ETonline, Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 7:12pm (PST)
The X Factor finalists held their own on Wednesday night, performing with some of the hottest names in music.
MORE: The X Factor Finalists Revealed!
"I couldn't think of a better way to open up this competition tonight," Paula Abdul gushed after Nicole Scherzinger's protege Josh Krajcik belted out a duet with Alanis Morissette.
Simon Cowell, in his trademark candid fashion, pointed out where he thought the number could've been improved.
MORE: Justin Bieber to Perform on X Factor Finale!
"I thought that you were a little intimidated at the beginning," said Simon, giving him an unofficial 8 out of 10.
While the audience was still swooning over Josh's outstanding effort, Chris Rene hit the stage alongside Avril Lavigne, sending up a performance that Nicole admitted felt "a little shaky at the top."
MORE: Steve Jones Not Leaving X Factor
Paula, the eternal optimist, defended the number, explaining that the spirit of the show concentrates more on the energy of the artist than being perfect note-for-note. L.A. Reid and Simon both agreed that the song, if released as a single, would be a hit.
Simon's pride and joy, Melanie Amaro, made history singing I Believe I Can Fly with the song's creator, R. Kelly, as this was the first time Kelly had ever performed the number as a duet. While L.A. and Nicole contemplated whether the song's key gave Melanie the best chance to excel, everyone agreed that Melanie put her all into the performance.
Watch The X Factor tomorrow night on FOX to find out who will win $5 million.
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