Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co Photo: Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro, and Chris Rene Perform on the X Factor Finale, on December 22, 2011

Holy jingle bells, y’all, this is it! In two hours, we’ll have a winner, and either Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro, or Josh Krajcik will have 5 million bucks. Steve Jones will, however, still be the blandest handsome dude on TV.

The judges walk out to “The Final Countdown” which is super awesome, because GOB Bluth. Also super cheesy!

The show kicks off with a group performance of “The Edge of Glory” starring the Final 12, aka a bunch of people we love but forgot existed, including Stacy Francis and those kids from inTENsity. Also, spoiler alert: Leroy Bell is still awesome, Astro is still probably the most entertaining contestant of the season, and Drew Ryniewicz is now a brunette. The Top 3 join in the performance at the end and they all look pretty uncomfortable. Nerves, probably?!

So, apparently tonight all the contestants will be singing holiday songs. Festive! Melanie’s up first, singing “All I Want for Christmas is You.” She does a lovely job, of course, but for our money, the version on Glee last week was way more enjoyable. Afterwards, the judges all have kind words for Melanie, and a video is shown with well-wishes from her friends and family at home, ending with her grandmother speaking from the British Virgin Islands, at which point Melanie is pretty much overcome with emotion. NO, WE’RE NOT CRYING, SHUT UP!

Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co Photo: Justin Bieber and Drew on the X Factor Finale, on December 22, 2011

Chris follows with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and it’s kind of rough. Not the best song choice for him. We love Chris, but he’s no Judy Garland, y’know? The judges all compliment Chris on his general awesomeness, and Simon calls him an inspiration. His good luck package ends with his kid and it’s very sweet and NO, WE’RE STILL NOT CRYING, OKAY?

Josh, on the other hand, picked the perfect song, and his version of “Please Come Home for Christmas” is probably the best of the three performances. The stage setup is kind of cute, too, with a gal (presumably the one who should come home for Christmas) sitting in a giant snowglobe. The judges all tell Josh how fabulous he is, and then he gets to watch his good luck video and his daughter makes him cry and CERTAINLY DOESN’T MAKE US CRY, THAT WOULD BE SILLY.

Ahem.

After the commercial, we get Justin Bieber (eh), Stevie Wonder (woo!) and then more Bieber. It’s fine, the Biebs is the Biebs and it’s cool, but mostly we’re just thinking about Drew and how she must be losing her mind backstage. Except now Drew is in fact ONSTAGE and singing with Justin and losing her mind in front of all of us, and oh, okay, it’s so freaking cute! Drew is beside herself and Justin is really sweet with her. Aw.

Oh, we actually get some results now? Cool! Wait, no, that means someone has to get eliminated. This is suddenly stressful! Can’t they just all win? No? Fine. The third place finisher is... Chris Rene! Aw, sorry, dude. He takes it like a champ, though. “I feel amazing that I got to do this, that I’m here... I’ve just gotta say thank you.” Steve is flummoxed, and then all of a sudden everyone is hugging everyone else and nobody is where they’re supposed to be, and nobody is listening to Steve so he sends us to commercial. Where is Ryan Seacrest when you need him?! (No lie, we ask ourselves this question, like, daily.)

Filler segment  #1: The most “shocking moments” of the season.

The number one moment, however, is Rachel Crow’s elimination, and she comes on stage and proceeds to be adorable all over the place and tell Steve she wants his job. We vote “yes” on that, for the record. She introduces Leona Lewis, who sings a cover of Snow Patrol’s “Run.” It’s very pretty and a little boring, and there are clips from the season up on the screens behind her. She looks beautiful, for whatever that’s worth.

Filler segment #2: Simon Cowell vs. L.A. Reid Battle of Grouchiness

Some dude from the Lakers introduces his “very good friend” 50 Cent, who gets bleeped by the censors like 20 times and has dancers in leotards and thigh-high boots gyrating on white sofas. At some point a few guys come wandering out on stage, and Fiddy launches into his breakthrough hit “In Da Club.” The whole thing is pretty whatever; we’d rather watch Astro, frankly. Oh and hey, speaking of which: here’s Astro! He’s got a lot more charisma than 50 Cent. Not like that’s particularly hard, but eh.

Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co Photo: The Judges Enter for the X Factor Finale, on December 22, 2011

Filler segment #3: Paula Abdul vs. Nicole Scherzinger Cry-Off.

Our next guest performance is by Pitbull and Ne-Yo, and it’s a lot more enjoyable than whatever 50 Cent had going on. Eventually they’re joined by Marcus Canty, who’s rocking some extremely shiny leather pants and seems to be having an excellent time. That being said, he probably shouldn’t perform with Ne-Yo because he kind of comes off like a second-rate version of him. Sorry, Marcus! You seem like an awesome guy.

Next up are our Top 2! Josh and Melanie are singing “Heroes” by David Bowie. Bowie is always an excellent choice. But wait, how was this planned? What if one of them had been eliminated — would the other be singing this with Chris? Did they already know who finished third? Hm. Anyway! They’re actually pretty adorable singing together, and they seem like they’re having a lot of fun. It’s pretty charming, and when they finish singing they tell each other they love each other. Simon probably hated that; on Idol he always complained about the contestants being so friendly with one another.

Okay, last-minute prediction based on pretty much nothing — Josh is going to win. Will we be right? Uhhhh... maybe?!

Annnnnd... nope! It’s Melanie! She’s frozen in shock at first, and then pretty much falls to pieces. Steve can’t get a word out of her, so he switches over to Josh. “I feel amazing, Melanie deserves this... I got to be myself, sing what I wanna sing, and I couldn’t be happier,” Josh says, beaming.

“She is a star, I’m very very proud and very grateful,” Simon adds, while Melanie is still too busy losing it to talk to Steve, despite his best efforts. It’s a little awkward and a lot amusing. Eventually she gets it together enough (more or less, anyway) to sing an extremely emotional reprise of “Listen,” complete with a huge choir dressed all in white and 47 tons of confetti raining down.

“God is good!” Melanie exclaims afterwards, once she can finally speak. “Thank you so much!”

Well... so that’s it. All those hours of watching and voting and we finally have a winner. Was Melanie your pick, or were you rooting for one of the guys? Let us know what you think!

 

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Credit: YouTube Photo: Watch! Melanie Amaro is Announced the Winner of The X Factor on December 22, 2011 [VIDEO]