And The X Factor Winner is …

The first ever X Factor winner (in the U.S, anyway) is teenager Melanie Amaro.

The 19-year-old, who Simon Cowell predicted would win, was crowned the show’s first champion in Thursday’s finale, and has landed a $5 million recording contract for her troubles. The young diva with the giant voice beat out bluesy rocker Josh Krajcik. Chris Rene came in third.

The show’s finale was spread over two nights. Wednesday saw the three finalists team up with a famous artist each – Amaro performed with R. Kelly, Josh Krajcik got Alanis Morissette, and Rene drew the short straw and got Avril Lavigne. In the same evening, the contestants sung two songs solo – Amaro’s winning renditions were R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly and Beyoncé’s Listen.

Thursday night was – uuugh – Christmas songs. Amaro was probably the best of the three, cooing and warbling her way through All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Some pointless celebrities showed up as well, including Justin Bieber (who sung The Christmas Song with Stevie Wonder and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town with contestant and Bieber fan Drew), Leona Lewis (one of the few British X Factor winners to actually become a success), 50 Cent and Astro, and Pitbull & Ne-Yo with Marcus Canty.

We also saw all 12 contestants singing Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory, before most of them go back to tending bars/waiting tables.

Will Amaro be a success then? Speaking from a British perspective, it’s not always a certainty with The X Factor. While Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke have seen big sales, it’s probably best not to mention the name ‘Steve Brookstein’ to Simon Cowell. Brookstein was the 2004 winner of the UK show, and was last seen performing at a pub in Cornwall where people paid $4 to hear him sing. And that’s not to mention Joe McElderry, the 2009 winner who was dropped from Cowell’s Syco record label earlier this year.

Did you vote in this year’s final? And do you think Amora’s victory will her see become a future star?

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