Plug for the 2013 auditions, which is always such a harsh reminder that there's going to be a Season Three, and after a few comments from Simon, we're on to the last ad break before the final announcement. Carly makes a disappointed face like she was expecting it to happen now.
We come back for the last time with Khloe in another new outfit, this one the result of some kind of metallic paint and glitter explosion, and they bring out the remaining finalists and their mentors once again, as though this whole ceremony didn't already happen once tonight. Once Britney, Carly, L.A., Tate, and Britney's latest goofy face are out onstage to await the verdict, there's a long pause, and Mario announces the winner: Tate Stevens.
Fireworks go off and Tate's name fills the entirety of the projector screens, and after Britney says something in Carly's ear the runner goes over to graciously hug Tate and congratulate him. Tate gives an emotional speech thanking God, his family, and the country fans before saying this is the best day of his life. I missed the part where he thanked his family at first, in which case this would have quickly become the worst night of his life.
Mario congratulates Carly and Britney on coming in second, and L.A. gets to congratulate Tate on behalf of himself and the other judges. Then Mario and Khloe do one last awkward walk across the stage to introduce Tate's last song. By now, he's pulled himself together enough to be able to solidly sing "Love You Like There's No Tomorrow," although he's a little smilier than the lyrics would seem to call for. But who could blame him?
As his song continues, out come Fifth Harmony, followed by the all the other top twelve acts, all wearing their same outfits from last night. I guess there was no money for new clothes for them after blowing the last of the budget on the confetti. Mario reminds us they'll be back next year. Right, Mario. Ask Steve Jones about that.
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at m.giant[at]gmail.com.