Well, here we go. It's Elite Eight time in MTV's Musical March Madness, and it's not exactly hyperbole to call it the greatest round of eight in tournament history.
Why? Well, after voting in the Sweet 16 closed Tuesday at midnight, we bid farewell to both MMM favorites (30 Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park — you will be missed) and proverbial flies in the ointment (Semi Precious Weapons, F---ed Up, we're sad to see you go), leaving us with only the biggest and baddest bands in the land. And now, finally, they're facing each other, with a spot in the Final Four on the line.
Voting in all Elite Eight matchups is now underway, and polls close at midnight ET Thursday. Here's a look at each regional final, all of which promise to be totally epic — especially the Coheed/Tokio Hotel tilt, which might melt our servers. Let's get right to the action!
The mighty Midwest appropriately comes down to #5 My Chemical Romance versus #7 Metallica, a matchup that seemed all but preordained from the minute the brackets were revealed. MCR have proven themselves to be the most-consistent band in MMM history, and with a win here, they'll advance to their third-straight Final Four. All that's standing in their way is Metallica, a band that's battled every step of the way — they've been taken to the wire in practically every round, surviving tough challenges from Guns N' Roses, Sum 41 and Five Finger Death Punch — and now appears to believe that no one can stop them. MCR has yet to truly be challenged in MMM 2012, but we think that trend ends here. Will My Chem continue to roll, or will Metallica's dream run continue to the Final Four? We'll find out over the next 48 hours!
Returning MMM champs Green Day look to move one step closer to defending their crown, as they draw upset-minded "American Idol" fave Adam Lambert in the West final. After sleepwalking through much of their Sweet 16 matchup with another "Idol-ite" (James Durbin), Green Day turned it on late and advanced. Lambert, on the other hand, has shocked pretty much everyone (except for his Glamberts, of course), and sped through each round with relative ease — his throttling of MMM faves Panic! at the Disco in the round of 16 was particularly impressive.
Can he march on to the Final Four? Or will Green Day show the heart of a true champion and advance? This one might be closer than most folks think, and, truly, it wouldn't surprise us to see Lambert pull off the upset of upsets here. Your move, Green Day fans.
In the history of Musical March Madness, there are no two more storied bands than Tokio Hotel and Coheed and Cambria, who continue to dominate year after year. Shoot, Coheed even won the 2010 title, outlasting My Chemical Romance in a truly epic championship game. Of course, as any Tokio Hotel fan will tell you, Coheed only got to that championship game by knocking off TH in the most hotly contested (and, some might say, dubious) Final Four battle in tournament history. They've been waiting two years to get revenge, and, well, here's their chance. Twelfth-seeded Tokio takes on #10 Coheed in the East regional final, and only one band can advance to the Final Four. Vengeance. Acrimony.
Rampant accusations of cheating. This one's been in the works for 24 months now, and it's already living up to the hype (you should see our Twitter feed). We're just going to stand back and watch in awe. It's going to be a great show.
After so many upsets in the early rounds of the tournament, the South was the only region where things played out according to plan, meaning that the region comes down to #1 Evanescence versus #2 Paramore, a clash of two female-fronted bands with truly fanatic fanbases. Both survived tough challenges in the round of 16 (Ev outlasted Linkin Park, and Paramore pulled away from 30 Seconds to Mars), and now, both know a trip to the Final Four is within reach. Paramore have been down this path before, and came oh so close to taking the title last year. Will 2012 be the year they finally take home the MMM championship? Top-seeded Evanescence stands in their way, and they've been getting stronger with each round. Sadly, only one of these bands will move on, while the other will be forced to spend an entire year wondering what might have been. To come this close and lose? Well, that's true heartbreak. Sure to be another tightly contested battle, this one will undoubtedly come right down to the wire (the polls are already super close), and should live up to all the advance billing.
MTV's 2012 Musical March Madness tournament reaches the Elite Eight! Voting runs until midnight ET on Thursday, March 29, and winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite act is still alive, it'll be up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM or by downloading one of our custom badges — but get ready, it only gets more difficult from here on out.