This is the night The X Factor season 2 contestants and fans have been waiting for impatiently all week. After all the retrospective montages, celebrity guest appearances and final performances from the contestants are over this evening… someone is going to walk away with a 5 million recording contract.

The X Factor 2012 judges L. A. Reid, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato & Simon Cowell.
Photo credit: FOX Entertainment.

Will it be breakout teen star Carly Rose Sonenclar? Country cowboy and family man Tate Stevens? Or will Simon Cowell-created girl group Fifth Harmony somehow defy all predictions and emerge as The X Factor winner for season 2? Find out with us as our live The X Factor recap of the season 2 finale starting right now!

WARNING: THE X FACTOR 2012 SPOILERS AHEAD!

This post contains spoilers for The X Factor finale for season 2. Please stop reading if you do not want to know what happened or who won The X Factor 2012 season 2!

RECAP: Welcome to the red carpet of The X Factor season 2 finale from co-hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian-Odom. The X Factor 2012 judges Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, L. A. Reid and Demi Lovato have arrived. Guest performers Pitbull and One Direction are also in the house. The top 3 finalist acts make their red carpet appearance after arriving in Escalades, singing along to the tune of “All You Need is Love” as they enter the premiere.

After the red carpet treatment for the judges, guest performers and contestants, it is time to start the show! Mario Lopez introduces the judges for the last time this season and then gives a little back story on each of the final 3 acts Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens and Fifth Harmony.

All three of the final acts will perform holiday songs tonight in honor of the season. The first performance of the evening goes to Tate Stevens with “Bells Will Be Ringing”. I can just hear the country Christmas album coming straight out of Nashville in the near future…

Coach L. A. Reid takes a moment to talk about how fabulous Tate has been all season and how he hopes he’ll have enough votes to win. I agree with L. A. that Tate really has been extremely consistent all season long, perhaps more so than either of the other finalist acts. After L. A.’s nice words–very nice considering how much he HATED getting the over 25 group–it’s on to a sweet video segment featuring Tate’s family and friends giving their love and support.

Host Mario Lopez announces there were 35 million votes cast after last night’s final performances. Thinking about who is going to win tonight, I have to wonder how many of those came from places where cowboy hats are a daily item of clothing…

Now we have video montage of Simon Cowell being snarky to various X Factor hopefuls. Honestly, I think he’s mellowed out actually. I remember the first few seasons of American Idol, I thought he was the devil incarnate.

Up next with their holiday-themed performance is Fifth Harmony with “Christmas (Baby Come Home)”. The performance is actually kind of adorable, but I would have so loved to see them do one of the more ballad-type Christmas songs.

After the girls finish, they are treated to their own video montage of their family and supporters giving them lavish praise and talking about how proud they are. You have to admit, even if they aren’t your favorite act, it is pretty impressive to get this far in the competition as a group when these girls had never even met before it started.

Taking the stage next with her Christmas song is Carly Rose Sonenclar performing “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Naturally, she blows it out of the water and looks like she’s doing her nails while belting the roof off the auditorium.

Carly Rose’s family, friends and somewhat crazed piano teacher are next to receive their moment in the spotlight as they sing her praises and wish her luck.

Time for another commercial break and then we’ll learn who is the third place finalist and will not be winning The X Factor season 2!

We are back from commercial and the act in third place this evening and out of the running to win is… Fifth Harmony! No big surprise there. Sorry girls, we hope Simon Cowell will do something nice for you anyway.

Hinting that he might indeed be planning to give the girls a consolation prize after the competition, Simon says we’ll be hearing a lot more of them in the future. Some of the girls star tearing up. I wonder how they plan on staying together as a group outside of the competition considering how far apart they all live. Maybe Simon is going to shack them in a condo in L. A. together while he milks them for all they are worth…

With Fifth Harmony now eliminated, it is down to Tate Stevens versus Carly Rose Sonenclar for the win. Somehow it just seems weird to watch the two of them backstage with their families. She’s just starting out and this was the beginning for her, while this competition was probably his last chance to make it. Although I personally like Carly more than Tate, thinking about it kind of makes me want him to win.

Oh joy, it is yet another video montage, this time an overall review of the whole season. The only good reason for this is to watch Britney Spears nearly dive under a table after a lightning bolt hits too close to the auditions building.

Host Mario Lopez then asks all the judges about what they liked most in the season. L. A. said he loved when Tate Stevens walked out during auditions in a cowboy hat and then told Demi Lovato he did rap music. Britney says she has just been amazed (and bemused it seems) by the whole experience of the show. Demi says being at the judges table every night has been awesome. Simon says he has really had a blast working with the groups and having one make it to the finals was the best.

Backtage, Khloe exchanges banter with some of the previously eliminated contestants. The boys of Emblem3 want everyone to get together and go hit the slopes. Somehow, I just do not see Tate Stevens on skis, or better yet, a snowboard…

After another break, Pitbull hits the stage with “Don’t Stop the Party” from his new album Global Warming.

Demi Lovato, who watched all her contestants be eliminated one by one this season, gets her own little video tribute next. Most of seems to be all about her bickering with Simon Cowell and sounding kind of like a snarky teenager.

Next we can hear the screams traveling worldwide as One Direction steps up to perform “Kiss You” while girls start having hot flashes in the audience.

Now the last two finalists, Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens, make Britney Spears cry with a duet of “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. Seriously, Britney’s face is getting blotchy and any moment I think she is going to just burst out in tears. Her legal guardians might consider adjusting those meds a bit… It’s Miley Cyrus honey, not Adele.

Now it is finally time for what we’ve been waiting for all evening long! The votes have all been counted and the official announcement is in!

The winner of The X Factor 2012 season 2 is…

Tate Stevens!

Wow, I can hear the Carly Rose Sonenclar fans spitting fire right now. Are you shocked Tate Stevens took home the win or do you think he totally deserved it? Share your thoughts in our comments area below!

That’s all she wrote tonight. Join us here again next season for more The X Factor USA recaps. Bookmark us or friend us on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest celebrity gossip, entertainment news, TV recaps and more!


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