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"X Factor" press conference:Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio and Top 3

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On Dec. 12, 2013, "The X Factor" U.S. judges Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio gathered for a press conference backstage in Los Angeles after the show's Top 3 contestants of 2013 were announced. The judges were later joined at the press conference by the show's Top 3 contestants: boyfriend/girlfriend duo Alex & Sierra (mentored by Cowell), rocker Jeff Gutt (mentored by Rowland) and Latin pop singer Carlito Olivero (mentored by Rubio). The finalists will perform one last tme for the public's votes on Dec. 18, 2013. The winner will be announced on Dec. 19, 2013.

The atmosphere during the conference was not as tension-filled and hostile between the judges as "The X Factor" U.S. press conference that was held on Nov. 21, 2013. Maybe that's because judge Demi Lovato wasn't there at the Dec. 12 press conference to constantly interrupt and insult Cowell, as she does on the show. Lovato no longer has any acts left in the competition; her last two contestants whom she was mentoring (Rion Paige and Ellona Santiago) were eliminated on Dec. 5, 2013.

Some of the questions at the press conference were about what people can expect from the show's season finale on Dec. 19, 2013.

When Cowell said, "I'll be texting Kelly some suggestions for her act."

Rowland retorted, "And I'm going to be pressing delete!"

Alex & Sierra have had more hits on the iTunes (U.S.) Top 100 Songs charts than any other "X Factor" U.S. contestant, including reaching No. 1 with cover versions of A Great Big World's "Say Something" and Sara Bareilles' "Gravity." Alex & Sierra are the only "X Factor" U.S. contestant act to accomplish this feat on that chart. It's one of the few success stories to come out of the show's third season, whose ratings have been on a downward spiral and have reached such a low point that it would be shocking if Fox renewed "The X Factor" U.S. for a fourth season in 2014.

At the press conference, Rubio said of this "X Factor" contestant chart success on iTunes: "This doesn't happen on a reality show, but 'X Factor' has this." Apparently, Rubio is so clueless that she forgot about "American Idol" and "The Voice," which have both had numerous contestants hit No. 1 on the iTunes (U.S.) Top 100 Songs chart long before "The X Factor" ever had any contestants hit No. 1 on the chart.

When asked how he is preparing Alex & Sierra for the season finale, Cowell replied: "I'm going to go in it with the attitude of it of 'I want the No. 1 record the following week and at the end of the year.' That's my going to be my attitude going into the final this year with these two, so we've got to do something really special."

There wasn't much said at the press conference that was revealing or new, except Rubio said she is going to perform in the season finale. It wasn't mentioned if Rowland and Lovato will also be performing, but that is always a possibility, since "X Factor" judges who are also singers usually perform in the season finale. (Unless they are a lip syncer like Britney Spears, who wouldn't or couldn't perform live on "The X Factor" U.S. during her disastrous, over-paid stint as a judge on the show in 2012.)

Restless Road (a country trio that Cowell created by putting together three former solo contestants) came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.S. this year. As Restless Road's "X Factor" mentor, Cowell admitted that he had a feeling that Restless Road wouldn't make it into the finals, and he was "nervous" about it because of the strong performances that Gutt and Olivero delivered in the episode that aired on Dec. 11, 2013.

Cowell also stated something that's very obvious to anyone who watched "The X Factor" U.S. this season: "I would be very surprised of Restless Road don't get a deal. I see a market for them."

As I first exclusively reported, Cowell has already chosen his favorites to sign to Syco Music, the record company that he co-owns with Sony Music. Restless Road, Alex & Sierra, Gutt, Ellona Santiago (who came in sixth place on the show) and Olivero are his top choices from the show's Top 13 contestants this year. Josh Levi (who came in seventh place on the show) is also likely to be signed by Syco Music/Sony Music.

Based on music sales and comments from "X Factor" viewers, Alex & Sierra are the frontrunners to win "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013. Since the show is likely to be cancelled, this was the last year that Cowell had to find a breakout hit artist from the American "X Factor." And because Cowell is also Alex & Sierra's "X Factor" mentor, that also increases the likelihood that he would want to show to end with him as the winning mentor. We'll have to wait and see if Alex & Sierra will actually have albums that go gold or platinum, since many talent-show contestants have hit No. 1 on the iTunes Top 100 Songs chart, but their albums turn out to be flops.

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