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!
Protest music aside, there is a slew of good underground music out today
An invigorating slew of protest music hit the shelves today.
Detroit-based emcee Tee Grizzley collaborated with Queen Naija and the Detroit Youth Choir to craft a melodic ballad that attempts to open up a dialogue with police. Meanwhile, alt-Jazz pioneer Terrace Martin took a different approach in his collaboration with Denzel Curry, Daylyt, G Perico, and Kamasi Washington, with "Pigs Feet" being more of an angry f*ck you than an attempt at communication.
Miley Cyrus continues to show us what kind of music she wants to be making with her performance of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" at last night's VH1 Divas performance. Yes, Adam Lambert wasn't the only artist crossing gender lines with his song choice. Last week's holiday-themed burlesque performance was an early indicator that the former Disney Girl would go full-on grunge at some point—or at the very least defy expectations on her upcoming album. Clad in leather and spikes to ward off all who attempted to get handsy, Miley's performance proved that she would be the only person with the privilege of groping herself body on live television with numerous tugs at her crotch and chest. And it was all dedicated to her late pup Lila, who passed away last week! How very touching.
Yes, Billy Ray's little girl is singing and the crowd is loving it. Juliette Barnes wasn't the first lass to teach us that the term "diva" knows no age. And to top it all off, Destiny Hope was introduced by her sister in short, blonde, pixie cuts, Ms. Linnethia Leakes.
Sure, it's a long way from "Party in the U.S.A.," but from her hair to the stage dive, Miley's fully committing to this new brand of performing, and we're not complaining. (Also it works to further separate her from her Disney peers, if that was even still a question.) Check out her take on Billy, below.
Next stop for Ms. Miley: crotch-slapping. Watch your back, Rihanna.