During the final four episode of "The X Factor," girl group Fifth Harmony performed "Anything Could Happen," an Ellie Goulding song that preaches spontaneity and the idea that, well, anything could and sometimes will happen. The next evening, the five-piece shocked the viewing public by vaulting into the show's finale, beating out fellow group Emblem3.
One week later, Fifth Harmony was singing the same tune -- literally. And the group could just be the second champion of "X Factor."
But to make it to the $5 million recording deal promised to the winner, the girls had to clear the most popular contestants of the season, 13-year-old schoolgirl Carly Rose Sonenclar and country crooner Tate Stevens.
Sonenclar, more recently the front runner of the competition, was all over the place, both in vocal range and in consistency. At times she shone, hitting the trademark Carly high note at the end of a stunning "Hallelujah," while she supplied a lower register in "Feeling Good." Stevens was consistent the whole night, as he's been all season, with sturdy renditions of "Tomorrow," "Pontoon" and more.
But it was Fifth Harmony that won the night. The girls, who were paired together at the start of the competition as per "X Factor"'s general protocol, brought the heat with three consistently well done songs that both sounded and looked radio- and tour-ready, which is promising even if they don't emerge victorious (see: One Direction on the show's British equivalent).
The show kicked off with a tribute to those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, with show finalists (including some eliminated) convening on Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone," the 26 casualties' names displayed on the back video screens.
Given each contestant's respective, at times frenetic fanbases, expect a nail-biter of a finale. Take an in-depth look below at each performance of the night from show's start to show's finish to see who you thought was, as a judge from a rival singing competition might say, in it to win it.
Carly Rose Sonenclar - "Feeling Good"
Sonenclar kicked off the evening with the song that caused the judges (and America) to fall in love with her, the oft-covered jazzy classic that displayed her range, from the low notes of the verses to the finale's dulcet vocal runs. She sounded better than in her audition (which was to be expected), and reminded viewers of the potential that still lay dormant within her. "Feeling Good" is destined to become a staple in Sonenclar's catalogue, and she's only going to sing it better.
Tate Stevens - "Anything Goes"
The 37-year-old everyman also began the show with his audition tune, Randy Houser's "Anything Goes." Coach L.A. Reid stated quite matter-of-factly before the performance that "[Tate] has to win," and he delivered with a nearly pitch perfect rendition that didn't seem far off from a performance at, say, the CMAs. It wasn't flashy, but Stevens rarely is. Also, although Carly Rose was given her own day by the mayor of her town just minutes prior, Tate was told post-performance that his name would be on Belton, Mo.'s water tower. That feeling you and I are currently experiencing is unmitigated jealousy.
Fifth Harmony - "Anything Could Happen"
Understand that while Fifth Harmony may just have been the night's elite, it wasn't "Anything Could Happen" that sent them to the top. Their performance was spot-on, flanked by dancers and donning colorful costumes. So what's wrong? Oh, right, we saw it last week. Unlike Sonenclar and Stevens, who sang their audition tunes, Fifth Harmony went back to the same trick that arguably got them in the finale to begin with. Had it been the first time, praises would be leveled. Instead, shrugs abound.