x-factor-finale-1

Last night’s X-Factor finale performances began with the top 13 acts returning, and opening the show with a tribute to the recent Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. Beatrice Miller, Arin Ray, Diamond White, Cece Frey, Paige Thomas, Jennel Garcia, Vino Alan, and Emblem3 joined the top 3 to sing Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” along with a children’s choir. The names of all of the victims appeared on a screen behind them as they finished the number.

Led in with a strange “X” drum line, the top 3 acts took the stage with their mentors, and we got a shot of each of their hometowns cheering them on. Each act sang their favorite song from their previous performances. First was Carly Rose Sonenclar, who performed her audition song “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone. L.A. said, “You had to top everything you’ve done. And you did.” Demi said, “I’m very impressed. I think that you’re going to inspire so many young girls to follow their dreams.” Simon said, “You sang it better tonight than you did the first time. I like your competitive spirit.” Britney said, “It’s shocking how bright your star is. We’re going to win this.” Then the mayor of her hometown declared December 19th “Carly Rose Sonenclar Day.”

Next, Tate Stevens took the stage and sang “Anything Goes,” by Randy Hauser. Britney said, “When you do right-down-the-middle country, you nail it.” Demi said, “I still love you. I’m still obsessed with you. You turned that performance into a stadium performance.” Simon said, “You are made in America. You’re authentic.” L.A. said, “You haven’t changed. You were lovable the day we met you, and you’re lovable tonight.” Then we saw Tate’s boss tell him not to come back to work, and showed him a photo of a water tower painted in his honor.

Fifth Harmony recreated last week’s performance of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Can Happen.” It was really over the top, and seemed kind of beside the point of trying to show the progress that they’ve made since entering the competition. L.A. said, “It’s magical. I don’t even know what to say. You were the underdogs, and now you’re the one to beat.” Britney said, “[It was] spectacular, girly, and fun!” Demi said, “You guys are so powerful together. You deserve it, you’ve worked so hard.” Simon said, “You’ve made me so proud. I like the fact that I think something special would happen if you win.” They only showed Ally’s hometown church in San Antonio.

Then the duets began: First was Carly Rose, who sang “How Do I Live” with LeAnn Rimes, who sounded really off for some reason. Their voices really didn’t mesh at all, and sounded like they didn’t rehearse together, and like LeAnn was maybe drunk? I wouldn’t be all that surprised. Britney said, “I think they were shockingly amazing.” (Of course you do, Britney. Of course.)

Tate sang Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” with the four person group. They actually all fit quite well together, and it was a nice, mellow country performance. L.A. said, “I thought it was so much fun, and so natural. The new love of my life is country music.”

Finally, Fifth Harmony sang with *SURPRISE* Demi Lovato! They sang her hit “Give Your Heart a Break,” Another good pairing: the Twitter hashtag was “Sixth Harmony,” which kind of has a nice ring to it. Demi said, “These girls are so down to earth, I loved working with them.” Simon said, “That was what I call pop perfection.”

For her third song, Carly Rose sang “Hallelujah.” She took it very slow, and of course was decked out in white, all heaven-like. L.A. said, “That was a really angelic moment. You didn’t over-sing it.” Demi said, “Throughout this competition, your vocals have just impressed me so much. I’ve enjoyed watching you.” Simon said, “Beautiful version. You’ve had a great night.” Britney said, “I feel like that song alone was worth five million bucks, so get out your checkbook now, Simon.”

If you’re a Mayan Apocalypse believer, you’ll appreciate Tate Stevens’ final song: Chris Young’s “Tomorrow,” in which the chorus says “Tonight, I’m gonna love you like there’s no tomorrow.” Get it? Britney said, “That was great Tate, but then again I always enjoy what you do.” Demi said, “I just realized this is the last time I’m going to see you perform on this stage.” Simon said, “This has been a fantastic night for talent. You have represented this older category so well.” L.A. said, “You do this for your family. You owe them a big congratulations.”

The last performance was Fifth Harmony, singing The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” with the usual gospel choir. L.A. said, “You guys are really like magic happening right before our eyes. I’m really happy for you. By the way, you did that song a lot of justice.” Britney said, “You guys have truly blossomed as a group.” Demi said, “It just hit me how much you guys have evolved and grown.” Simon said, “You’re five great singers. I really do believe that you deserve to win this competition.”

Tonight it all comes to an end! Fifth Harmony, Tate Stevens or Carly Rose Sonenclar will win the five million dollar recording contract and perform for the last time, as well as Pit Bull and One Direction.