(VIDEOS) Before & After: 'X Factor' Finalists Close Out the Show with Their Audition Songs
(VIDEOS) Before & After: 'X Factor' Finalists Close Out the Show with Their Audition Songs
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro and Chris Rene are now such seasoned performers that on last night's X Factor performance finale, they each held their own in a duet with a bonafide superstar.

But mere months ago, each of them was just a hopeful dreamer among the thousands of acts auditioning to be on The X Factor. Last night's finale also paid homage to the beginning of their stories, as each finalist closed out the show with their own very first audition song -- the song that got them those four yeses that changed everything.

Watch Melanie's, Chris's and Josh's humble auditions, and then see how far they've come as they turn those songs into their final $5 million performances:


Melanie Amaro, "Listen"

Audition: When Melanie first came to the X Factor stage, she was a sweet, shy 18-year-old college student -- either too unsure or too humble to know her own talent, when Simon asked Melanie, "Are you any good?" she answered, "I'll let you determine that." And boy, did he ever. Watch her first performance of "Listen," which starts at about 1:30:



The Final Performance: Now Melanie is a glamorous, poised star who finally knows her own talent. Watch her finale performance of "Listen," which starts at about 2:25:




Chris Rene, "Young Homie"

Audition: The judges applauded a 70-days sober Chris when he came on stage, but were skeptical of his original song when they heard the title. Well ... that certainly changed, and quickly. Watch his first performance of "Young Homie," which starts at about 2:30:



The Final Performance: Now Chris, 8 months sober and counting, has turned his song into an anthem, and his adoring audience into a "Love Life Army." Watch his finale performance of "Young Homie," starting at 2:21: 



Josh Krajcik, "At Last"

Audition: Simon was incredulous when he learned that "burrito-slinging" song-writer Josh would dare to audition with "At Last." But his mood changed when Josh opened his mouth, and soon the judges were as smitten with Josh as his doting mom is. Watch his first performance of "At Last," which starts at about 2:30: 



The Final Performance: For his final pitch to America, Josh showed off his rich, gruff voice and his artistry with a version of "At Last" that was towering in every sense of the word. Watch his finale performance, which starts at about 2:13:



They've all made major transformations, but only one will win The X Factor and its $5 million recording contract. Tune in to see who takes it home when the X Factor finale airs tonight at 8pm on FOX. And join me here at BuddyTV at the same time (8pm, EST) as I liveblog it all.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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