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‘The X Factor’ Season Two Awards

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The X Factor came out swinging this season, shaking up the format and adding high-profile stars like Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and Khloe Kardashian to the mix in hopes of boosting ratings. But in the end, it still came down to one thing – the contestants' performances. Well, almost. Here, our X Factor superlatives spotlight some of the best, worst and most buzzworthy moments of Season Two.

By Katy Kroll

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Best Team Makeover: Over 25s

While there's a case to be made for both Simon Cowell's and Britney Spears' teams here, no one can deny that mentor L.A. Reid did one hell of a job with his Over 25s. Before the live shows started, we thought Reid had been handed a doomed island of misfit toys with contestants Jason Brock, Vino Alan and Tate Stevens. And things seemed especially shaky when Reid threw a temper tantrum when he first learned he was "stuck" with the geriatric crew. But Vino and Tate quickly became fan favorites (although Jason was the very first contestant to go). In the end, Tate won the whole damn thing. Chill-bumps, can you feel 'em?  

demi lovato cece frey x factor

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Worst Team Makeover: Young Adults

Hands down, this award goes to Demi Lovato and her hot mess of a team (and, possibly, Demi's ever-changing hair and eyebrows). Before the live shows started, her contestants – Jennel Garcia, Paige Thomas and CeCe Frey – seemed pretty strong. But Demi's slash-and-burn extreme makeovers did more harm than good. Jennel went from a lovable girl-next-door to a cringe-worthy rock & roll sex kitten, while Paige buzzed off all her hair and CeCe became a bleached blond Ke$ha knockoff. Plus, the girls were often stuck with over-the-top productions and songs that just didn't jell, which got Jennel tossed after just two performances and left the others hanging on for dear life week after week. Surprisingly, polarizing CeCe got closest to the finish line, petering out at a distant sixth place.

vino alan x factor

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Biggest Upset: Vino Alan’s Elimination

While we were pretty bummed about David Correy ('memba him?) and Lyric 145 getting the boot too soon, it was the shockingly early ouster of Vino Alan that had viewers up in arms. After three straight weeks of standing strong in the third-place spot behind Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar, the head-tatted Vino tumbled down the leaderboard and right out of the competition after just one fumble, landing in 7th place. Like Lyric 145, he fell victim to the curse of the last-minute song switcheroo. His lackluster version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" garnered harsh criticism – Simon Cowell called it "uncomfortable." Still, considering Diamond White, CeCe Frey and Emblem3 snuck past him, it was a terrible blow to the competition.

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Best Performance: Carly Rose Sonenclar

Week after week, 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar delivered powerhouse vocals and mopped the floor with the competition, so it's hard to pick her "best." But "Over the Rainbow" may very well be it, considering it helped her leap-frog over good ol' boy Tate Stevens to claim the Number One spot on the leaderboard for the first time. It garnered a standing O from the judges and left Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato debating whether she was an "alien." Having cut her teeth on Broadway, it's no surprise she's a frontrunner this season. But she wound up having to settle for second place. Still, alien, robot or just a classic overachiever, you can't deny the girl's got talent.

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Worst Performance: Jason Brock

Coming across as a poor man's Adam Lambert, Jason Brock was way out of his league on The X Factor. We're still not sure why mentor L.A. Reid chose him over much better Over 25er David Correy – especially after an embarrassing "glitter explosion" set to Jennifer Lopez's "Dance Again." Indeed, it was a cringe-worthy first-time outing for the 35-year-old San Franciscan, who got slammed by Simon Cowell for being "utterly horrendous" during the disco-drenched, Vegas-caliber performance. The next week he was sent packing after an equally disastrous rendition of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Despite being the first to get the boot, "Mr. Entertainment" made the most of his time by pinching a stunned Mario Lopez's ass. He did it for the gays. And Japan.

khloe kardashian nipples x factor

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Most Distracting Moment: Khloe Kardashian’s Nipples

The first week of live shows introduced a couple of new characters to the X Factor universe. No, we're not talking about co-hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian; we're referring to Khloe's nipples. Yes, the little erect protrusions made a grand entrance their first night, standing at attention and greeting us at every turn from underneath a sheer top that left little to the imagination. Even Simon Cowell couldn't take his eyes off them, saying with a flushed face, "I think the air conditioning's on high tonight. It's very distracting." While they may have stolen the spotlight that night, they never did make another appearance. After the buzzworthy wardrobe malfunction, Khloe's offending nips were kept under lock and key for the rest of the season. Fine by us.

