How wonderful for Melanie Amaro that Simon Cowell turned out to be such a big softy.
The 19-year-old from Coral Gables, Fla., was the surprise 17th finalist asked to join The X Factor's all-important live round, which kicks off with a two-and-a-half-hour episode on Tuesday.
Tormented by the feeling he had made a whopping error in judgment by not including the soulful singer in his final group of girls, he hopped a flight to the Sunshine State (luckily that only takes a minute in TV Land) and jumpstarted Melanie's hopes and dreams in front of her ecstatic family.
And here's the complete rundown of who Melanie will be competing against for viewer votes, starting next week...
Also in Simon's group, along with Melanie:
• Simon Battle, 22, Los Angeles
• Rachel Crow, 13, Burbank, Calif.
• Drew Ryniewicz, 14, Chino Valley, Ariz.
• Tiah Tolliver, 20, Bremerton, Wash.
L.A. Reid's group of guys:
• Astro, 15, Brooklyn, N.Y.
• Marcus Canty, 20, Bowie, Md.
• Phillip Lomax, 22, Seattle
• Chris Rene, 28, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Nicole Scherzinger's over-30 group:
• LeRoy Bell, 60, Seattle
• Stacy Francis, 42, Los Angeles
• Dexter Haygood, 49, Chicago
• Josh Krajcik, 30, Columbus, Ohio
Paula Abdul's group of groups:
• The Brewer Boys
• Lakoda Rayne
• The Stereo Hogzz
Any early favorites among you? Anyone you're already missing? Sound off in the comments!