Thus far, disappointing is the best word to describe the American adaptation of Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor.”

The ratings have underwhelmed, with the show ranking not only below FOX’s veteran “American Idol” but also NBC’s recently-launched “The Voice.” Melanie Amaro, the show’s first winner, has yet to break out as a music superstar.

But the pageantry of a reality competition finale, especially one offering a $5 million recording contract to the winner, is never without its appeal, and Thursday’s two-hour show strove for that same impact.

Following performances from Pitbull and One Direction, and a third place finish for girl-group Fifth Harmony, the competition came down to Britney Spears-mentored “Teen” Carly Rose Sonenclar and LA Reid-led “Over 25″ Tate Stevens.

Who won?

Tate Stevens.

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