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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244 comments
tonytank7777
tonytank7777

Every poll had carly winning. She already been signed by Epic records weeks ago by LA Read. Tate was good and I even like him but Carly is a star. Tate has a great story and its good television but this is a talent show and Carly has the most talent. Shows like this sometimes the voting doesn't seem legit and you start to wonder. Check the UK X Factor this year and past years. One direction came in third and the favorite came in 5th this year. If a great talent and angel like Jackie Evancho came in second than you know that these shows are arranged for the good of the show. Eveyone knows that Jackie won. Even the winner knew it.

rockers
rockers

Nick Roman, you rock! your summaries are always written with such verve and wit, and yet you never put down any of the contestants in order to promote the one you support. Your superior level of writing ability is evident, and I really have enjoyed your well balanced reviews this season, and look forward to more! I hope you continue as a permanent recapper!

realGary
realGary

What a long drawn out process. Cowell is the master of stretching these shows to the final drop. Congrats to the winner. Thank you for the blog, comments and special mention to my DVR.

Kathie Hein
Kathie Hein

I actually thought last night was not his best night- he should have chosen a different LBT song, because he was WAY pitchy when he was singing the verse on his own. I think that if he picks a couple great songs, he might have some moderate success in Country Music, but most of what he's chosen has been old fashioned 90's songs, and that's not "in" right now. Even George Strait doesn't sing that type of song anymore!

carlosr1993
carlosr1993

Nice results. The show was horrible, tho; worst singing competition finale of the year. And i want to say a prayer to the fact that 5H has an official SYCO website. AMEN.

Alansky
Alansky

Long, long summary Nick, and the only item that got stuck in my brain as interesting is that you have a Masters degree in English. That shows how boring the show is (not your writing) :)

AprilNikkiFontana
AprilNikkiFontana

why didnt Christina show up? they didnt announce her did they????????????

realphill
realphill

cant wait for 5th first single!

Trey_
Trey_

Can we just say a word of prayer for the fact that Fifth Harmony made it to the final. Without that they would have been on the side of the road and Emblem 3's official site would be up. Amen. 

jewels
jewels

SEASON 3 NEW judges...R & B singer and Country singer and only MARIO as host, please...

or think of some X factor combo's for a new panel-- minus Simon :)

rockers
rockers

@tonytank7777 i'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, I think if they were trying to rig it, they would have made fifth harmony win it as they are Simon's group and also the "underdogs". It makes for more gripping television. The fact that Tate won makes the votes seem legit, unfortunately.

drufyre
drufyre

@tonytank7777 um no.  the winner is the winner... that doesn't mean who will sell more records, just who got the most votes from the tv audience and in the UK votes are not free.  levels of obsession online doesn't capture the total voting audience or tv audience.  there's overlap but it's not a 1:1 thing.  One Direction have the most commercial success by far from that season but they never lead the voting a single week.  Jackie Evancho was overhyped. 

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@rockers Thank you! That means so much! And yes, I'll be sticking around for Idol as recapper/live-blogger. I can't wait!

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@Alansky Thank you! I think...


I can never tell when people are being complimentary.


But yes, I'm VERY long-winded, haha. It's actually out-of-control. I think I might need an intervention.

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@jewels My recommendation for season 3 is for Simon to stop worrying about getting big names as judges, and just find someone 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, even with Seacrest.


Simon needs to just find someone who fits and adds to the group chemistry, regardless of whether they're actually a star or not. Hell, Simon wasn't much of a star around these parts before Idol himself. Just find a judging panel that clicks.

Idol cookie
Idol cookie

@NickRoman1 @rockers I wouldn't get too excited Nick since Rockers is a newly minted TROLL. He's on round the clock troll patrol. He won't make it til Idol.

Alansky
Alansky

@NickRoman1 @Alansky It's a complement Nick. Boring topic to cover but you did a good job. I guess I just hated this show so much (except Mario). Note that I said "interesting" and your "Master's degree in English" in one sentence :)

rockers
rockers

@Idol cookie  

Idol Cookie, you're like the boy who cried wolf. Substance lacks in your responses. you just shout TROLL TROLL, and don't bother to address any points that I've brought up or pointed out with regards to your TROLL TROLL accusations. At least Mikhail showed some sort of educative response in his answer. yours are merely hateful accusations that don't provide any substantive supportive basis. but by all means, continue shouting down the empty hallway to be heard.

rockers
rockers

@Idol cookie @rockers @NickRoman1 it's pretty disgusting that giving an opinion here is deemed as trolling, and also that you've completely taken away the compliment paid to this writer to fulfill your own agenda. You made something positive about him turn into an attention seeking moment for you. If you wanted to call me a troll you could have done that separately, instead of trying to alter the intentions of MY words. Its extremely ignorant and downright stupid. I'm sorry to nick. I couldn't just let him go thinking he was right about what I was saying. Getting along can only happen when someone isn't being provoked and prodded.

