“The X Factor” season finale aired Thursday night as Tate Stevens took away a $5 million contract after winning against Carly Rose Sonenclar. Here are the top 10 facts you need to know about the reality show’s winner.
1. Tate Stevens is a Country Western Singer
2. He Won a $5 Million Contract
The winner of “The X Factor” gets a whopping $5 million contract paid out over five years. It’s history’s largest grand prize won on a television show and it certainly dwarfs the “American Idol” grand prize of $1 million.
3. Stevens is Grateful for the Win
“First and foremost, I gotta thank the man upstairs for taking care of me,” said Stevens, 37, when his win was announced. “My family, all the country music fans — God bless you. Thank you so very much for all the votes. This is the best day of my life.”
4. He Used to be a Contruction Worker
Stevens, 37, gave up his dreams of becoming a singer to become a construction worker to support his family. But his family pushed him to try out for the second season of the show and it’s a good thing they did. The country singer stayed in the top spot in television rankings for half the season.
5. He is From Belton, Mo.
The country singer is from Belton, Mo. Residents in the town crowded in Belton High School and watched and celebrated as Stevens was announced the winner.
6. 13-Year-Old Carly Rose Sonenclar Took Second Place
Carly Rose Soneclar is a songwriter, singer and child actress at the age of 13. She took the place as runner up in the competition. She has experience on Broadway performing in “Les Miserables,” “Wonderland” and in the television series “The Electric Company.” She sadly, yet gracefully congratulated Stevens on the win.
7. Judge L.A. Reid is Proud of Stevens
“I’m going to go into it having all of the confidence in the world. I believe that my guy is the front-runner. I think he’s done everything right, and I sincerely believe in him.” L.A. Reid said before Stevens was announced the winner.
Stevens was on L.A. Reid’s team during the competition. The show differs from “American Idol” where each judge mentors the finalists and aid in their performances by picking the songs they will sing. Reid congratulated Stevens upon his win.
“You deserve this. I’m proud to work with you. I think you represent The X Factor really, really well. So on behalf of Simon and myself and all the judges, congratulations.”
8. Simon Cowell Approves of the Win
“[His age] has been mentioned a few times. “Hey, I don’t want to go back to my day job. ‘Tate, you’re not going back to your day job.’ You know it. I know it. They know it… but no, I said to him a few weeks ago, I would be quite happy to write the check and put his name on it, because he did deserve it, and he did sing extremely well tonight,” Simon Cowell said about the winner.
Simon Cowell is a judge and the creator of the show.
9. Britney Spears Says Sonenclar is Still a Winner
— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) December 21, 2012
Britney Spears is one of the judges and mentored the second place child singer. She is most known for her ridiculous facial expressions on the show:
10. Ratings Dropped for ‘The X Factor’ in the Second Season, but We’ll See a Third
Ratings for “The X Factor” significantly dropped since the first season, but the show is signed on to do a third season. L.A. Reid won’t be one of the judges returning and it is unknown if Britney Spears, who is an expensive addition to the show, will return either.