Voters globally have spoken and Melanie Amaro, 19, was announced as the winner of The X Factor USA shortly after 10:45 pm local time during the season finale that featured several star performers tonight, December 22. Melanie, who moved from Miami to live in the BVI as a toddler, is taking home the coveted grand prize of a recording contract worth $5 million and will star in a pepsi commercial. "Oh my God, oh my God," was Melanie's initial response as she cried and hugged with family and friends. She fought back tears as she sang 'Listen', her audition selection. The X Factor competition had simmered to just three finalists and Melanie faced off against Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene in the finals. Chris, who many felt was a tough challenger, was anounced first as the third place finisher. The show came down to Melanie and Josh and in the end, voters stuck with Melanie. However, prior to the announcement, Josh and Melanie performed a duet and they both hugged mid-stage. Each of the three contestants shared heart-warming Christmas-themed songs during the show. After each of the performnaces, producers aired clips of persons and places familiar with the finalists. The BVI was among the places potrayed after Melanie's performance. The finale opened with Melanie sharing her version of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'; however, the final songs of the season didn't count for anything more than Christmas joy. Several Hollywood stars also performed and graced the stage including Justine Bieber, Stevie Wonder, 50 Cent, Pitbull and Neyo. The show ended tonight, but according to Melanie's mother, Debra Amaro, "The singing baby has taken her talent from the cradle to the stage". Mrs. Amaro had previously told BVI Platinum News that her daughter has a gift from God because Melanie was still in the womb when a Christian minister prayed and proclaimed that she will carry a song in her heart to the world. "She was always singing as child. At all hours of the night she was singing in her crib. We did not know what she was singing, but she was there singing," Mrs. Amaro had stated. Melanie, who was born in Florida, lived in the BVI from the age of three years old. She attended the D&D pre-school, Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary, Althea Scatliffe Primary School and the BVI High School, now the Elmore Stoutt High School. Premier and Minister for Tourism, Dr. D. Orlando Smith joined with the people of the Virgin Islands and fans around the world in congratulating Melanie on her splendid performance during The X-Factor's final performances which was aired locally on Fox, Channel 11 last evening, December 21.
Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is seen here with Melanie Amaro’s Family. Melanie’s mother Debra Amaro is standing on the right of Premier Smith.
In a statement issued by GIS, Premier Smith said that Melanie's unforgettable performance during both rounds did not only receive a whopping thumbs up from the judges, but captivated and moved the Territory as loud cheers erupted throughout the community. "Melanie's desire to be the best and to win is definitely the true spirit of the Virgin Islander. We are proud of her impeccable performance and we look forward to seeing her win the $5M recording prize," Premier Smith stated. In early December, Premier Smith met with Melanie's mother and conveyed that the people of the Virgin Islands were excited for her. "We are pleased with Melanie's achievement. Let her know that we are thrusting our weight behind her 110 percent; in fact, all hands are on the deck voting for her," Premier Smith said. Last evening, performing with the legendary R. Kelly, Melanie Amaro once again established herself as the frontrunner to win the entire competition which started out with hundreds of auditions. In the first round of the final competition, The X Factor finalists performed duets with famous artists. Melanie performed her duet with R. Kelly on his inspirational ballad, 'I Believe I Can Fly'. It was the first time R. Kelly performed the song as a duet. Paula Abdul found the performance "uplifting and spiritual", while L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger argued that Melanie wasn't able to match Kelly's talent. Simon Cowell told Melanie to "ignore grumpy and dumpy".
X-Factor made history last night when R. Kelly performed his hit song "I Believe I Can Fly" for the first time as a duet with contestant Melanie Amaro.
"It was unbelievable, there's no doubt that this girl is on her way to the moon," Kelly said after the performance.
The duo sang the song which earned Kelly three Grammy Awards, as the contest is drawing to a close. Only Amaro, Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik remain in the hunt for the $5 milliondollar recording contract that will be awarded to the winner.
Make sure you tune in to Fox tonight at 8/7C to find out who that winner is.
There will also be special performances by 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Pitbull, Ne-Yo, and Leona Lewis.