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Last Dance, Last Chance: A Very Thorough X Factor Final Performance Night Review (December 11)

THIS IS IT, as one of the X Factor judges famously sang 17 years ago (oh my God, 17 years?!): The STAR-STUDDED X Factor final show is finally upon us!

And thank God, because I’m totally over it.

But first–A top 16 performance of “What A Feeling”! Yeah, sure–why not?! (WATCH)

LOOK: IT’S AIDEN GRIMSHAW LOOKING SEXY! Katie Weasel looking ridiculous in some kind of stupid disco ball football shoulder pad contraption! And that one girl group that I forgot about already looking around nervously! Oh, so much fun.

It was a wonderful smorgasbord of ‘mostly shit’ as X Factor‘s top competitors sing-yelled above each other, entirely out of tune as a group.

BUT WE’RE JUST STARTING TO HAVE SOME FUN, Y’ALL.

First up was Matt Cardle, singing Dido‘s “Here With Me.” (WATCH)

Before the performance, we watched as Matt returned home with his fiercely supportive, fiercely fabulous mentor, Dannii Minogue (Can she be my personal cheerleader forever, please?) His parents cried. His friends cried. Matt Cardle cried. Then I cried. SO MANY TEARS EVERYWHERE.

And as for the performance: So good! There were strange ghost-like violin players in the background as Matty Matt reliably crooned Dido’s classic, which is a beautiful song to begin with. STRONG START FOR THE NIGHT.

Rebecca sang Corinne Bailey Rae‘s “Like A Star.” (WATCH)

And yes, it was another classic Rebecca performance–perhaps one of her finest! How would you describe a classic Rebecca performance? As her mentor Chezza explained, nearly breaking out in tears: “Dignity and class.” The judges all poured over Rebecca’s extreme likability and genuine personality, and everyone cheered and cheered for days.

One Direction sang Elton John‘s “Your Song.” (WATCH)

I just don’t care. I’m sorry. They’re lovely boys, but I just don’t care. And Ellie Goulding‘s version is vastly superior.

AND THEN THE ALMIGHTY LLOYD DID TAKE TO THE STAGE TO BRING GENUINE, AWE-INSPIRING ENTERTAINMENT TO THE SHOW AFTER A VERY TOUCHING AND TEAR-JERKING VIDEO INTRODUCTION.

Christus Lloyd performed a medley of Shirley Ellis‘ “The Clapping Song” and Missy Elliott‘s “Get Ur Freak On.” (WATCH)

AND OH WHAT FUN IT WAS! Suited in her favorite kissy lips jammy pants, The Lloyd busted out a most joyous performance, complete with a lot of fun choreography and menz flingin’ they shirts off. While it wasn’t nearly as emotional or intense as any of the other acts of the night, it was clearly the most entertaining by a MILE.

The best part of all was in the very last second. “QUIIIIIET!,” The Lloyd roared mightily, and the world came to an immediate standstill.

So those were the final solo performances. But then came something even better–duets with FAMOUS PEOPLE.

First off, Matt Cardle returned to perform “Unfaithful” with Rihanna. (WATCH)

OH MAH GAW.

Princess RiRi was looking so damn fine tonight with that fresh-to-death red afro and her high-slitted black dress that went up rull high! Their voices sounded pretty decent-ish together and the chemistry was super sexy (they totes almost made out!) Plus, OMG–“Unfaithful”! That jam totally owns my soul.

As always, RiRi giggled her way through the post-performance interview as only she does, proving that she is about five billion times cooler and funnier than the other ladies of pop. Love you, sexy bitch!

Rebecca Ferguson returned to perform “Beautiful” with the legendary flop of 2010, Christina Aguilera. (WATCH)

Well…this duet was a poor choice.

You see, Rebecca did just fine on her own at first, but as soon as Aggie walked onstage, poor Fergie Ferg just completely lost her composure, looking more like a mega-fan who wandered onto the stage by accident. Xtina exuded her natural overconfidence and Rebecca exuded her natural lack of confidence, resulting in a whole big cesspool of awkward soup.

If Rebecca Ferguson doesn’t win the whole competition, I shall officially blame Christina Aguilera for the loss, much as with world wars, famine and other natural disasters.

One Direction sang “She’s The One” with Robbie Williams.

