The X Factor

The X Factor – Winner Results – Live Blog – 12/20/2012

Welcome to the live blog for The X Factor Winner Results for December 20, 2012.

Tonight we crown our winner, along with performances by Pitbull, One Direction, and our season two finalists!

Rickey.org readers predict Carly Rose Sonenclar to win!

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

Here we go!

8:00 PM

Well, not exactly. We first get a five-minute red carpet pre-show for some reason, as each of the four judges arrive, as do Pitbull and One Direction, in arrivals that couldn’t possibly be any more staged, yet still make the night seem like a pretty big deal.

LA, in a weird bit, says that he’s not sure it’ll be enough for Tate to just win. Seriously, what more can the guy do?

Demi, meanwhile, is expecting a Tate win, but feels it could go either way.

And Khloe, in a moment no one wanted to see or hear about, compliments Simon on his chest hair. Seriously, people. That happened.

8:10 PM

Mario and Khloe introduce The X Gactor top 3…and then we get a whole host of technical difficulties, as we get an interrupted video of the finalists arriving on the red carpet that fails to load up (giving away that it isn’t exactly live). As Mario tries to cover up by joking that the finalists must be trying to cut a deal for after their X Factor journey, his microphone cuts out. Fun.

8:12 PM

The final three acts come out of vehicles, one-by-one, on the red carpet singing The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love”, and as they walk through the backstage area, they run into their friends in the top 13 (Tate passes by a smiling CeCe in the makeup chair, Carly rushes into the arms of an ecstatic Diamond White, and Fifth Harmony happens on Emblem3…and Paige Thomas jumps into frame, because sure, why not). As the finalists come onto the stage to finish the song, Lauren from Fifth Harmony looks like she’s trying as hard as she can to keep her skirt from hiking up any higher than it is. Who dresses these girls?

That was probably the best group performance from the finalists though, so there’s definitely that.

8:16 PM

We throw to commercial, and I’m already sincerely doubting they have anything up their sleeves that can justify two hours of this.

Hopefully they at least reveal who comes in third at the end of the first hour, as opposed to pulling a Voice and waiting til the very end.

8:19 PM

Back from break with one of those videos that every singing competition does in its finale, in which they compile the silliest moments of a given judge into one big montage of silliness. In this case, that judge is LA Reid. I’m sorry, but I’m so not going to miss that guy.

Tate Stevens is up now, singing “Please Come Home For Christmas”, dressed in festive Santa scarlet. This is…really good, actually.

After the performance, LA congratulates Tate, praising him for his consistency as a performer, and hoping he can pull off the win.

8:23 PM

Tate gets a video greeting card from his hometown, with members of his family and all of his friends coming together to let him know what they mean to him, as a husband, a father, and as a man. Tate’s kids get teary-eyed talking about their dad, and “Tater” (as just about everyone in the video calls him) fights as hard as he can not to completely break down.

8:31 PM

Mario announces that the first result is coming up soon, and adds that there were over thirty million votes cast!

And then we throw to a video that’s so obvious, given the time of year, that I’m actually curious as to whether or not they did this on last year’s finale: Simon’s meanest moments mashed-up to “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

Fifth Harmony is out next, performing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Mariah Carey, and I’m beginning to sense a theme in all the Christmas songs performed in this finale. Is no one home for Christmas this year?

Camila has the Minnie Mouse bow on her head again. In fact, they’re all wearing festive hats, except Ally…which is ironic, given that she wore hats constantly in boot camp, along with those big, goofy glasses that need to make a comeback.

And we throw to a video greeting card from the girls’ family and friends. The video wrecks their s*** in a big way. And really, this is a pretty beautiful package, and you can tell that the girls were really affected by it. Well, except Normani, who is impervious to such things (I guess a little bit of Arin Ray’s “too cool for school” swag rubbed off on her?).

Oh, and look, Britney’s mascara is running. Hell of a departure from Britney’s WTF face last week.

By the way, after the performance, the web address FifthHarmonyOfficial.com flashes across the screen, which has me wondering if they’ve been signed already. The site is run by Syco, who awards the $5 mil to the winner. Of course, given that this is me, I’m probably reading way too much into things. Having a master’s degree in English turns you into this kind of person.

