X Factor's Simon Cowell: Melanie Amaro Should Win

Entertainment Dec. 22, 2011 AT 9:03AM
X Factor's Simon Cowell: Melanie Amaro Should Win Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX via Getty Images; Jordan Strauss/WireImage.com

Is Melanie Amaro about to have her Kelly Clarkson moment on Thursday's finale of The X Factor?

Her mentor Simon Cowell thinks and hopes so!

"To be honest with you, anything could happen tomorrow and I'm kind of preparing myself for any decision," judge Cowell told reporters after Wednesday's performance episode, in which Amaro gave her all alongside fellow finalists Chris Rene and Josh Kracjik.

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"But you know, my gut, my heart tells me that Melanie should win after tonight," Cowell confided.

And the 19-year-old singer from Sunrise, Calif. stunned the crowd and the judges with her final song of the night, hitting Beyonce's "Listen" out of the ballpark.

"I was nervous until that very last song by Melanie," Cowell admitted. "If that doesn't win the competition, I might as well give up!"

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Rene and Kracjik -- vying with Amaro for a $5 million recording contract and a starring role in a Pepsi commercial -- certainly impressed as well. Single dad Krajcik, 30, of Wooster, Ohio, crooned "At Last" for his last song, while rapper Rene, 28, of Santa Cruz, Calif. sang his self-penned tune "Young Homie.

Amaro's biggest competition, according to Cowell? "I would have said Josh but then Chris Rene's second performance, you could feel in the room that people liked him. I know Josh has got a lot of support."

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The trio also had their chance to duet with music superstars. Amaro sang with R. Kelly, Rene with Avril Lavigne, and Kracjik with Alanis Morissette.

Tell Us: Who do you think should win?

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