Well, it's come down to this: We've made it to the championship game of MTV's Musical March Madness ... after surviving a Final Four that spanned six days, several technical failures and one official re-start.
It'll be Ed Sheeran battling it out against Thirty Seconds To Mars in a title-game tilt that's sure to be one for the ages, especially given everything we've witnessed so far. Two bands remain out of our field of 64, but only one will be crowned the 2013 MMM Champion ... and it'll be up to you to determine who comes out on top. Voting in our championship game is now underway, and polls will close Friday, April 12 at noon ET.
Oh, and just like we've done in previous years, to build suspense, we're keeping the voting results secret until Friday afternoon, when we'll crown our champ!
And while we're not sure who's going to win MMM, there's one thing we do know: it won't be prohibitive favorites Tokio Hotel. They were knocked off by Sheeran in one of the most hotly-contested (and downright nasty) Final Four battles in tournament history, as fans of both bands crashed a pair of polling sites, forced us to implement a "one vote per hour" contingency plan, and basically called each other — and us — every mean name in the books. From the moment we re-launched the polls on Monday, this one went back-and-forth, first with Sheeran surging to a lead, then TH fighting back and holding an edge for most of Tuesday. Of course, that all changed in the early hours of Wednesday, as Sheeran's Sheerios staged a furious rally, and finally managed to do what no fanbase has done since 2011: eliminate Tokio Hotel.
And, no, Tokio Hotel's Aliens are none too happy about that. In fact, they're pretty sure the Sheerios cheated ... only, one look at the IP addresses (since an IP address could only vote once an hour) tells a different story: each of the top five voting addresses went to Tokio Hotel — casting 25, 25, 22, 22 and 22 votes, respectively — showing that Sheeran's fans were simply too great. There were also accusations that our Captcha software wasn't working, or that somehow, the Sheerios were allowed to vote more than once an hour, but, uh, neither of those things were even remotely true. Seems Sheeran won this one fair and square ... and, after 372 days, Tokio Hotel's reign as MMM champs has come to an end. Sorry Aliens, guess you'll never get that new album now.
Things were way less interesting on the other side of the Final Four, as Thirty Seconds To Mars jumped out to an early lead against upset-minded Walk The Moon. Much like Wichita State, WTM's dream run through the tourney came up just short, though they can chalk this one up to simply running into a tougher team. Jared Leto and Co. have yet to truly be tested in MMM 2013, and, at this point, thanks to the fervent support of their Echelon, they're just one win away from realizing their championship dreams. But, it's fitting, that in the finals, they'll face their toughest challenge yet in Sheeran.
So, here we go. It's Sheeran vs. Mars ... Sheerios vs. Echelon ... for all the marbles. The 2013 Musical March Madness Championship is underway. Buckle up, it's gonna be a wild ride. As if this year's tournament could have ended any other way.
MTV's Musical March Madness tournament reaches the Championship Game! Voting is now open and polls close Friday, April 12 at noon ET, at which point reveal our 2013 champion! The winner will be determined by your votes, so it'll be up to you to determine who reigns supreme! You can spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, it's gonna be a war.