'X Factor' finals live blog: Jeff Gutt, Alex & Sierra and Carlito Olivero face off
Join us here starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT for a live blog of the final night of performances. We can't wait to see what they've all got up their sleeves for the finale. It's two hours long, so will it be three performances per act?
All times Eastern.
8:02 -- The plinky-plunky strains of "I want to win so badly" play as Carlito arrives in a sweet town car, Jeff zooms up on his motorcycle and Alex & Sierra are whisked in by helicopter. Fancy.
8:04 -- No matter how many seizure-inducing graphics and crazy Cylon dancers you throw at us, "X Factor," we're not convinced that these four will "rock us." Gutt, maybe.
8:06 -- Mario Lopez confirms it will be three performances per act. You can still look forward to a lot of filler, though, guys, so crack open that wine early. Also, Simon thinks this will be the closest finals they've had. Between Jeff and Alex & Sierra, definitely. I'm not convinced Carlito can win.
8:13 -- Each contestant is apparently going to have an extended look-at-my-sad-life montage before they perform. Not to belittle anyone's struggles, but they are realllllly padding this episode, gang. Get on with it.
8:15 -- Carlito kicks things off with "Impossible" by Shontelle and it's ... wow. This is the best he's ever done. It's not cruise ship-y, it's just an emotional, solid vocal performance. Somebody wants to make a contest of it. Good for him for bringing his A game tonight.
8:18 -- Demi Lovato says he still needs to let go, which, gosh, what more does she want? He really brought it on that song, I thought. Simon is very complimentary, saying he thinks Carlito will have a great night.
8:29 -- Alex & Sierra's video montage is all about their relationship. He should propose later tonight, how bonkers would that be?
8:31 -- Their song is "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran and it too is very good. I like the way they split the verses up and then sing in unison on the chorus. They definitely do their A&S thing, which is good. No need to mess with what works at this point.
8:43 -- The call for Jeff is "Dream On" by Aerosmith, which is terrific. Hopefully he can hit the high stuff and not have a Danny Gokey death rattle. Remember that, "Idol" fans? It still haunts my dreams.
8:45 -- And then Jeff totally nails the high stuff. He's no Steven Tyler -- he's clearly a Bon Jovi -- but that was a solid way to kick things off. However (and I never thought I'd say this) I think Carlito and A&S beat him in round one. I'm not saying he was bad at all. Gutt is always good, so he has a higher standard. Carlito is hit and miss, so him stepping up so much made a bigger impression, does that make sense?
8:54 -- Now Paulina Rubio is performing and that's nice and all, but wouldn't it have been more fun if this show was only an hour long? Also, why is she dressed like if Catwoman were a Vegas showgirl? Yikes.
8:55 -- Even Simon Cowell cannot stop laughing. Seriously, this is kind of terrible. Do you think Paulina will still be a judge/mentor for Season 4? Something tells us she will not (though not solely because of this performance or anything).
8:59 -- Prince Royce and "Stand by Me" is the duet for Carlito's second performance. They actually sound really nice together. This is just the type of artist Carlito should aspire to be like, so it's a great pairing.
9:08 -- The duet for Alex & Sierra is with Leona Lewis on "Bleeding Love," which seems like it would be a good choice, but this is kind of a mess at moments. The solos are great, but the trio moments are a little weird. Are we alone in this?
9:13 -- Demi has it right. They got out-shined by Leona and it wasn't their best performance. It just wasn't a great song choice for a trio. Demi is 100 percent correct this time.
9:18 -- Jeff gets to sing with John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls, which is cool. It's a real shame they couldn't get Bon Jovi, since Jeff sounds so much like him. But this should be good too, they're doing "Iris," a personal fave of mine.
9:20 -- You know what's a shame? Jeff is having to sing the harmony on the chorus. It's not that he can't do it, but I would've liked to hear him on the high melody line, screaming out, "Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive!" Instead, Rzeznik seems ... a little off and Gutt is doing his absolute best to salvage the performance. Well, good for him. A for effort.
9:30 -- Carlito's final song is a reprise of "Maria Maria" by Santana and this is where it kind of goes off the rails for Carlito. These really fast-paced Latin songs get away from him sometimes, plus he really flubs the key change. This was the song he should have opened with, not closed with. His first two performances were so much stronger. I wish he would have done "Dreaming of You."
9:41 -- Alex & Sierra of course reprise "Say Something" by A Great Big World. This was far and away their best performance of the season. They totally nail it tonight, they have a very good shot at winning this.
9:52 -- Jeff's final song is "Creep" by Radiohead, which was one of his song choices for week 7 but the public chose "Hallelujah" instead. This is is definitely showing off his vocals, but it's so angry. I actually think he would've been better served by reprising "Feelin' Good" or "Without You."
Well, that wraps it up, gang. Six minutes early, so what are they going to fill the end of the hour with?
Who do you think is going to win it all? It seems like Alex & Sierra have a very good chance, though both the men put forth good efforts tonight.