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@rockers @Idol cookie @NickRoman1 Well I certainly appreciate the kind words. It really does mean as much to me as I said it did. I thought he was implying you were a bot, like the commenters who claim to have a link to a show that hasn't even finished airing yet, in high definition.

Ah well, either way, can't we all just get along? There's no fighting on The X Factor! Or something...

rockers
rockers

@Idol cookie @NickRoman1 @rockers how am i a troll? don't bother answering, because obviously no part of my statement here was dripping with malice such as your statement is. I meant every word I said when i complemented the writer of these recaps, and don't try to make it about you or me. it's kinda pathetic how you can take someone's compliment of another and undermine the intentions behind it. Nick Roman, I meant every word of what I said.

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@Alansky @NickRoman1 You definitely did. I appreciate the hell out of it. I'm sorry if it didn't seem like I did. I genuinely love the s*** out of my readers. No lie.

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@JulianPerry6 @NickRoman1 @Alansky I'm an avowed Panda Ross enthusiast!

I really do hope she makes another run at this, even if I don't think she could necessarily sell records (though you never know, what with Susan Boyle and all).

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@Mikhail XO @JulianPerry6 That's actually a really interesting perspective, as I have no way of knowing how actual Brits view The X Factor. Assuming that Brits take it as akin to a variety show, then it makes perfect sense that Louis would be a popular judge, since he can always be relied upon to vote according to the best interests of entertainment value. 

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@realphill @NickRoman1 In addition to having someone funny like Nicole, it would also give Demi the girlfriend she never had in Britney. I could imagine them teaming up on Simon and giving him a taste of his own medicine, because they've both been there, and know how to handle him. 

Nicole as big sister to Demi on the panel would be amazing. 

Now I'm kind of sad that this dream panel isn't going to happen. 

realphill
realphill

@NickRoman1 @JulianPerry6 i dont like him either, he usually pick a favorite in his category and leaves the other to rot... he does good with the one he chooses but hes very predictable in his mentoring.

realphill
realphill

@NickRoman1 @realphill yes! and i think demi got very limited with having simon and britney stoneheart besides her! someone funny like nicole could get the best out of her.

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@JulianPerry6 If they bring Louis over, I quit. 


Unless he's given a category with no outright joke acts (like groups...and even then, he gave the world Jedward), he'll do nothing but put through novelties, while voting to send home good singers because he sees "star quality" in the joke act.

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@realphillHoly HELL, that would be the most AMAZING line-up on TV. Guy/Demi/Nicole/Simon

I mean, I hated Nicole, and I muted her every time she spoke on The XF UK because she seemed to take herself way too seriously (to say nothing of the shots during her acts' performances, in which she makes THE MOST SERIOUS FACES IN THE HISTORY OF EVER), but I can't pretend that she wouldn't have amazing chemistry with that panel. 

legraetchon
legraetchon

@NickRoman1 @JulianPerry6 @jewels i do agree Guy Sebastian is the best Mentor for the entire X Factor competition in any Country...

but i thought he just belongs to Australia coz he's Australian...

What if Victoria Beckham joins the panel...??? #justsayin'

NickRoman1
NickRoman1 moderator

@JulianPerry6 @NickRoman1 @jewels I just added my recommendations for judges into the live blog up top, and Guy is one of my number one choices, bar none.

No lie (and I'm open to anyone challenging me on this), Guy Sebastian is THE VERY BEST mentor on any X Factor show in the world right now, and possibly on any singing show, period. 


Followed by Ronan mother-f****** Keating. 

OneWordNoSpaces
OneWordNoSpaces

@realphill are you serious? I started to mute her every time she talked. I was  getting bored of hearing weird made up words that made no sense! 

jewels
jewels

@realphill @NickRoman1 @jewels  I loved Nicole on USA and I loved her on UK and I wish she was back...rather than Brittany!  Brit...too robo for me and Kloe of course...