Three weeks ago, 64 bands embarked on the voyage that is MTV's Musical March Madness. Now, after millions of votes and nearly as many grueling matchups, only four remain. My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Paramore and Disturbed each punched their ticket for the Final Four late Thursday night, and one of them will hoist the MMM trophy next week.
It wasn't easy for any of them. Much like the Sweet 16, voting in the Elite 8 broke records and went down to the wire. We wouldn't expect anything less, not when the bands still competing were this big, and the stakes this high. And they're about to get even higher. Because voting in our Final Four matchups — #9 Disturbed vs. #3 Green Day and #5 Paramore vs. #3 My Chemical Romance — is now under way over on the Newsroom blog, and it'll be up to you to determine the two bands that'll go head-to-head for the MMM championship.
While you consider just whom you'll be voting for — if you haven't made your mind up already — let's take a look back at each band's journey to the Final Four.
The lowest-seeded band still standing, Disturbed entered MMM as a #9, but quickly served notice that they were a force to be reckoned with, knocking off #8 the Dave Matthews Band in the opening round, then shocking the world by slipping by the Midwest's top seed, the Foo Fighters, to reach the Sweet 16. Then, they handled Patrick Stump and, perhaps inspired by frontman [article id="1661032"]David Draiman's now legendary "time to make a statement" speech,[/article] took down defending MMM champs Coheed and Cambria in an air-tight battle. With more than 105,000 votes cast, Disturbed outdistanced Coheed by less than 500 to win the Midwest region and earn a spot in the Final Four.
Last year, [article id="1634612"]Green Day were sent packing[/article] in the opening round of the tournament, an exit that left them with a bitter taste in their mouths and a sizeble chip on their shoulders. So, in their 2011 march to the Final Four, they took no prisoners, absolutely dominating Adam Lambert in the first round, then going toe-to-toe with a pair of their fellow rock heavyweights — U2 and Blink-182 — and barely breaking a sweat. Their toughest challenge came in the Elite 8 against, ironically enough, Panic! at the Disco, the very band that sent them packing last year. Green Day got revenge, withstanding a late surge from the Panic! guys to take the West region title and head to the Final Four.
Nearly two years ago, we wrote that [article id="1622094"]Paramore were poised[/article] "to become the kings and queen of the South." Little did we know how right we'd be; after a string of impressive victories, Hayley Williams and the guys are, in fact, the rulers of the region, and they've certainly earned their crowns. No band faced a stiffer series of matchups throughout the tourney — Paramore drew No Doubt in the opening round and Kings of Leon in the second #1 Linkin Park in the Sweet 16 — and that was before they took on tournament vets Tokio Hotel in the Elite 8. Each time, they rose to the challenge, taking the South region title and, in the process, may very well have become the favorites to win it all.
My Chemical Romance
It was heartbreak city for MCR last year, as they rode a wave of fervent fan support all the way to the MMM championship game, only to be crushed by Coheed. They're the only band to climb the mountain once again, and they've done it with a frightening level of proficiency. Because, to this point, My Chemical Romance have yet to be really tested, rolling #14 Panda Bear in round one, #11 Rage Against the Machine in round two and #2 Radiohead in the Sweet 16. They ended 16th-seeded Sum 41's dream run in the Elite 8, wrapping up the East title and barely breaking a sweat. In the Final Four, they'll face off against Paramore, which might very well be the de facto 2011 championship game.
MTV's Musical March Madness has reached the Final Four. All winners are determined by your votes, so, if your favorite act is still standing, it's up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — and you'd better; the MMM trophy is within reach!