Ray Mickshaw/ FOX
The X Factor finalists held their own on Wednesday night, performing with some of the hottest names in music.
"I couldn't think of a better way to open up this competition tonight," Paula Abdul gushed after Nicole Scherzinger's protege Josh Krajcik belted out a duet with Alanis Morissette.
Simon Cowell, in his trademark candid fashion, pointed out where he thought the number could've been improved.
"I thought that you were a little intimidated at the beginning," said Simon, giving him an unofficial 8 out of 10.
While the audience was still swooning over Josh's outstanding effort, Chris Rene hit the stage alongside Avril Lavigne, sending up a performance that Nicole admitted felt "a little shaky at the top."
Paula, the eternal optimist, defended the number, explaining that the spirit of the show concentrates more on the energy of the artist than being perfect note-for-note. L.A. Reid and Simon both agreed that the song, if released as a single, would be a hit.
Simon's pride and joy, Melanie Amaro, made history singing I Believe I Can Fly with the song's creator, R. Kelly, as this was the first time Kelly had ever performed the number as a duet. While L.A. and Nicole contemplated whether the song's key gave Melanie the best chance to excel, everyone agreed that Melanie put her all into the performance.
Watch The X Factor tomorrow night on FOX to find out who will win $5 million.