I still don’t care about One Direction, but Robbie was so dorky cute with the boys! He swung them around his arms, gave them high-fives, and generally made everyone feel very comfortable and happy. Plus, they ended it all off with some nice Brit Brit “Circus” waterfall fireworks. Thanks for the fun times, Robbie!

AND THEN THE ALMIGHTY LLOYD DID RETURN TO THE STAGE IN A VERY ADORABLE GENDER-BENDING DRESS/TUXEDO COMBINATION OUTFIT TO ENGAGE IN AN ALMIGHTY BATTLE AGAINST WILL.I.AM, MAKER OF MOSTLY SHIT POP MUSIC.

The Lloyd returned with Will.I.Amto perform two Black Eyed Peas hits, “Where Is The Love?” and “I Gotta Feeling.” (WATCH)

Cherdonna did so, so SEWWW good on her own! The rapping AND singing was completely on-point, and everything worked.

And then Will.I.Am took the stage and everything got a bit nuts o’clock with his bar mitzvah banga, “I Gotta Feeling.” Even if I don’t care for that man, Cheroleezza Rice looked like a precious heaven-sent angel, bouncing around the stage with him all excitedly bug-eyed and whatnot. CUTE OVERLOAD.

Rihanna then returned to perform “What’s My Name?” and I genuinely had a moment. (WATCH)

As my friend Raj over at EQ Music Blog and I discussed over Twitter–I’m about 99% sure my baby brought actual trannies for back-up dancers during this performance. If that’s the case, she’s just racked up even more points in my book (if at all possible). And if I’m wrong? OOF. Sorry, ladies–ease up at the gym next time.

The performance was similar to the American Music Awards performance from a few weeks ago in that it was utterly AMAZING. Lady Ri worked out her stellar #1 smash wearing that super sexy tribal two-piece that showed off the goodies. And oh, those hips. The hips for DAYS AND DAYS.

I really do love this bitch so, so much. She makes me so happy inside.

Xtina came out again to perform “Express,” one of the songs from Burlesque, otherwise known as the Casablanca of the 21st century. (WATCH)

Yay for “Express”! It’s my favorite song from the movie’s soundtrack. I think I just like spelling out words in songs, especially naughty ones like “S-E-X.” Tee hee! But um…come on. Xtina, you pregz right? Or maybe she’s not, in which case that comment is horribly insensitive. But…I mean, you’re pregnant, right?

Let’s keep it real here–girlfriend is looking a bit tattered.

And then the elimination happened…and yes, it was Cher’s time to go.

I had my suspicions throughout the episode that this would be her final night, and indeed, it was. The Lloyd took the news with poise and grace as a proper pop star-on-the-brink-of-fame should. (WATCH)

But rest assured: Cher Lloyd will be fine following her dismissal from X Factor. She absolutely does not need the winning title to sell records.

Matt and Rebecca are talented singers with great voices, but they’re not entertainers. Everyone always seems to get wrapped up in the hype and hyperbole surrounding the ‘very amazing’ singers during each season of American Idol/X Factor, but the truth is that very few of them actually withstand the test of time–especially without that winning title behind them. I mean–remember Melinda Doolittle?

The public simply doesn’t ‘get’ Cher’s swagga, nor do they understand that Cher will be brilliant once her talent is harnessed in a studio setting and a dance studio. She IS a pop star in the making, quite simply.

At this point, she’s received the exposure and garnered the fan base necessary to prepare one hell of a debut record. And trust me, I have no doubt whatsoever that she will deliver something incredible in 2011. Just look at quirk-pop darling Diana Vickers (who came in 4th place two years ago). Her album remains one of the finest of 2010!

For now, all we’ve got to do is wait. Sending much love and luck to you now, Cher! You were my favorite from the very beginning, and I absolutely can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the very near future.

As for who will probably win the grand title this year: Rebecca and Matt both have incredible voices, but One Direction have an insatiable, slap-happy fan base of tweens willing to shed blood to make sure their Bieber boys make it to the next round. In the end, I fear this one may actually end up going to One Direction. Never underestimate a teenage girl and her cell phone.

As for who I’d like to win grand title of the year: Matt is a very good singer, but there’s not a damn thing about him that would make me buy that record. I don’t care much for the male singer-songwriter type. One Direction bores me to tears. There’s only one winner in my eyes, and that’s Rebecca Ferguson, who has to potential to sculpt a masterful debut of Natalie Merchant-meets-Sade chilly jams that would completely soothe my soul.

Good luck tomorrow, Rebecca!