Credit: FOX

A moment of honesty, guys: If we could have guessed, at the beginning of Season 2, which of his acts Simon Cowell would be counting on to win The X Factor, it would not have been Fifth Harmony. Although the Groups category is a tough one, that’s probably why Simon was given it to begin with. It’s tough enough to get more than one person in an act to shine — it’s even harder when you have to create that group to begin with.

But despite the possible challenges involved in creating a successful group and taking it to the finals, Simon is clearly up to the job. Remember that little band he made up a couple years ago? One Direction? We rest our case.

But Fifth Harmony, although adorable and talented, has other challenges. In particular, the group doesn’t have nearly the fan support one would expect for a group made up of five highly diverse teenage girls.

But Simon is a genius. For the finale, each act is performing with a superstar. And instead of picking someone twee and sweet with a voice as squee-worthy as 5H’s giant hairbows and matching outfits, Simon chose Demi Lovato. Since Demi lost her last contestant, CeCe Frey, she hasn’t had much to do but argue with Simon and make bold statements.

However, Demi has a lot more to offer, and Simon knows that. Namely, she basically runs Twitter when it comes to her involvement, retweets, and mentions. She supported her contestants more than any other mentor, despite the fact that all of them were eliminated before the finale. In fact, thanks to her smart use of social media, CeCe Frey stayed in the competition longer than many thought she would.

So, what did Simon do? He effectively took Demi’s nearly 11 million followers and put them behind his act. By asking Demi to perform with Fifth Harmony, he has given them no choice but to vote for Demi, even if they wouldn’t have voted for his act otherwise. And because of that, he has given them a chance against very tough competition, in Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens. He may even have figured out a way to take the teen girl vote away from Carly Rose.

Demi tweeted to her followers, saying 

Consider this too: Tate is singing a duet with up-and-coming group Little Big Town, which has fewer than 183,000 followers on Twitter. Carly Rose's duet partner, LeAnn Rimes, has been relevant for years, yet she has almost 200K fewer followers than Carly Rose. To put that in perspective, Fifth Harmony's duet partner has 21 times the followers of the other two COMBINED. And considering what a huge impact social media has had on the show this year, that number is insane.  

 

It’s true that Dinah Jane Hansen had mad social media backing going into the competition — she single-handedly has more followers than the Fifth Harmony Twitter handle. But considering she does not get the majority of the shining moments in the group, it’s hard to rest all the group’s hope on her shoulders.

 

What do you think. Was this a calculated move by one of the smartest men in the music business, or just a fun duet?