The previouslies jump from the X Factor truck on the road from the beginning of the season, right to last night's duets between the final three and the real singers, followed by their actual performances last night -- Josh, Chris, and Melanie. It's all echoey and blurry and just generally makes me feel more drunk than I already am.
After the titles, Steve comes out onstage in a full-on tuxedo and welcomes everyone to the finale. In case you've forgotten, there's a five-million-dollar contract at stake for the final three, but much more importantly, here are the judges-slash-mentors. Steve brings out L.A., Nicole, Paula, and Simon to the strains of "The Final Countdown" by Europe, which just makes me think Gob from Arrested Development should be out here with them. Steve promises performances from the final three, as well as from Pitbull, Ne-Yo, 50 Cent, Leona Lewis, and Justin Bieber. Wow, I get to weecap everyone tonight.
Then Steve calls out the Final Twelve. The final what? We start with a group of randoms that may or may not be InTENsity singing the first line of "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga. It's hard to tell. They're not very well lit and it's been a while so they're all ten percent older and there are like thirty of them. But there's Stereo Hogzz as well, and Stacy Francis, and Lakoda Rayne, and LeRoy Bell. They sound as good as 21 people can sound singing in unison. Then there's an Astro rap break, which reminds me how much I haven't missed him, and then there's Drew, who's was apparently so devastated by her loss that she's gone brunette, and Rachel Crow, and Marcus Canty, and then the final three (Josh, Melanie, and Chris) come out to finish it up with the key change. Josh looks pretty embarrassed by this whole thing. There's the cast of The New Girl in the audience, I think, because why not? After the song, Steve joins the final twelve on the stage and gives a "fair play" to the judges, who tell them they're all winners. Paula's overwhelmed by getting to see her groups all aver again, and Simon says "There's more than one star up there onstage at the moment." Steve promises more to come after the break, including possibly the winner of the five-million-dollar recording contract, in case you're still interested.
Coming back, Steve says the votes are all in, so the now the final three all get to perform songs for the holidays, with no pressure for votes. Just what they wanted, I'm sure. With regard to holiday plans, Simon claims he's going to hang out with penguins at the North Pole, like he doesn't know they all live at the other one, and then introduces Melanie Amaro. She sings (what else?) "All I Want for Christmas Is You," on a stage strewn with gigantic presents and dancers dressed as slutty elves. For some reason the judges still get to make comments tonight. L.A. says Melanie's voice is the best friend a song ever met. Nicole calls her a "princess goddess warrior," Paula insightfully compliments her for having her hair off her face, and Simon says she's been a pleasure to work with and she deserves to win. And now there's a whole This Is Your Life segment that gets launched, featuring Melanie's former teacher, former boss at the hair salon, best friend, aunt, cousin, siblings, and parents in Florida, as well as her grandmother in the Virgin Islands, all of whom have supportive messages for Melanie that go on long enough to reduce her to tears. Steve tries to get her to comment, which is why it's sad that she's too emotional to speak, before promising a performance by Chris Rene and the revelation of who won third place. Not that those two things are related.