After a long and low-rated season, The X Factor is finally coming to an end. Tonight the season 3 winner is named amid a slew of Christmas cheer and performances by One Direction, Glee’s Lea Michele and many more.

Recap: The Top 3 Perform>>

Will it be Jeff Gutt, Carlito Olivero or Alex and Sierra winning the million dollar recording contract? I predict Alex and Sierra. And I hope it’s Alex and Sierra. After all, they had my top five favorite performances of the entire season.

The start of the show bodes poorly as the opening graphics misspell Lea Michele’s name as “Lea Michelle.” Come on, FOX.

When the judges come out, Paulina Rubio doesn’t understand her blocking and just wanders around the stage.

The Top 13

The first performance of the night features the Top 13 acts, dressed in white, singing U2’s “One.” I tried so hard to block Carlos Guavara and Tim Olstad from my memory.

Simon Cowell says he’s nervous and just wants to get to the end quickly. Me too, buddy, but we have two hours of TV to fill before that happens.

After the final three talk about how badly they want to win (except Sierra, who’s just happy to be there) we get a video about Paulina Rubio’s unusual way of speaking.

Carlito Olivero’s Christmas Song

The Top 3 will all perform Christmas songs tonight. First up is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” which makes me picture the montage from Love, Actually. He’s surrounded by giant presents filled with popping-and-locking nutcrackers and sexy Christmas ladies. That’s followed by an emotional video of Carlito’s friends and family talking about how much they love him. His grandparents, speaking in Spanish, are especially adorable.

Mary J. Blige

She sings “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” This is just one of those silly gimmick songs that should only be sung by elementary school kids. If FOX wants to do a Christmas special, that’s fine, but how about they make it a separate hour-long event AFTER a one-hour X Factor finale.

There’s a whole video segment about how Kelly Rowland lusted after a ton of dudes (many of whom were barely legal) this season.

Jeff Gutt’s Christmas Song

He sings “O Holy Night.” I know it’s Christmas and all that, but a song about “our dear Savior’s birth”? Call me a soldier in the War on Christmas, but it ain’t for me. Jeff’s home video is all about how he never gives up and it’s all for his son. It ends with his kid, Talon, saying “I just want to be like you. You’re the best daddy ever.” Wow, that melted my cold heart.

Alex and Sierra’s Christmas Song

They cover “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” As a diehard Love, Actually fan, this is my favorite Christmas song and it’s perfect for them. Sadly, Jojen Reed from Game of Thrones isn’t playing drums in the background. Kudos to anyone who gets that obscure mash-up reference. Their home video is emotional and Sierra cries the whole time, frequently burying her head in Alex’s shoulder.

Demi Lovato’s video is about how she drinks “Annoying Juice” to rile Simon.

Lea Michele

The Glee star performs “Cannonball,” the first single from her debut album coming in March. It’s not to be confused with Miley Cyrus‘ “Wrecking Ball,” though a mash-up of those two would be cool. Her voice really is insanely good.

The Results, Part 1

Since we’ve reached the halfway point of the finale, it’s time end one singer’s dreams by revealing who finished in third.

Carlito Olivero is eliminated in THIRD PLACE!

Good, that’s the correct result. He was in the bottom before and, quite frankly, finishing third place is a big win for him.

Leona Lewis

She’s a bona fide X Factor success story, a winner who actually has a career. Maybe the U.S. will finally have one of those this time, because Melanie Amaro and Tate Stevens aren’t exactly household names.


After a video about the emotional moments of the season, it’s yet another performance. This is one of many areas where American Idol is superior, because that show’s finale uses the contestants with the guest performers. I’m not familiar with Pitbull’s “Timber,” but I assume it’s not about the kind of wood lumberjacks chop down. It’s a pretty catchy and hilariously ridiculous song.

There’s an adorable video about little kids watching Simon Cowell and talking about how mean he is and how he kicks the female judges under the table.

The Final 2

Alex and Sierra and Jeff Gutt get one last duet with “Love Me Again.” It makes me wonder: Were there three different duets for each of the three possible Final 2 combinations? There had to be, right? That means they each learned and rehearsed a different duet with Carlito. The highlight for me comes after the performance. Mario Lopez announces that, after the break, One Direction will perform, and Sierra has a mini freakout.

One Direction

OMG, it’s 1D! WTF? LOL! ASAP! They sing “Midnight Memories” and it’s all crazy and fun. Good for them. Harry’s hair looks like it’s really, really dirty and maybe has spiders in it. Sorry, I’m a Niall fan.

The Final Results

And then there were two. After a long night of performances, it’s down to Jeff Gutt and Alex and Sierra, the two acts who have been the most consistently good all season. It’s pretty much impossible to argue that anyone else should be here. But, like the Highlander, there can be only one!


Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus! The best act, and my personal favorites, won! The super cute couple we first met way back in the first episode of the season now have a million dollar recording contract. I can’t wait to hear their music. And Simon Cowell is one proud man, having guided one of his Groups to victory.

Alex and Sierra are in shock and Jeff Gutt is gracious.

To end the show, they perform “Say Something.” Only it’s amazing because Alex is crying and can’t even make it through the song. Then Sierra joins in and helps him, but they start laughing and smiling and crying. It’s so beautiful and real. They’re in shock, do their best to make it through, and then the rest of the Top 13 run onto the stage to hug them and confetti falls.

That does it for The X Factor season 3. There were certainly some stumbling blocks. The low ratings, Paulina Rubio’s attempts at English, the graphics error that forced the Top 13 to perform again. But at the end of the day, the best act, the one with the most potential to actually sell records based on their iTunes success, won. So maybe it would be worth it to do it all again next year.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.