the live shows.

There was no guest performance during the first week. The second live result show featured a performance from Outasight. Jessie J and Willow Smith performed on the third live results show, while the fourth live results show featured a performance from Rihanna. Kelly Clarkson and Bruno Mars performed on the fifth live result show while Tinie Tempah performed on the sixth live result show. Mary J. Blige and Lenny Kravitz performed on the seventh live results show while [[Florence + The Machine]] and X Factor USA judge Nicole Scherzinger performed on the semi-final results show. The final featured performances from Justin Bieber, Leona Lewis, 50 Cent, Stevie Wonder, Pitbull and Ne-Yo.

Results summary

Color key
{{colorbox}} –Contestant was eliminated by their mentor (no public vote or final showdown)
{{colorbox}} –Contestant was in the bottom two/three and had to sing again in the final showdown
{{colorbox}} –Contestant was in the bottom three but received the fewest votes and was immediately eliminated
{{colorbox}} –Contestant received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no final showdown)
{{colorbox}} –Contestant received the most public votes
Weekly results per contestant
Contestant Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Round 1 Round 2
Melanie Amaro Saved Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Winner
Josh Krajcik Saved Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Runner-up
Chris Rene Saved Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe 3rd
Marcus Canty Saved Safe Safe Safe 7th Bottom three 4th 4th Eliminated (week 8)
Rachel Crow Saved Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe 5th Eliminated (week 7)
Drew Saved Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom three Eliminated (week 6)
Astro Saved Safe Safe Bottom two Safe 7th Eliminated (week 6)
LeRoy Bell Saved Safe Safe Safe 8th Eliminated (week 5)
Lakoda Rayne Saved Safe Bottom two Safe 9th Eliminated (week 5)
Stacy Francis Saved Safe Safe Bottom two Eliminated (week 4)
The Stereo Hogzz Saved Bottom two Bottom two Eliminated (week 3)
InTENsity Saved Bottom two Eliminated (week 2)
Simone Battle Not saved Eliminated (week 1)
Tiah Tolliver Not saved Eliminated (week 1)
Dexter Haygood Not saved Eliminated (week 1)
The Brewer Boys Not saved Eliminated (week 1)
Phillip Lomax Not saved Eliminated (week 1)
Final showdown None InTENsity,
The Stereo Hogzz
Lakoda Rayne,
The Stereo Hogzz
No final showdown or judges' votes; results were based on public votes alone
Judges voted to: Save Eliminate
Reid's vote Astro,
InTENsityThe Stereo Hogzz Francis Bell Drew Crow
Scherzinger's vote Francis,
InTENsityThe Stereo Hogzz AstroCanty Drew Crow
Abdul's vote The Stereo Hogzz,
Lakoda Rayne,
InTENsityLakoda Rayne Francis Canty Drew Canty
Cowell's vote Drew,
The Stereo Hogzz The Stereo Hogzz Francis Bell Canty Canty
Eliminated Phillip Lomax
by Reid
3 of 4 votes
The Stereo Hogzz
3 of 4 votes
Stacy Francis
3 of 4 votes
Lakoda Rayne
Public vote
to save
Public Vote
to save
Rachel Crow
2 of 4 votes
Marcus Canty
Public vote
to save
Chris Rene
Public vote
to win
Josh Krajcik
Public vote
to win
The Brewer Boys
by Abdul
Dexter Haygood
by Scherzinger
LeRoy Bell
2 of 4 votes
3 of 4 votes
Simone Battle
by Cowell
Tiah Tolliver
by Cowell
  • ^ There was no public vote in the first week and therefore no final showdown. Each judge was required to reduce their number of acts to three.

