The X Factor season finale recap: Country Strong

Fifth Harmony, Carly, or Tate just won $5 million and free Pepsi injections for life
Ep. 26 | Aired Dec 20, 2012

CAMILA'S FACE EXPLAINS IT ALL Despite a compelling red carpet performance, Fifth Harmony ended up in third.

Fox

Okay -- 35 million votes later and it is ovahhhhhh! After a two-hour “grand finale” packed with mostly clear cellophane (plus performances by Pitbull and One Direction), The X Factor has a season 2 champ! Was it Fifth Harmony, Tate Stevens, or Carly Rose Sonenclar who won the $5 million recording contract and free Pepsi injections for life?

TATE STEVENS!

The 37-year-old country man from Missouri has pulled it off! He's had a strong season of honest, consistent performances. Tate thanked the man upstairs (Santa? Is he real?) first and foremost, and then country music fans for helping him achieve his dream of quitting his day job.

"You know what? Congrats to you," Tate's mentor L.A. Reid told Tate, a man he had never seen before in his life.

This was a well-deserved win. I still don't find Tate that spectacular, but let's be honest -- it's hard to seem glamorous when you're sharing the stage with break-dancing toy soldiers and big-ass sculptures of reindeer. (The X Factor is so bad at most things, but in the cat-uh-gry of "going all out for Christmas," it is a true five-million-dollar winner. That is also how much they spent on sets tonight.)

Indeed, the three final acts got to indulge in some severe HOLIDAY BLOWOUT performances that were tons of fun while also being entirely 1-800-TOO-MUCH. For "Please Come Home For Christmas," Tate maneuvered his way around four sparkly, human-sized breast cancer awareness ribbons wearing angel wings, not to mention those deer sculptures.

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Twas a vision!

NEXT: Fifth Harmony and Carly get their holiday blowout on

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