Westchester’s singing phenom finishes 2nd on ‘X Factor’
Mamaroneck’s Carly Rose Sonenclar on “X Factor.” Ray Mickshaw/FOX
In the end, the country went for country.
Westchester singing sensation Carly Rose Sonenclar did not win the second season of “The X Factor” tonight. After more than 35 million votes were cast Wednesday night, that honor, and the $5 million recording contract with Sony and Simon Cowell’s Syco Records, went to 37-year-old Missourian Tate Stevens.
At the very end of tonight’s two-hour finale — which included performances by white-hot boy band One Direction and rapper Pitbull — host Mario Lopez delivered the verdict.
“First and foremost, I gotta thank the man upstairs for taking care of me, my family and all the country music fans,” Stevens said, his voice cracking with emotion. “This is the best day of my life.”
Sonenclar took the announcement stoically, huddling with mentor Britney Spears before hugging Stevens and his mentor, L.A. Reid.
The decision — reached by tabulating more than 35 million votes via smartphone, app, text and web — capped a wild six-month ride for Sonenclar, the Rye Neck Middle School eighth-grader who, at 13, is already a Broadway veteran.
At her June audition, she held the judges and the Rhode Island audience rapt, belting out a soulful rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” a song she reprised in Wednesday night’s final performances. Sonenclar also performed a duet with LeAnn Rimes on Rimes’ hit “How Do I Live?” and ended the competition in a gossamer white gown, accompanied by a choir, singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
After that performance, judge Demi Lovato said: “You not only looked like an angel, you sang like a ridiculously talented angel.”
But the look and the sound did not translate into enough votes for Sonenclar, nor for girl group Fifth Harmony, the longest of the competition’s long-shots, a group comprising contestants who were eliminated in earlier rounds of the competition. Both finished behind Stevens.
If the pint-sized belter Sonenclar is disappointed by the results, she need only consider One Direction, which performed last night and has a double-platinum hit in “What Makes You Beautiful,” selling 2 million copies and counting.
They started out on the British equivalent of “The X Factor.”
They came in third.