Live show details

Week 1 (October 25)

Contestants' performances on the first live show
Act Order Song Result
Astro 1 "Jump" Safe
Chris Rene 2 "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" Safe
Phillip Lomax 3 "I'm a Believer" Eliminated
Marcus Canty 4 "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" Safe
The Stereo Hogzz 5 "Try a Little Tenderness" Safe
The Brewer Boys 6 "Rich Girl" / "Faith" Eliminated
InTENsity 7 "The Clapping Song" / "Footloose" Safe
Lakoda Rayne 8 "Come On Eileen" Safe
Dexter Haygood 9 "Womanizer" / "I Kissed a Girl" Eliminated
LeRoy Bell 10 "Nobody Knows" Safe
Stacy Francis 11 "One More Try" Safe
Josh Krajcik 12 "Forever Young" Safe
Simone Battle 13 "Just Be Good to Me" Eliminated
Rachel Crow 14 "Where Did Our Love Go" / "Baby" Safe
Drew 15 "Flashdance... What a Feeling" Safe
Tiah Tolliver 16 "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" Eliminated
Melanie Amaro 17 "I Have Nothing" Safe
  • There was no public vote in the first week. Instead, each of the judges selected one (or two for Cowell) of their own acts to eliminate.
Judges' decisions to eliminate
  • Reid: Phillip Lomax " gave no reason
  • Abdul: The Brewer Boys " gave no reason
  • Scherzinger: Dexter Haygood " gave no reason
  • Cowell: Simone Battle and Tiah Tolliver " the decision came down to Simone Battle, Melanie Amaro and Tiah Tolliver; and Cowell believed that Amaro has the potential to win the competition

Week 2 (November 2/3)

  • Theme: American anthems
  • Group performance: "Without You"
  • Musical guest: Outasight ("Tonight Is the Night")
Contestants' performances on the second live show
Act Order Song Result
The Stereo Hogzz 1 "Rhythm Nation" Bottom two
Chris Rene 2 "Superstar" Safe
LeRoy Bell 3 "I'm Already There" Safe
Rachel Crow 4 "Walking on Sunshine" Safe
Lakoda Rayne 5 "Landslide" Safe
Josh Krajcik 6 "Jar of Hearts" Safe
Melanie Amaro 7 "Desperado" Safe
Astro 8 "Hip Hop Hooray" / "Get Ur Freak On" Safe
InTENsity 9 "Kids in America" / "Party Rock Anthem" Bottom two
Drew 10 "Just a Dream" Safe
Marcus Canty 11 "Nothin' on You" / "Every Little Step" Safe
Stacy Francis 12 "Up to the Mountain" Safe
Final showdown details
The Stereo Hogzz 1 "Emotion" Safe
InTENsity 2 "My Life Would Suck Without You" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Cowell: The Stereo Hogzz " based on the final showdown performance
  • Abdul: InTENsity " based her decision on her experience working with both groups
  • Scherzinger: InTENsity " believed that The Stereo Hogzz were more prepared
  • Reid: InTENsity " gave no reason

Week 3 (November 9/10)

  • Theme: Songs from movies
  • Group performance: "Save the World"
  • Musical guests: Willow Smith ("Fireball") and Jessie J ("Domino")
Contestants' performances on the third live show
Act Order Song Movie Result
Stacy Francis 1 "Queen of the Night" The Bodyguard Safe
Marcus Canty 2 "I'm Going Down" Car Wash Safe
Drew 3 "Fix You" You, Me and Dupree Safe
LeRoy Bell 4 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" Runaway Bride Safe
Lakoda Rayne 5 "Somebody Like You" How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Bottom two
Astro 6 "Lose Yourself" 8 Mile Safe
Melanie Amaro 7 "Man in the Mirror" Michael Jackson's This Is It Safe
The Stereo Hogzz 8 "Ain't No Other Man" Get Smart Bottom two
Josh Krajcik 9 "With a Little Help from My Friends" Across the Universe Safe
Chris Rene 10 "Gangsta's Paradise" Dangerous Minds Safe
Rachel Crow 11 "I'd Rather Go Blind" Cadillac Records Safe
Final showdown details
Lakoda Rayne 1 "No Air" Safe
The Stereo Hogzz 2 "You Are Not Alone" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Reid: The Stereo Hogzz " said he didn't like their song choices through the competition
  • Scherzinger: The Stereo Hogzz " based on her belief of "feminine empowerment", even though she liked both groups
  • Abdul: Lakoda Rayne " originally wished to abstain from voting, but then realized that doing so would have eliminated The Stereo Hogzz as Reid and Scherzinger had already voted to save Lakoda Rayne
  • Cowell: The Stereo Hogzz " based on who he thought had a greater potential to win the competition

