Simon Cowell Backs Amaro to Win 'The X Factor'

December 21, 2011 - 10:01 PM
TV X Factor

FILE- In this Nov. 30, 2011 file photo released by FOX, Josh Krajcik performs on the singing competition series, "The X Factor," in Los Angeles, where contestants sang songs by Michael Jackson for a tribute to the late King of Pop. (AP Photo/FOX, Ray Mickshaw, FILE)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The X Factor" judges didn't want to stop listening to Melanie Amaro.

The powerful 19-year-old vocalist from Sunrise, Fla., wowed the Fox talent competition's panel with her rendition of Beyonce's "Listen" during Wednesday's final performance round.

Simon Cowell declared that Amaro should win the show's grand prize: a $5 million recording contract and a starring role in a Pepsi commercial.

The judges also poured praise on the two other remaining finalists: soulful 30-year-old single father Josh Krajcik of Wooster, Ohio, and 28-year-old rapper Chris Rene of Santa Cruz, Calif.

Krajcik belted out "At Last" for his final performance, while Rene delivered his original tune "Young Homie" with a group of backup dancers and singers.

The winner, which will be decided by viewer votes, will be announced on Thursday's show.