Alex & Sierra, Jeff Gutt and Carlito Olivero

[Warning: The following story reveals the winner of The X Factor's third season. Read at your own risk!]

The X Factor has crowned its newest champ.

On Thursday, the Fox singing competition announces its Season 3 winner, but not until a few tears are shed, lasers stun the audience, the producers make it snow and a whole lot of holiday cheer is spread by the likes of guest like Mary J. Blige, U.K. X Factor winner Leona Lewis, and the finalists: Carlito Olivero, Jeff Gutt and Alex & Sierra. Other non-holiday performances include Glee's Lea Michele, Pitbull and Brit X Factor success story One Direction.

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Oh, and let's not forget the cheeky montages about Kelly's flirtations, Demi annoying Simon, cute kids criticizing Simon and the worst auditioners ever.

Partway through the show, host Mario Lopez has the unenviable task of announcing that Carlito is out. The third-place finisher remains positive, and says, "I'm blessed, bro. Look, we worked so hard to get here, and look how far we got!"

So which mentor --  Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland or Paulina Rubio (sorry, Demi Lovato!) -- has bragging rights?

And the winners are Alex & Sierra! Congrats to Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton. Their genuinely sweet love story and incredible journey on stage made them a shoo-in for the win, so there are no real surprises here. It's just a matter of how much their contract will be.

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"I feel like Christmas just came early," Simon says. "And Jeff, big respect to you. You did brilliantly in the final but my heart is with Alex and Sierra.

Alex recovers from his shock first and says, "We're speechless..." Sierra eventually chimes in, "Um, just thank you so much for getting us here. And thanks for not making fun of my weird faces. Uh, I don't know."

For their victory song, Alex is so verklempt he can't choke out the first two lines until Sierra helps him. They finish in harmony as the confetti falls.

What did you think of the finale? Did the right act win?