The X Factor ended its second season on Fox in country style on Thursday night when Tate Stevens was named the winner of a $5 million recording contract.
It was a two-hour X Factor finale filled with celebrity performers and surprises as Pitbill and One Direction set the festive tone before Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens, and Fifth Harmony took the stage one last time ahead of the big announcement. To close out the season, the previously eliminated Top 12 finalists also returned for a bittersweet moment of what-could-have-been before the holidays.
When the X Factor got down to business, Fifth Harmony was the first act cut from the competition following a great run to the finale. After working hard all season to keep pace with Tate Stevens and Carly Rose, Fifth Harmony went into the finale as the underdog. Despite the loss, the girls still have a good shot at landing a record deal, especially with Simon Cowell as their mentor. Will the girls become the female equivalent of One Direction, who also placed third on The X Factor UK? Only time will tell.
With the finale in full swing, Pitbull hit the stage to give fans his latest single, “Don’t Stop the Party,” before One Direction wowed young screaming fans with “Kiss You” from their new album Take Me Home. Although Pitbull’s aptly titled song kept the party going, the appearance of One Direction was an example of how global success can be found beyond The X Factor.
Prior to the big announcement, Tate Stevens and Carly Rose hit the stage one last time for a duet on “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, which reflected their rise to the top of the X Factor field this season. It was a fitting way to close out the musical portion of the show before Christmas.
So, how did the winner shake down on Thursday night?
In the final minutes of the finale, Tate Stevens was named the winner in what some would call a shocking X Factor moment. Although young fans were rooting for Carly Rose to win, Stevens got major support from his “Tate Nation” when it mattered most. A front-runner in the rankings all season long, Tate revealed plans to begin his country music career in Nashville.
Who did you want to win The X Factor this season?