MTV's Musical March Madness has been full of surprises — the Flaming Lips knocking off My Chemical Romance ... Walk The Moon's improbable string of upsets ... Florence and the Machine's takedown of tourney faves Coheed and Cambria — but, by far, this year's biggest shocker has been the continued success of Ed Sheeran, who entered MMM an unknown, but has quickly served notice that he's a force to be reckoned with.
After knocking off Guns N' Roses and Muse in the first two rounds — the latter of which was extra sweet for Sheeran, considering the bad blood between him and the Muse guys — he rode the support of his "Sheerios" to a shocking upset of MMM vets Evanescence. And now, he's locked in a heated Elite 8 battle with Paramore.
A win there would put Sheeran in the Final Four ... where he'd likely face off against defending MMM champions Tokio Hotel. But if you think Sheeran's afraid of them, well, you'd be wrong. Why? Well, for starters, before the tournament started, he wasn't even aware of Tokio Hotel's existence.
"Are they an American band? I don't want to sound odd but I haven't heard of them. That's probably me just living under a rock though, if they are defending their championship," Sheeran laughed. "They must have a mental fanbase. My fans, I don't know how much time they spend in front of a computer; they've got school and stuff! They can't be sitting there entering Captcha codes all day."
That's not him being cocky, either. Sheeran's been this way throughout the entire MMM tournament — when he was battling Muse, he wasn't even sure if he wanted to win, since he'd "probably just get beaten by someone like Paramore" eventually. And now, lo and behold, he's facing off against Hayley Williams and Co. ... and with Elite 8 voting set to close on Friday, April 5 at noon ET, this one seems destined to go right down to the wire.
So can Sheeran continue to shock the world, and punch his ticket to the Final Four? Well, that's gonna be up to his Sheerios; so, Ed, any last-minute pep talks to help get out the vote?
"If you'd like to vote for me in Musical March Madness, please do. But don't feel pressured to do so, just because it's a fanbase thing," he said. "I know the love is there, you know they love's there. It's just a Captcha code on an Internet screen, isn't it?"
MTV's Musical March Madness tournament moves to the Elite 8! Voting is now open in all matchups and polls close Friday, April 5 at noon ET, at which point we'll head to the Final Four. All winners are determined by your votes, so if your favorite act made the cut, it'll be up to you to guide them to glory! You can spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, it's gonna be a war.