What could've been a $5 million deal-sealing night for The X Factor USA 2012 finalist Carly Rose Sonenclar morphed into a less impressive one December 19, mostly thanks to a duet with a one-time country-pop crossover sensation who didn't live up to her big name.
Amid glittering lights, the teen phenom from Westchester, New York put her usual soulful spin on the opening bars of "How Do I Live" before pausing to introduce LeAnn Rimes, who recorded a popular version of the song several years ago. And then things went terribly wrong. The former child star looked gaunt in black and sang a throaty, near-frenetic version of the tune, so much so that it was easy for Carly Rose to outshine her vocally. But between LeAnn's bizarre oversinging and Carly's seemingly desperate attempts to figure out what her partner was doing, it was an enormously awkward pairing.
Oddly, neither of the singers nor the panelists seemed to detect that anything was amiss. Immediately after the performance, the two were complimentary of one another. LeAnn called the young singer "such an amazing talent" while Carly tagged the collaboration as "one of the most fun moments I've had on the stage" andÂ—ironicallyÂ—thanked LeAnn for making her feel comfortable. Teens mentor Britney Spears, who either couldn't hear properly or was so desperate for a win that she'd say anything, called them "shockingly amazing" and "so good."
Despite the less-than-awesome duet, celebs are still stumping for Carly, including former Full House star Candace Cameron-Bure, who simply tweeted "#CarlyForTheWin #XFactor" during the West Coast broadcast.
Will the 13-year-old emerge as the winner? Watch The X Factor USA 2012 season 2 final results show at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX to find out.