'X Factor' Finale Recap: Tribute to Newtown and Finalists' Surprise Pairings
Getting closer to "The X Factor (US)" finale, the top three contestants gave their all-out performances on Thursday night, December 19 to boost their vote in order to win a $5 million recording contract. The final performance show was opened with Simon Cowell paying tribute to the victims of the school shooting tragedy in Newtown before the top 13 went back to the stage to deliver a rendition of "You Are Not Alone".
The first finalist to perform on the night was Carly Rose Sonenclar. She gave a jazzy rendition of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good", which was the same song she performed during her audition. L.A. Reid liked the performance and said that Carly topped everything she's done. Demi Lovato agreed, gushing, "I think it's so cool to see somebody so young be able to command the stage."
Simon also loved Carly's performance as he said, "You sang it better tonight than the first time. You're here to try and win this tonight, aren't you, Carly?" Britney Spears went even further by praising the aspiring singer, "I just feel like it's shocking how bright your star is and we're going to win this."
Carly also got good words from the mayor of West Chester, her hometown. The mayor said that Carly's voice was "a gift of the Gods." As a tribute to Carly, the mayor also made cupcakes and named them Carly Rose Sonenclar Day.
Next, Tate Stevens performed "Anything Goes", which Britney liked so much. "When you do right-down-the-middle country, you are right on," she said, to which Demi added, "I'm still obsessed with you." Simon said that Tate had an authentic and "made in America" voice, while L.A. praised Tate because the protege hadn't changed a bit.
Tate's boss in Belton additionally said that he didn't expect the singer to return soon. The town's mayor went on stating that they had put Tate's name on the water tower. The talent also received support from a cheerleader from his old high school who said that young people in Belton liked Tate too.
Fifth Harmony were the next to take the stage, performing "Anything Can Happen". L.A. said, "Now I'm looking at it and it's magical," while Britney gushed that the magic happened when the girls sang the song. Demi chimed in, "I really hope that America pulls through and votes for you guys," and Simon commented, "You've made me so proud tonight, girls."
For the second round, Carly returned to the stage with LeAnn Rimes to sing "How Do I Live Without You". LeAnn looked so excited with the duet that she squeezed Carly very tightly while saying, "I want to wrap her up and just hold her," to which host Mario Lopez wittily responded, "Well, you're doing it!" The judges didn't give any criticisms on the performance.
Following Carly's performance, Tate took the stage with Little Big Town to sing "Pontoon". L.A. loved Tate's taste of country and thought that the aspiring singer looked "right at home." Fifth Harmony then came back with Demi to sing the former Disney star's hit "Give Your Heart a Break". On the pairing, Demi enthused, "It was so much fun. These girls are so easy to work with." Lopez joked, "You sounded like Sixth Harmony." Simon added, "That is what I call pop perfection."
The third and final round was kicked off with Carly's rendition of "Hallelujah". L.A. loved that Carly didn't over sing the hymn, adding, "That was a really angelic moment." Demi agreed as saying, "You not only looked like an angel, but you sang like a ridiculously talented angel." Simon added, "You look great, sounded great," while Britney gushed, "I feel like that song alone is worth five million bucks."
Tate returned with his rendition of "Tomorrow". "That was great, Tate," said Britney as Demi added that she's going to miss hearing Tate perform. "This has been a fantastic night for talent," Simon went on.
Closing the night, Fifth Harmony delivered The Beatles' classic "Let It Be". L.A. was glad since the girls did "a lot of justice" for the song. Demi liked that the group has evolved, while Simon said, "You're not a group, you're five great singers."
The winner of "X Factor" season two will be revealed tomorrow on Thursday, December 20. Pitbull and One Direction are all set to perform at highly-anticipated the final result show.
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