8:44 PM

The next judge to be grilled in the “Making fun of the Mentors” video ensemble is Britney Spears, whose legendarily absurd facial expressions are documented for posterity. Eh, she’s no McKayla Maroney.

Britney shows good humor though, and has a good laugh about it before introducing Carly Rose.

You know, I was wondering which of Carly Rose or Fifth Harmony would get “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Love the set, which looks straight out of the warm hearth setting of The Nutcracker.

Speaking of which, Carly gets a dance troupe of little kids dressed like nutcrackers backing her up. And man was I relieved to see they were kids, as for one brief, horrific moment, I thought they’d actually gotten a troupe of little people to be her own personal Christmas elves. Tyrion Lannister would NOT have been amused.

8:49 PM

Video greeting card for Carly from her family, friends, even her piano teacher. This video is scored to one of my favorite songs, “Red” by Daniel Merriweather, a song which (much like “All Time Low” by The Wanted) seems to exist solely to provide the background music for video packages on reality talent competitions.

Carly’s parents talk about how proud they are of their daughter, and her brother talks about being the proudest brother in the world. Everyone is getting pride for Christmas!

Also, it must be stated: Carly’s grandmother is adorable.

8:54 PM

Khloe interviews people in the audience, and one teenage girl is absolutely over-the-moon for Carly. Now I’m more excited than ever for Idol, as it looks like the voting pool is gradually changing for shows like these, to where it seems altogether plausible that the WGWG streak will finally be broken.

8:56 PM

So now it looks like everyone got signed, or it’s a decoy of some sort, as Tate Stevens and Carly Rose have official websites now. Well, except that Carly’s doesn’t have the Syco logo. Get to speculating!

UPDATE: And now Carly’s website is “unavailable”. The plot thickens…

But first, it’s time to reveal the second runner-up of The X Factor season two!

Results, part 1

The act finishing in third place, and leaving the competition is…

Fifth Harmony!

It’s now down to Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens!

The girls talk about how thankful they are for their experience, and how happy they are to have been put together, as they’ve made lifelong friendships. Simon says he has a feeling we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from these girls in the future.

9:08 PM

Backstage, Carly can’t believe she’s in the final two.

Oh, and big ups to Carly’s mom, who jokes that she’s sure everyone is sick of hearing her say how proud she is of Carly, but also saying that she thinks Tate is wonderful as well. Such a humble family, those Sonenclars.

And Tate’s family is just as gracious and ecstatic. This is seriously adorable, you guys. And not just because I’m the biggest softy this side of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from the last act of Ghostbusters.

And now recap some of the highlights and lowlights of season two, starting with the auditions.

Man ALIVE, do I miss feisty, leopard-print, brunette CeCe.

PANDA ROSS SIGHTING!

9:12 PM

The video continues through to Judges’ Homes.

I really, truly did have the world’s biggest crush on Jillian Jensen (well, on her and on original, classic Jennel…not the makeover Jennel). But man, that girl never seemed to stop crying at any point of the competition.

Am I the only one that kind of misses Playback and their corny-ass dancing?

David Correy sighting! Truly, no one this season was screwed over harder than David Correy. Hell, no one LAST SEASON was screwed over as bad as David Correy, if you ask me (which no one did).

9:17 PM

Backstage, Khloe interviews the finalists. Vino loves both Tate and Carly, and compares the final to watching his sister against his brother. Diamond is ecstatic for Carly. And Emblem3 thinks all of the finalists should get together, rent a cabin, and go snowboarding. Oh, Emblem3. I think I might actually end up missing you guys.

9:23 PM

And Pitbull is here to “testify, come up in the spot lookin’ extra fly.” No, but seriously, I do love the man’s performance style, even if my mother’s fangirling for the man makes me mildly uncomfortable.

9:31 PM

And now Demi Lovato gets her Goofy Judging Highlights video reel. Yet it portrays her less as a goof and more as the one person to get the better hand of Simon, which feeds into how much Simon allegedly values her behind-the-scenes.