Week 4 (November 16/17)

  • Theme: Rock
  • Group performance: "We Will Rock You"
  • Musical guest: Rihanna ("We Found Love")
Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
Act Order Song Result
LeRoy Bell 1 "We've Got Tonight" Safe
Rachel Crow 2 "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" Safe
Chris Rene 3 "No Woman, No Cry" / "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" Safe
Stacy Francis 4 "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" Bottom two
Melanie Amaro 5 "Everybody Hurts" Safe
Josh Krajcik 6 "The Pretender" Safe
Astro 7 "I'll Be Missing You" Bottom two
Lakoda Rayne 8 "Your Love" / "Go Your Own Way" Safe
Drew 9 "With or Without You" Safe
Marcus Canty 10 "Piece of My Heart" Safe
Final showdown details
Stacy Francis 1 "Amazing Grace" Eliminated
Astro 2 "Never Can Say Goodbye" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Reid: Stacy Francis " backed his own act, Astro, but said he was disappointed in the attitudes of both finalists.
  • Scherzinger: Astro " backed her own act, Stacy Francis
  • Abdul: Stacy Francis " gave no reason
  • Cowell: Stacy Francis " told Astro that he didn't like his attitude and that he was showing disrespect, but believed Astro had a better chance of winning the competition

Week 5 (November 22/23)

  • Theme: Giving Thanks
  • Group performance: "Raise Your Glass"/"So What"
  • Musical guests: Kelly Clarkson ("Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)") and Bruno Mars ("It Will Rain")
The Pepsi Choice Group performance was chosen by the audience and included circus outfits along with a rotating stage and laser special effects in a hip-hop dance style.

Two acts were eliminated during the results show. The three acts with the fewest public votes were announced, and the act with the fewest votes was automatically eliminated. The remaining two acts then performed in the final showdown and faced the judges' votes.

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
Act Order Song Result
Rachel Crow 1 "I Believe" Safe
Marcus Canty 2 "A Song for Mama" Bottom three
Melanie Amaro 3 "The World's Greatest" Safe
Chris Rene 4 "Let It Be" / "Young Homie" Safe
Lakoda Rayne 5 "You Belong with Me" Eliminated
LeRoy Bell 6 "Angel" Bottom three
Astro 7 "Show Me What You Got" Safe
Drew 8 "Skyscraper" Safe
Josh Krajcik 9 "Wild Horses" Safe
Final showdown details
Marcus Canty 1 "You Lost Me" Safe
LeRoy Bell 2 "Don't Let Me Down" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Reid: LeRoy Bell " backed his own act, Marcus Canty, and said Canty had been the most consistent of the two
  • Scherzinger: Marcus Canty " backed her own act, LeRoy Bell
  • Abdul: Marcus Canty " based on the final showdown performance
  • Cowell: LeRoy Bell " believed Canty had done better overall in the competition, but thought Bell sang better in the final showdown, so he put the decision up to the public.
With the acts in the bottom two receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Bell was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.

Week 6 (November 30/December 1)

Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine; his three children Prince, Paris, and Blanket; and his brothers Marlon, Tito, and Jackie were present in the audience during the performance show.

As in the previous week, two acts were eliminated during the results show. The three acts with the fewest public votes were announced, and the act with the fewest votes was automatically eliminated. The remaining two acts then performed in the final showdown and faced the judges' votes.

