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Paula Abdul

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Paula Abdul & Boyfriend Split After Year and a Half | Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul and Jeff Bratton Split

Originally posted 01/07/2012 11:30AM

Paula Abdul is a single lady.

After a year and half, The X Factor judge and her boyfriend, record label owner Jeff Bratton, have called off their romance.

"Paula and I split in November," Bratton tells PEOPLE. "It was an amicable thing. But between the final months of X Factor and my responsibilities with [my label] Cascine, there was little time for us."

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Simon Cowell: Next X Factor Will Be a Bloodbath | Simon Cowell

The X Factor

Simon Cowell: Next X Factor Will Be a Bloodbath

Originally posted 12/27/2011 11:00AM

With Melanie Amaro just crowned this season's winner, auditions are already underway for next season's The X Factor Рand contestants and viewers should prepare themselves for a few possible changes.  

"Can we make the show better? Yes. I will never ever go into anything going forward unless I can believe I can make it better," Simon Cowell, the show's producer and judge, told PEOPLE Thursday after Amaro had won the $5 million recording contract. "Next year will be a bloodbath. We have to come out with something better than the rest, and that's what we aim to do."

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The X Factor Crowns Its First Winner!

The X Factor

The X Factor Crowns Its First Winner

Originally posted 12/22/2011 10:15PM

It's been a drama-filled first season of The X Factor, but in the end it came down to three: Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene squared off in Wednesday's final round of competition for the grand prize – a $5 million recording contract.

Simon Cowell said the trio represented the most talented group of finalists of any singing competition he's done. But after Wednesday's performances, the head judge stood firmly behind his mentee, early frontrunner Amaro, saying the 19-year-old deserved to win following her duet with R. Kelly on "I Believe I Can Fly" and rendition of Beyoncé's "Listen."

Keep reading to find out the winner:

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POLL: Who Deserves to Win The X Factor?

The X Factor

The X Factor: Who Deserves to Win?

Originally posted 12/22/2011 02:00PM

There can be only one. So, who should it be?

Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene and each made their case on Wednesday night to take the crown as the season 1 winner of The X Factor, and the $5 million recording contract that goes with it.

The judges had their say. Simon Cowell flat-out claimed Amaro should win. And L.A. Reid agreed that her rendition of "Listen" by Beyoncé was "a $50 million performance."

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Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Getty(2), Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup
Simon Cowell Says Melanie Amaro Should Win The X Factor

The X Factor

The X Factor Finalists Perform Duets with Superstars

Originally posted 12/22/2011 08:30AM

The top three singers – out of 100,000 who auditioned – performed for the final night of competition on Wednesday in Los Angeles, as season 1 of The X Factor nears its end.

Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro performed first with a superstar duet partner, followed by their "$5 million song" on a night head judge Simon Cowell promised would be "the greatest final we've ever been in, in terms of talent."

The winner, who gets a $5 million recording contract and will star in a Pepsi commercial to air during the Super Bowl, will be announced Thursday night (8 p.m. ET) on Fox in a star-studded holiday show with performances by Ne-Yo, British The X Factor winner Leona Lewis, Justin Bieber and Pitbull.

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Simon Cowell: All Three Finalists 'Have a Shot' at Winning $5 Million on X Factor

The X Factor

Simon Cowell: All Three Finalists 'Have a Shot' at Winning The X Factor

Originally posted 12/21/2011 02:00PM

It's down to the final three after a dramatic first season of The X Factor – and with $5 million at stake, audiences should expect to see the gloves come off ... musically speaking, of course.

"One of these artists is going to be the legacy of this year," Simon Cowell, show creator, judge and mentor to Melanie Amaro, 19, said at a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday. "I believe they all have a shot. This is $5 million dollar talent here."

Not bad for a group that includes recently rehabbed trash collector Chris Rene, 28, dad and burrito maker Josh Krajcik, 30, and Amaro, who is a piano teacher and college freshman.

"They are all big on talent and charisma," said judge L.A. Reid. "Each one has a distinct competitive advantage."

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Who Was Sent Home on The X Factor?

The X Factor

Marcus Canty Eliminated from The X Factor

Originally posted 12/16/2011 08:35AM

And then there were three.

At the end of Thursday's episode of The X Factor, Marcus Canty was eliminated from the singing competition, following Wednesday's semi-finals.

Canty, 20, had frequently found himself in the bottom two in recent weeks and admitted feeling slightly relieved that he wouldn't be competing in the final weeks.

"I feel so good," he told PEOPLE after the elimination. "The pressure is off of me. I don't have to worry about singing no more 'save me' songs. I don't have to worry about America shooting me down about something that I did. I ain't got to worry about Simon [Cowell] throwing me the heat. I can just relax."

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POLL: Who's the Frontrunner on The X Factor?

The X Factor

The X Factor: Which Semi-Finalist Is the Frontrunner?

Originally posted 12/15/2011 10:50AM

They've come a long way – and on Wednesday night, The X Factor's four semi-finalists each made their case for a spot in next week's three-person finale.

But who made the best case?

Melanie Amaro sang "Hero" by Mariah Carey and "Feeling Good." Marcus Canty tackled Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" and "Careless Whisper" by Wham! Chris Rene went with "Fly" by Sugar Ray and Alicia Keys's "No One." And Josh Krajcik sang the Beatles' "Come Together" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

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Nicole Scherzinger Booed at Shocking X Factor Elimination | Nicole Scherzinger

The X Factor

X Factor: Another Contestant Goes Home

Originally posted 12/08/2011 09:30PM

After singing a dance track and a song of their choice, the top five contestants still competing for The X Factor's $5 million recording contract – Melanie Amaro, Josh Kracjik, Chris Rene, Rachel Crow and Marcus Canty – faced elimination on Thursday's highly emotional results show.

Keep reading to find out who made the semi-finals and who is now out of the running after the show's most shocking elimination yet:

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Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX
The X Factor's Josh Krajcik Is Done Making Burritos for Others

The X Factor

Josh Krajcik Is Done Making Burritos for Others

Originally posted 12/08/2011 10:00AM

Customers of the Columbus, Ohio, burrito shop where Josh Krajcik worked shouldn't expect to see the X Factor finalist behind the counter any time soon.

The singer, who performed Rihanna's "We Found Love" for his dance song on Wednesday's performance show, says his days serving up burritos are done.

"I've been avoiding burritos in general," Krajcik told PEOPLE Wednesday night. "The irony is just too much for me ... The burrito maker thing."

But Krajcik hasn't sworn off the food completely. "I may make [burritos] privately at home with the curtains drawn," he jokes.

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