Man, what a wild ride it's been for the second season of the X Factor! Britney Spears made great faces! Justin Bieber showed up to mentor contestants who were much older than him! Britney forgot how to say "Ke$ha"! Khoe Kardashian had a wardrobe malfunction! One Direction paid a synergistic visit! Then L.A. Reid announced he was leaving!
Oh yes, and, somewhere along the way, our pool of aspiring superstars got winnowed down to three: country dude Tate Stevens, girl-group Fifth Harmony and the fortuitously named Carly Rose Sonenclair. Just as on the Voice a few days previously, the three battled it out Wednesday night to see who could claim their season's crown—and with it, the dreams of a franchise searching for its first superstar winner.
Who have we got our money on? Well, let's break it down round-by-round:
Song You've Sung Before Round: Stevens and Sonenclair were perfectly proficient, but for sheer cotton-candy surreality, we can't help but recommend Fifth Harmony's "Anything Could Happen."
Celebrity Duet Round: Both Stevens and Fifth Harmony chose songs from Popdust's 100 Best Songs of 2012 list, so first of all: good taste guys! Second of all: Both performances were miles better than Sonenclair's limp Leann Rimes duet. Of the pair, Little Big Town's "Pontoon" was ranked a few spots above Demi Lovato's "Give Your Heart a Break" on our list, so we'll go with Stevens:
Final Round: Carly Rose sang "Halllujah" with an army of white-clad automatons and that's all you need to know:
Our verdict: Don't call her maybe, call her a winner—For the sake the competition, Carly Rose is Our Girl now. Just think of all the crazy '90s outfits she could buy with $5 million!