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
Act Order Song Result
Josh Krajcik 1 "Dirty Diana" Safe
Astro 2 "Black or White" Eliminated
Drew 3 "Billie Jean" Bottom three
Rachel Crow 4 "Can You Feel It" Safe
Marcus Canty 5 "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" Bottom three
Chris Rene 6 "I'll Be There" Safe
Melanie Amaro 7 "Earth Song" Safe
Final showdown details
Drew 1 "Listen to Your Heart" Eliminated
Marcus Canty 2 "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Reid: Drew " backed his own act, Marcus Canty
  • Cowell: Marcus Canty " backed his own act, Drew, while also taking responsibility for her being in the final showdown
  • Scherzinger: Drew " felt that Canty gave a more emotional final showdown performance
  • Abdul: Drew " said that Canty's final showdown song moved her more

Week 7 (December 7/8)

  • Themes: Dance music hits; contestant's choice
  • Musical guests: Mary J. Blige ("Need Someone") and Lenny Kravitz ("Push" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way"); Nervo served as the house DJs for the dance portion of the night.
Originally, the second song was going to be chosen by the public as part of the Pepsi Challenge, however, due to technical problems that happened with the Pepsi Challenge the night before the performance show, that feature was delayed to Week 8 and executive producers told that the contestants had only 24 hours to choose another song.

Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Result
Melanie Amaro 1 "Someone Like You" 6 "When You Believe" Safe
Marcus Canty 2 "Ain't Nobody" 7 "A Song for You" Bottom two
Rachel Crow 3 "Nothin' on You" 8 "Music and Me" Bottom two
Josh Krajcik 4 "We Found Love" 9 "Something" Safe
Chris Rene 5 "Live Your Life" 10 "Where Do We Go from Here" Safe
Final showdown details
Marcus Canty 1 "I'm Going Down" Safe
Rachel Crow 2 "I'd Rather Go Blind" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Reid: Rachel Crow " backed his own act, Marcus Canty
  • Cowell: Marcus Canty " gave no reason, but effectively backed his own act, Rachel Crow
  • Abdul: Marcus Canty " said that Crow's final showdown performance blew her away
  • Scherzinger: Rachel Crow " couldn't make the decision on her own so put the decision to deadlock
With the acts in the bottom two receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Crow was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes. Scherzinger was booed by the audience after Crow's elimination.

Week 8: Semi-final (December 14/15)

  • Themes: Pepsi Challenge songs, "songs to get you to the final" (no theme)
  • Group performance: "No Diggity" / "Shout"
  • Musical guests: Nicole Scherzinger ("Pretty") and Florence and the Machine ("Spectrum")
Contestants' performances on the eighth live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Result
Marcus Canty 1 "I'll Make Love to You" 5 "Careless Whisper" Eliminated
Chris Rene 2 "Fly" 6 "No One" Safe
Melanie Amaro 3 "Hero" 7 "Feeling Good" Safe
Josh Krajcik 4 "Come Together" 8 "Hallelujah" Safe
The semi-final did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Canty, was automatically eliminated.

Week 9: Final (December 21/22)

The final lasted for 1.5 hours on Wednesday, December 21 and 2 hours on Thursday, December 22.

December 21

  • Themes: Celebrity duets; winner's song (billed as "$5 million song")
  • Group performance: "They Don't Care About Us" (with Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour)
Contestants' performances on the ninth live show
Act Order First song (duet) Order Second song
Josh Krajcik 1 "Uninvited" (with Alanis Morissette) 4 "At Last"
Chris Rene 2 "Complicated" (with Avril Lavigne) 5 "Young Homie"
Melanie Amaro 3 "I Believe I Can Fly" (with R. Kelly) 6 "Listen"
December 22

  • Theme: Christmas songs
  • Group performances: "The Edge of Glory" (all finalists) and "Heroes" (performed by Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik)
  • Musical guests: Justin Bieber ("The Christmas Song" with Stevie Wonder / "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" with Drew), Leona Lewis ("Run"), 50 Cent with Astro ("Wait Until Tonight" / "In da Club") and Pitbull & Ne-Yo with Marcus Canty ("International Love" / "Give Me Everything")
Contestants' performances on the final live show
Act Order Song Result
Melanie Amaro 1 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" Wi

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