“X Factor” top five finalist Chris Rene has stolen the show after singing an original song on Wednesday night’s episode.
First Rene sang T.I.’s rap hit “Live Your Life” before the show-stopping song “Where Do We Go From Here.” Rene appeared relaxed and confident on stage strumming his guitar as he sang the unique ballad. Notoriously harsh “X Factor” judge Simon Cowell deemed the performance “a stroke of genius”.
With only five artists remaining, contestants were under additional pressure when they had to switch their final songs just 24 hours before performing after an “error in communication” occurred.
Opening the show Wednesday night was contestant and favorite Melanie Amaro with a strong performance singing a faster version of British singer Adele’s “Someone Like You,” followed by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s tune “When You Believe.”
Tough-as-nails Cowell eased up again and said that Amaro was “outstanding.”
Before Rene’s closing performance, finalist Josh Krajcik appeared to be leading the competition. He took the stage singing a shaky version of Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” but the contestant improved once he began his second song, “Sometimes” by the Beatles. The performance earned praise from judge Scherzinger, who called him “the male Adele in the industry right now.”
Scherzinger also dubbed the former burrito making finalist with the nickname “Krakcik Magic,” before “X Factor” judge Paula Abdul said, “Adjectives just don’t describe your brilliance anymore, they just don’t measure up.”
The next performer was 13-year-old Rachel Crow who sang B.o.B and Bruno Mars’ “Nothin’ On You” as her opener and Michael Jackson’s “Music & Me.”
“Your vocal depth transcends all generations,” said Abdul, judging the performance.
“You are a wonderful role model. You are every girl’s best friend and every parent’s daydream. You are fantastic and magical,” continued the judge, who added that Crow, who was a victim of early childhood abuse, is “beautifully fearless.”
Finalist Marcus Canty trailed the other contestants again Wednesday night after having landed in the bottom two for the past two weeks. He sang Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” as well as Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” before Cowell deemed his performance “a bit boring.”
Judge L.A. Reid defended the contestant though, comparing his determination to that of Muhammad Ali’s, and told Canty “I’ve got your back.”
“X Factor” will see another contestant sent home on Thursday night’s show. The show airs live on Fox at 8 p.m. EST.