Last night (Dec. 22) marked the final episode of "X Factor's" debut U.S. season, and while some moments will live on in our hearts, there are also a few things that we can never unsee.
Of course all of the finalists' performances were fantastic, but there were so many other great moments in the first season of "X Factor." While Melanie Amaro is revelling in her $5 million glory, let's take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly in Simon Cowell's latest singing competition.
Chris Rene's "Young Homie" Finale Song
Chris's strongest performances have always been when he sings his own songs, and during the finale, when he sang his original audition track, "Young Homie," adding in a verse about being eight months sober, everyone was on their feet cheering. Although he came in third place and walked away without the $5 million contract, there's always been something special about Chris and he was full of spark during this final song.
Drew Stands Up to L.A. Reid
Following her breathtaking performance of Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper," L.A. complained that she never does age-appropriate music and sings songs "for 40 year olds." Rather than taking the criticism in silence, Drew shot back at L.A. with a confidence we had never seen before: "This song actually means a lot to me no matter how old I am, because it goes out to every girl who's felt the way that I've felt," she said. "And I feel like this song means that much to me that it's going out to everyone that's felt worthless or felt like they're not good enough." It was intense and fantastic. You GO girl!
Rachel Crow's Survival Song
Rachel's strongest performance came minutes before she was eliminated, which made the sting of going home all the more powerful and shocking. Her performance of "I'd Rather Go Blind" was raw and emotional, tears welling up in her eyes as she belted the final verse, begging the judges to save her.
Dexter may not have been the best singer on the show, but he brought a lot of heart to the competition and his decisions were some of the best to watch. Each time he made it through another round, he collapsed into tears, crying "skid row to here," always grateful for how far he had come.
Tora Woloshin's Audition
Quirky, spunky Tora Woloshin's talent started to waver a few episodes in, but her audition was one of the best. She had so much personality singing the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," it was easily the most fun the judges and the audience had had in that theatre all day. She was humble and shocked by her own positive reception and no one could help but smile while she was onstage.
The Bad & The Ugly:
Rachel Crow's Elimination
If we thought Drew's elimination the week before, it was nothing compared to when Rachel Crow was sent home, falling to the floor and sobbing at the announcement. Even Marcus, who just found he would be continuing on with the competition, looked crushed as the 13-year-old's heart was broken. Nicole was a wreck as everyone in the audience booed her, Simon was so angry he wouldn't even speak and host Steve Jones was frustrated (hilariously) beyond belief.
The Circus Performance
This is why we don't let America have nice things. When given the chance to put together a fantastic group performance, fans voted on a circus-themed laser light show with hip-hop choreography and Pink's "Raise Your Glass." At a recent press conference, Josh Krajcik joked, "I don't think I've ever said 'what's the dealio' in my life." And we never want to hear you sing it again, Josh.
Xander Alexander vs. Simon Cowell
It was one of those "so bad it's good" moments, when Simon was incapable of pronouncing Xander Alexander's name correctly (not an easy task) and the contestant would just not let it drop, calling the judge Simone, before finally being told to just "shut it and start singing." When asked if he had ever sang in public, Xander asked Simon, "Have you ever worn a shirt that isn't gray?" He wasn't amazing, so it came down to attitude. Needless to say, it was the end of the road for Ale...Xander.
The Naked Audition
The painful audition that will forever be seared into the brains of "X Factor" viewers -- and Paula Abdul may never in her life recover from: when Geo Godly decided to drop the pants of his velour tracksuit during his audition, Paula rushed to the bathroom in disgust, hiding until the producers were finally able to coax her out. But for ratings' sake, the camera's kept rolling. Audience members were rushing out, but luckily for the viewers at home, censorship exists.
Melanie's Elimination... And Un-Elimination
In one of the hokiest moves all season, Simon Cowell chose to eliminate Melanie Amaro (the newly-appointed winner) during the judges' homes round. He instead chose to send Rachel Crow, Drew, Tiah Tolliver and Simone Battle to the next round. But in what seemed to all be a scripted ploy for viewers -- or perhaps just an excuse to keep an extra contestant -- Simon realized that he had made a terrible mistake and flew from France to Florida to ask Melanie back on the show. Either the elimination was completely fake or Simon went temporarily insance, but either way it's a good thing he brought her back.