Tate Stevens for the win!
On Thursday's season-two finale of The X Factor, the 37-year-old country singer, whose mentor was L.A. Reid, walked away with a $5 million recording contract.
Waiting for the results was excruciating, Stevens admitted to Us Weekly backstage. "Leading up to that moment, I wanted to throw up because it was so intense," he told Us. "I was like, 'Ugh, oh my gosh,' and when they called my name I just remember looking at LA Reid and I said, 'They called my name. I won.' And I turned into a big old puddle of mush and we had a big man hug for a while."
He added gratefully: "I'm blessed,and I can't thank people enough for everything they've done, the country fans, Tate Nation!"
As Stevens waits for the big news to sink in, he's not sure yet how he and his wife and their two kids will celebrate. "I think it's going to take a while. I think it's going to take a while to sink in and really get the magnitude of what happened tonight. This is huge. We have the rest of our lives to celebrate this! [My family] sacrified a lot for me to even do this, which means a ton … it's very amazing."
Thursday night also marked Reid's final evening as a mentor/judge on the show. "It was emotional," Reid told Us. "The beauty of X Factor is that – and the biggest joy I get from it is that I know we actually get to change some people's lives. That's what I love, right. I don't really need fame, I don't need popularity. What I really need is that really good complete feeling that I've helped change someone's life . . .I had a great time doing the X Factor."