- Photo: Ray Mickshaw, FOX
"X-Factor" finalist Melanie Amaro is Simon Cowell’s choice for the show’s winner on Thursday night’s series finale.
"To be honest with you, anything could happen tomorrow and I'm kind of preparing myself for any decision," Cowell, a judge and producer of the singing contest, told reporters after Wednesday's episode. "But you know, my gut, my heart tells me that Melanie should win after tonight."
Amaro, a 19-year-old singer from Sunrise, Calif., sang Beyonce’s “Listen” from the Oscar winning musical “Dream Girls” for her last song of the night, wowing both the judges and the crowd.
"I was nervous until that very last song by Melanie," Cowell told reporters. "If that doesn't win the competition, I might as well give up!"
Amaro is up against Rapper Chris Rene and singer Josh Kracjik for a $5 million recording contract and role in a Pepsi commercial.
"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, " Cowell told reporters when asked which of the other two finalists is Amaro’s main competition.
Earlier this month, fan favorite Drew Ryniewicz was eliminated from the "X-Factor," infuriating both Cowell and viewers.
Some Ryniewicz fans let judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger know via Twitter and Facebook they were not please with their decision to eliminate the 14-year-old contestant.
"“**** you Paula you **** *** you voted off the most talented person on your ****** show. I hope you die you **** *****,” one fan wrote.
"@NicoleScherzy@paulaabdul go die," said another fan.
Amaro is the youngest and only female singer left in the competition. She was originally eliminated by Cowell, who later went to her home and asked her to return.