Recap: ‘The X Factor’ Season 3 Finale – The Winner is…

12.19.13 4 years ago 31 Comments


We’re only two hours away from the conclusion of Season 3 of “The X Factor.”

And, sadly, we’re down to the last two hours of Demi Lovato’s run as “X Factor” mentor/judge. I hope they replay her performance rapping along to “Baby Got Back” as a tribute.

In previous recaps, people have accused me of being biased in favor of Alex & Sierra, as if they’re not in some way biased toward whoever they happen to be rooting for. Since there are only two hours remaining in this season, I’ll just own it: If Alex & Sierra don’t win tonight, I’m burning this whole thing to the ground. [Disclaimer: I’m not sure that Alex & Sierra are going to win and I’m unlikely to burn anything to the ground.]

Click through for my full finale live-blog, as we spend quality time with Pitbull and Lea Michele and wonder if this is the last time we’ll see “X Factor” or Simon Cowell on our TVs.

8:02 p.m. ET. OK! Let’s do this. And let’s finish on time, because I have an office Christmas party to go to!

8:03 p.m. Oooh. Lasers. And “Tron” dancers. I’m not sure what this had to do with anything. Oh. They’re just readying us for the arrival of A.C. Slater. Based on live shrieking, Jeff Gutt is probably the favorite tonight. 

8:05 p.m. Kudos to our judges for finale attire, even if Paulina Rubio thought she was supposed to sit down, rather than staying on the stage to make heart gestures at the crowd. 

8:06 p.m. Ah, the Top 13. They’re reunited for a Group Sing to U2’s “One.” Why is it acceptable that they’re wholesale ripping off the long-standing “American Idol” tradition of putting returning contestants in white for the finale? Lame. Also lame? How early Khaya Cohen went out. She was much better than a bunch of people who had much longer runs this season. Awww. The brief Alex & Sierra harmony makes me happy.

8:08 p.m. “I’m feeling very, very nervous,” Simon says about the results. “I just want to get to the end quickly,” Simon says. You and me both, Simon! You and me both.

8:09 p.m. Oy. Christmas songs.

8:13 p.m. “Any one of the Top 3 could win,” A.C. Slater says helpfully. “It could change everything, bro,” Carlito tells A.C. Slater. “I want to win this more than I want air in my body,” says the biologically confused Jeff Gutt. “Everyone’s our biggest competition,” Sierra says diplomatically. 

8:14 p.m. Oh goodie. Here comes a clip package dedicated to making fun of the way Paulina Rubio talks. I miss Cheryl Cole.

8:16 p.m. Carlito Olivero is going to sing a Christmas carol. Please be “Donde Esta, Santa Claus?” Please be “Donde Esta, Santa Claus?” Please be “Donde Esta, Santa Claus?” It’s not.

8:17 p.m. It’s like “The X Factor” is actively trying to alienate me. Perhaps Khaya Cohen could sing “Maoz Tzur”? It’s only fair. Carlito thanks Paulina for all that she did for him. And he thanks all of us as well. Paulina says it has been a great experience sharing life with him. In Chicago, many people are supporting Carlito, including Honda. Awww. Carlito’s sister makes him cry, as does his grandma. This is painfully manipulative, but also very sweet. “My city, I love you. My people, I love you. Everybody who voted, I love you,” says Carlito.

8:27 p.m. Is Pitbull gonna do a carol, too? Why hasn’t FOX ordered “A Very Pitbull Christmas”? There’s no way it would be less popular than that Celine Dion thing on CBS last night.

8:28 p.m. Mary J. Blige is doing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” This is all so weird. At least Mary J. Blige is good. 

8:35 p.m. “Last night, Jeff Gutt left everything he had out on the stage,” A.C. Slater says. Uh-oh. Does that mean he accidentally forgot his son at the stage.

8:36 p.m. Now we’ve got a montage of Kelly Rowland getting hot and bothered about different contestants. “Momma, I’m sorry,” Kelly says.

8:37 p.m. Jeff Gutt’s up next with his Christmas carol. He’s doing a strangely ominous cover of “Oh Holy Night.” Yeah, this isn’t pleasant for me. There are so many secular songs we could be doing. Don’t tell me about some BS War on Christmas nonsense. It’s still completely appropriate to do stuff like this in the middle of a show that has no religious connection at all. Christmas is safe, Bill O’Reilly. Don’t you worry. Oh NIGHT! DIVIIIIIIINE. Oh Night. Divine. Jeff Gutt is grateful to Kelly, who says that Jeff is already a winner in her eyes. Now it’s time to make Jeff Gutt cry by taking a Honda to Detroit. Mission accomplished. Awwww. Talon. “I just want to be like you. You’re the best daddy ever,” Talon says and Jeff’s pretty much a quivering mess. 

8:41 p.m. Did you know that Tate Stevens’ album only sold 17,000 copies in its first week? Ouch. Those are “The Voice” winner numbers.

8:43 p.m. Alex & Sierra are up now, dueting on “All I Want For Christmas (Is You).” As you’d assume, it’s adorable. “We owe everything to you Mr. Cowell,” Alex says. Awww. “Mr. Cowell.” Simon loves that Alex and Sierra taught him a lot, too. He hopes America has given them what they deserve.

