Alex & Sierra, Carlito Olivero and Jeff Gutt
Will love conquer all on The X Factor?
After weeks of battling it out vocally, Simon Cowell's power couple Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton, aka Alex & Sierra, have made it to the finals and are hoping to be crowned the Season 3 X Factor champs Thursday night (8/7c, Fox). They're up against Kelly Rowland's returning rocker Jeff Gutt and Paulina Rubio's Latin heartthrob Carlito Olivero. And in the case of fourth mentor Demi Lovato, well, the cheese stands alone once again. This is the second year in a row that she hasn't had a horse in the finale race.
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Which act has what it takes to win? We break down the finalists' strengths and weaknesses:
Why He'll Win: Let's face it, his dramatic rock ballads are crowd pleasers, as are his All-American baby face and tenacity even after he got booted last season. Also, how can you hate a guy who is so dedicated to his impish son? You can't (publicly).
Why He Won't Win: He's a little one-note when it comes to his repertoire of vocally acrobatic ballads, which are performed well enough but not in any innovative way. He doesn't feel very relevant in today's music, and it's very telling that in the final, he was paired with Goo Goo Doll's John Rzeznik, whose heyday was the late 1990s.
Should The X Factor just die already?
Alex & Sierra
Why They'll Win: Can't. Fight. The. Cute. Seriously, their love and affection for each other is as adorable as it gets, and fortunately, that emotion translates to a successful on-stage chemistry and ability to work together. Of all the finalists, they also appear to have the most diversity when it comes to song selection because they're able to put their own fresh spin on it. They're a bit dorky, a bit hippie and all lovable.
Why They Won't Win: Their love can be a bit cloying, and who knows if that shtick will get old fast? (The backlash may have already begun!) But it's clear that they're selling their love first and their technique second, which means they both have room for improvement in the vocals department.
Why He'll Win: Of the three acts, he has the most ease performing and commands the stage (and girls!). He's the youthful Latin lover with the looks moves and rolled R's to match, and his cover of Shontelle's "Impossible" in the finale was actually the best he's done yet.
Why He Won't Win: As Simon is so fond of reminding us, "You're not the best singer, Carlito," and it's unfortunately true. More often than not, this Chicago boy underwhelms, which is why he's fallen to the bottom twice, and was saved only because his competitor did worse. Honestly, we're not quite sure how he even made it to the finals.
Who do you think will win? Vote in the poll below. The X Factor finale airs Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.