The Winner’s Circle

blog reneeSanta Cruz’s Chris Rene to compete in next week’s season finale of ‘The X Factor’

There’s only one week left on the first season of FOX’s “The X Factor,” and Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Chris Rene is inches from the finish line.

Vying for a $5 million recording contract, Rene will compete against Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik in the final on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The winner will be announced during the season finale on Thursday, Dec. 22.

Rene sealed his fate on Wednesday night’s show with an upbeat rendition of the summertime reggae-rock hit “Fly” by Sugar Ray. In a simple leather jacket, Rene made the audience get up and dance to the beat, as he inserted original rap lines into the song: “Baby you don’t know, let me take you there, we could go slow I really don’t care. Don’t matter, no, where we go, flying through the city on my skateboard.”

Unlike Rene’s stripped down, acoustic performance of his original song, “Where Do We Go From Here?” on Wednesday, Dec. 7, a horde of background dancers crowded the stage and bright orange lights added to the theatrics during this week’s show. Luckily for Rene, the judges and audience responded favorably.

As judge Nicole Scherzinger began to praise him for his performance, she was interrupted by the crowd, shouting “Chris Rene! Chris Rene!”

“You’re obviously the viewers’ pick right now—you look like a million bucks!” she responded.

Paula Abdul beamed with approval: “Plain and simple: you have the gift to communicate to the world, your heart resonates with the world. That’s your gift, keep on spreading it.”

As he has done in previous weeks, Simon Cowell expressed his displeasure with Rene’s vocals, however, he acknowledged that his onstage charisma made the performance a “7 out of 10.”

“Chris, here’s my advice,” said Cowell. “There is $5 million at stake here, you’ve got one more song. You’ve got to come out next time with a lot more conviction, a lot more focus. You’ve got one more chance to nail this.”

Tune in to FOX at 8 p.m. Dec. 21 to find out if Rene does, in fact, have “The X Factor.” Don’t forget to vote.

See video click here.

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