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Worst Celebrity Knock-off: Paige Thomas

While we have called Jason Brock "the poor man's Adam Lambert" and fans cried foul over CeCe Frey's transformation into Ke$ha, it's Rihanna wannabe Paige Thomas who easily walks away with this award. From day one, Paige skated by on her dead-ringer good looks, clearing round after round of the competition no matter how bad she sounded. She should have never made it to the live shows. But once she did, the judges always commented on how she "looked" like a star. They only had money in their eyes. Thankfully, viewers saw through the façade and escorted Paige out of the competition in 8th place. There's only room for one RiRi in this world.

lyric da queen x factor

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Best Accessory: Lyric Da Queen’s Eyepatch

Some might think it was Vino Alan's tatted-on hairline or Simon Cowell's often-exposed chest hair (ew), or maybe even Demi Lovato's caterpillar eyebrows, but we're giving this one to Lyric 145's Lyric Da Queen and her badass eyepatch. She seemed to have one for every occasion, ­ from a patriotic red, white and blue-bedazzled American flag to strings of shiny diamonds cascading down her cheek. While it wasn't just for show (she actually needs to wear one), it certainly made her one of the more memorable contestants to grace the X Factor stage. We were sorry to see her and her unique eyewear make an unexpectedly early exit. Guess others weren't so enamored.

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Best Pyro: Tate Stevens’ ‘Bonfire’

It rained confetti on Diamond White, an angelic Paige Thomas flew through the sky, and plenty of other acts used smoke-and-mirrors tactics to try to better their performances, but no one nailed it like Tate Stevens with his rowdy rendition of Craig Morgan's "Bonfire." Set amid a tire fire – seriously, we've never seen so many tires stacked on one stage – flames licked up the screen behind him as huge plumes of real fire shot up all around him. Maybe Britney Spears' brain suffered a meltdown when she said it wasn't his best, because it was definitely his most winning performance. Now, who's got some marshmallows?

britney spears x factor

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Most Awkward Britney Moment: When Fifth Harmony Made the Finals

If Britney Spears ever goes back and watches this season of The X Factor, she may have some regrets. The girl has really put her best face forward – and by "best," we mean worst. She cringes, she pouts, she gasps, she stares vapidly, and she constantly makes duckface at the camera. But no look was more priceless than the face she made when it was revealed that Fifth Harmony beat out Emblem3 for a spot in the finale. The pop princess doubled her chin, scrunched up her face and comically shifted her eyes in disbelief. Within minutes, the image was plastered all over the Internet alongside catty comments. Clearly, someone was caught off-guard.

Best Celebrity Duet: Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony

Go girl power! Simon Cowell proved how shrewd a businessman he is when he paired his group Fifth Harmony with frenemy Demi Lovato – with whom he had a love/hate relationship all season – on the former Disney star's own "Give Your Heart a Break" during finale week. It seemed like a smart move at the time, serving as both a cheeky peace offering and a last-minute grab for votes. Alas, his plot failed and Fifth Harmony landed in third place, beaten out by winner Tate Stevens and runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar.

Biggest Controversy: Carly Rose Sonenclar and LeAnn Rimes

Thirteen-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar was so flawless all season, people called her an alien, a robot and just plain amazing. But during finale week, that all came to a screeching halt when her duet with LeAnn Rimes went horribly awry. While performing "How Do I Live," Rimes looked seriously disheveled – and sounded just as bad. Their voices didn't jell, and for the first time Carly Rose sounded, well, off. The Internet soon lit up with conspiracy theories about Rimes being inebriated. And then the blame game started – Rimes reportedly said Carly was "nervous" and "having trouble hitting the right notes," which threw her off. When Carly lost to Tate Stevens, people speculated it may have had to do with the way Rimes handled the whole situation.