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The X Factor: 2.27 – “Final Performance Show, Who Will Win?”

The final 3 acts will take the stage tonight and one of them will be crowned the Season 2 champion on tomorrow night’s results show.

The show opens with Simon talking about the tragedy at Sandy Hook this past Friday. He introduces the Top 13 performers and they sing a rendition of “You Are Not Alone” in honor of the 26 people that died. It’s a touching tribute that I’m not going to comment extensively about. But I think it’s worth finding a video of the performance on YouTube. It was heartfelt.

That leads into the show intro, the judges being introduced, and Mario & Khloe trying to hype up the energy of the show. It doesn’t really work. The show really tries to make an effort to make it seem like it’s a big deal to win the show by cutting away to the contestants’ home towns and the big parties they are having there. The contestants will each perform 3 songs. tonight. The first round will have the contestants repeating a memorable song choice/moment they’ve had this season so far.

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens – “Feeling Good”
The show does a nice job recapping her journey on the show up until this point. She really has grown a lot from initial audition. She’s become a more mature performer and her vocal control has improved greatly. Carly Rose picks “Feeling Good”, which is the song she originally auditioned with in South Carolina. This is another terrific performance from Carly. I have to admit, while her vocals are always flawless, her performance quality could be improved slightly in some cases. This wasn’t the case for this one. She showed a lot of personality here and this is exactly what she needed to do tonight to win over the audience. The judges loved it. L.A. said this topped everything else she’s done, Demi said she’s going to be inspiration to a lot of young girls, and Simon thought she sang it better tonight than in her original audition.

Tate Stevens – Over 25’s – “Anything Goes”
More recapping of the journey from the audition to the final show. Tate is a likable guy, I just wish he had more of a personality and more of a unique voice. He’s my least favorite part of each performance show. I think he has a good chance of winning the whole thing. It wouldn’t be great for the show, but I wouldn’t count on it not happening. The judges really liked it. They all had positive things to say, but they weren’t as enthusiastic as they were with Carly Rose. I wonder if they’re trying to be middle of the road to make sure he doesn’t win. Not sure…

Fifth Harmony – Groups – “Anything Could Happen”
Once again, the show does a great job of recapping their journey from auditions to the finals. They finally showed Camila Cabello’s audition (well, the introduction part, where she says all she does is sing karaoke and watch One Direction videos). They also have a nice heart-to-heart in some fancy L.A. restaurant with Simon Cowell. I’m slightly rooting for this group. I think they are one of the most interesting acts this season and their performances also differed. I think it’s a little odd that they are repeating the same song they did the last week. The intro was a little different and I don’t think they did the second verse in the first performance. But it was the most entertaining of the first round so I give them a little credit for the choice. L.A. said it was magical and they are now the ones to beat (really?), Britney said it was spectacular and girly and fun, and Demi said that they were powerful and she hopes America comes through and votes for them to win. I have to think that the show wants to set up a shocking winner by overpraising the third place act.

*Round 2 will feature some surprise guests in the performances. Surprise shouldn’t be used because FOX had a press release announce the special guests already.*

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens – “How Do I Live?” – Special Guest: LeAnn Rimes
This is really awkward. The arrangement is really soft and doesn’t do anything for Carly Rose’s voice. LeAnn Rimes comes out halfway through the song and doesn’t sound very good at all. It sounds very strained and hoarse compared to the flawlessness of Carly Rose’s pitch. This isn’t going to help Carly Rose win and it pisses me off that they wasted a performance tonight for this. They don’t get critiqued by the judges (the guests probably wouldn’t agree to that), so they have a cute interaction afterwards with Mario & Khloe and Britney says that they were awesome together.

Tate Stevens – Over 25’s – “Pontoon” – Special Guest: Little Big Town
This really isn’t fair to Carly Rose. She had to sing a song that was popular in 1997 while Tate Stevens gets to sing one of the most popular songs right now with one of the hottest country acts in the country. It’s a solid performance and Tate gets to show off a little bit personality than he has in previous performances. It’s not a knock-out performance but it was much more entertaining than his first performance this evening. His interaction with Little Big Town was a little awkward though.

Fifth Harmony – Groups – “Give Your Heart a Break” – Special Guest: Demi Lovato
So this is the second repeat of the night for Fifth Harmony. And I have to take back what I said earlier, I think that they skipped out of judges’ comments this round because of Demi performing with one of the groups. This performances becomes more about Demi than the girls of Fifth Harmony. It really looked like Demi was performing while the other were just providing background vocals. I have to say though, this was much stronger this time around then when they performed it a few weeks ago. It looks like Carly Rose was the weakest this round, and that’s unfortunate, because she’s the one that the show needs to win.

*Round 3. Not sure there’s a theme for this round. Doesn’t seem like it. Good or bad thing?*

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens – “Hallelujah”
This song is so overdone. Can a week go by without somebody performing this song? I love Carly Rose but I don’t like the production of this performance. A choir comes out and doesn’t add anything to the performance. I actually preferred Jeffrey Gutt’s performance from the audition rounds. (Speaking of him, the show really missed the boat by not having him go further in the competition, especially compared to Tate and Vino.) The judges loved it. Britney said that Simon should give her the $5 million dollar check right now. Unfortunately, I don’t think Carly Rose is going to win because she didn’t have the blow-away night that she needed to get the votes from America. I hope I’m wrong.

Tate Stevens – Over 25’s – “Tomorrow”
I have no idea who sang this song originally and I have no interest in finding out. This performance can be lumped in with all of the other ones that Tate gave throughout the season. It didn’t impress then and it doesn’t impress during the final performance night. Britney said it was great, Demi said she’s going to miss seeing him perform on this stage every week, and Simon said that no matter what happens Tate is going to be a big star.

Fifth Harmony – Groups – “Let It Be”
This was a solid performance. Although they really didn’t sing as a group during this song. It was like five soloists each taking turns with a portion of the song. Dinah Jane stole the song from the other four members. Her little section was the strongest. I think the show might’ve missed the boat by not having her compete as a soloist this season. The judges really liked it. They were positive but not over-the-moon about it. Simon says that Fifth Harmony deserves to win the competition. He might be biased but he honestly believes it. Yeah yeah…

I should prepare myself for Tate Stevens winning. That’s what the show was leaning towards tonight and he had the performances that are going to win over the voting audience members. I would be shocked if he doesn’t win the whole thing. It’ll be a fitting end to a disappointing season. More surprisingly, I think Fifth Harmony will end up being the runner-up. The judges really stumped for them tonight and overpraised their decent performances. That leaves Carly Rose. She deserves to win, but having the first slot and being forced to sing with the terrible LeAnn Rimes didn’t do her any favors. My biggest hope tomorrow is that she at least gets 2nd place. But she deserves to win the whole thing.