And now it’s time for One Direction.

They’re singing “Kiss You”, and I immediately am all about this set, from the giant lips to the video arcade effects on the video screen.

But seriously, why don’t boy bands these days dance? Where’s the choreography at? Hell, even O-Town danced. PLAYBACK DANCED! Granted, it was some of the worst dancing I’ve ever seen in my life. And that’s come from the one Latino on Earth with two left feet.

9:41 PM

Khloe is in the audience with teenage girls, and man, I was really not expecting the kind of young fanbase she has. That said, Tate has teen fans of his own, as one girl cites his story as being “inspiring.”

And now it’s Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar taking the stage for a duet of “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.

I really like their voices on this, far more than you ever could have convinced me I would have, going in.

They high-five and hug at the end of the song, and it’s a sweet little moment.

9:46 PM

LA says that Tate stands as an example of never giving up on your dream, as he’s a 37 year-old man who decided to go after his dream. Britney reiterates how proud she is of Carly.

And now we get hype for The X Factor season 3 auditions:

Los Angeles, CA on March 6

Charleston, SC on March 19

New Orleans, LA on April 14

Long Island, NY on April 25

Denver, CO on May 14

9:53 PM

It’s time to finally put this season to bed! Or out of its misery, if you’re one of the several around these parts who thought it was a hot mess express.

Results, part 2

Mario and Khloe welcome the judges and their act onstage, and they all look absolutely terrified.

The WINNER of The X Factor 2012 is…

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

Tate Stevens!

Tate fists pumps and hugs LA Reid. His voice breaks with emotion as he thanks God and his family. The hosts also congratulate Carly Rose, who doesn’t look mad to have lost so much as she looks annoyed. Britney smiles warmly, but she seems to mostly be off in space somewhere beyond the reach of all US recovery craft.

Tate sings “Tomorrow” for his winning moment and all the judges are standing.

Tate cries as he finishes the song, and the finalists rush the stage to congratulate him. Mario and Khloe sign off, amid the confetti shower, and that’s a wrap on The X Factor season two!

Final Thoughts

This was definitely a good result, even if it was insanely predictable. I’m at least happy that Fifth Harmony made the finale, as it threw a wrench into what had been a fairly rote season (I think I’d dispense with the rankings next season). He’ll certainly sell records and give this show a viable success story to prop up, as country fans are nothing if not loyal.

That said, as we come to a close, let me just say that while this season had a lot of problems, I found myself enjoying it far more often than not. I do enjoy that it has a different mission statement from some of the other singing shows on TV, in the sense that traditional, technical vocal prowess isn’t privileged over star quality. But there’s still something strangely alien about this show, and I’m going to blame it on the judging panel. With LA Reid leaving and Britney Spears unlikely to stay, I recommend Simon stop worrying about getting big names as judges, and just find two people who will actually blend well with the judging panel they already have.

The original Idol panel worked perfectly because Simon, Randy, and Paula had effortless chemistry with each other and with Seacrest.

Simon needs to just find someone who fits and adds to the group chemistry, regardless of whether they’re actually a huge, massive star or not. Hell, Simon wasn’t much of a star around these parts before Idol himself. Just find a judging panel that clicks. For as many headlines as adding Rihanna to the judging panel would make, I don’t see her being the balm to this situation. They need to dial it back a bit. In a perfect world, they could poach Ronan Keating and Guy Sebastian from The X Factor Australia, or even Mel B. But then I think execs want more Americans on the panel than foreigners, so I guess that pipe dream is out the window.

At the very least, they should let Mario host this show on his own, with Khloe as a backstage interview if you absolutely MUST keep her on.

Really, it’s not impossible (or even all that difficult) to fix this show’s problems. The X Factor is actually my favorite among the singing shows on TV…just not the US version. Not yet. But with luck, they’ll turn this thing around. And hey, maybe Panda Ross will come back for a second go!

I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who’ve contributed to these live blogs through your readership or direct participation in the comments.

I hope to see all you back for the live blogs when American Idol returns this January!

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