8:47 p.m. Gracious. Did they not sell any ads for this show at all? We’re going straight into the Honda Makes You Cry clip package. Sierra has a cute nephew and a hot best friend. They make her cry. Alex’s grandpa gets him close to crying. He may not break, but Sierra has tears enough for them both. “Well, I’m always emotional, cuz I’ve cried a lot on this show,” Sierra says after A.C. Slater asks how the Honda commercial made her feel.

8:54 p.m. On to a montage that suggests that Demi has been getting drunk on the panel. Wait. No. Not “getting drunk.” It’s implying she’s been drinking Annoying Juice. Demi Lovato isn’t even SLIGHTLY amused. She’s perplexed and irked by the inference that she might have been drinking something stronger than annoying juice. Wow. The degree of “pissed off” Demi just was could not be faked.

8:56 p.m. It’s Demi’s “Glee” guest star Lea Michele. Let it never be said that Lea Michele doesn’t have pipes. Girl can sing and her single “Cannonball” is a pretty good delivery system for her range.

8:59 p.m. Carlito’s mom is very proud of him. Jeff’s mom has enjoyed every second of watching her son. Alex’s mother says this experience has been overwhelming and she’s bursting with pride. Sierra’s mom thinks it was a good experience.

9:00 p.m. Oh gracious. We know what this will mean for each of them. I’m playing Candy Crush until this is over.

9:03 p.m. We’re gonna eliminate somebody. Whee! 

9:03 p.m. Finishing in third place was… Carlito Olivero. I’m fine with that. “I’m blessed, bro,” Carlito tells A.C. Slater. “I cannot be mad. I cannot be mad at all. God is good,” he says. He’s an absolute class act, also giving mad respect to his fellow finalists and to the judges. 

9:07 p.m. It’s down to Jeff Gutt and Alex & Sierra. 

9:12 p.m. “Right now, I’m really just thinking of all the people who got me here,” Jeff says.  “I need money for my son,” Jeff says, because apparently Talon wants to be a doctor. “It’s an unfathomable thing that we’re even standing here,” Alex says.

9:13 p.m. Musical montage of people who sucked, set to “The Fox.”

9:15 p.m. Time for a performance by Leona Lewis, last seen sabotaging Alex & Sierra last night. She has a sexy Christmas song to promote.

9:18 p.m. “I’ve been able to travel the world and it’s helped me fulfill a dream,” Leona says, remembering her own “X Factor” win, which came on a version of “X Factor” that people actually watch.

9:23 p.m. Filler montage of things that happened between songs. “It just makes me realize how much fun we’ve had on the show this year,” Simon says. Oh.

9:26 p.m. Give it up for PITBULL! It’s called “Timber” and I have to assume that it’s a musical tribute to boners.

9:29 p.m. Wow. Right now, Pitbull is explaining The True Meaning of Christmas.

9:33 p.m. Paul Rudd is Ant-Man.

9:34 p.m. Simon Cowell has a baby on the way, so we’re getting a montage of what children think about Simon Cowell. The answer? Most of them don’t know who he is. But they don’t like that he’s being mean. The kids are very cute. They make me want to change my long distance carrier. Simon is on the naughty list, the kids say spontaneously.

9:35 p.m. Alex & Sierra and Jeff Gutt are now singing together. Ummm… If we didn’t know that they were the Final 2, how did they know to prepare this song? Did they prepare songs for all possible pairings? Is there a Jeff-and-Carlito duet that we’re missing out on? 

9:38 p.m. Hi, Doug Morris. He’s the CEO of Sony and he pretends that he’s really excited to get his hands on the “X Factor” winner. Might I remind you of those Tate Stevens album sales? Simon, however, hopes that the winner will actually go down the One Direction path, even though One Direction didn’t win “X Factor.” But One Direction will be here after the break.

8:45 p.m. One Direction! Mario Lopez knows all of their names. Oh my! They have a song in which they say the s-word!

8:48 p.m. Squeeeeeeeeeee. For the family, One Direction is going home to their families and they’re going to get fat. Harry says he’s been pretty nice this year. That was a great interview, Mario Lopez.

9:52 p.m. OK. Let’s do this, A.C. Slater. Give me a winner.

9:53 p.m. Come on!

9:54 p.m. The winner of “The X Factor” is… 

9:54 p.m. YAAAAAAAAY! It’s ALEX & SIERRA! Happy dance!

9:55 p.m. “I feel like Christmas just came early,” Simon says.

9:55 p.m. “This is incredible,” Alex says. “Thank you so much for getting us here and thanks for not making fun of my weird faces all the time,” Sierra says.

9:56 p.m. “I’m not gonna give up,” Jeff vows, wishing us a merry Christmas.

9:56 p.m. One last performance for Alex & Sierra. Awww. Alex is too emotional to even sing. OK. In this case, it’s Sierra holding it together and staring into Alex’s eyes to see him through this. Awww.

9:58 p.m. As confetti falls, the other Finalists run out and hug the winners. Awww. So much confetti and so much crying.

9:59 p.m. It wasn’t a great season of “The X Factor,” but I’m totally happy with the winners. Yay.

9:59 p.m. “I just want to thank everybody who’s bothered to watch,” Simon says. 

You happy?

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