Those who thought 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar will win "The X-Factor (US)" were surprised by country music singer Tate Stevens, who won season 2 of the high-rating TV reality singing competition on December 20. Once a highway worker before joining "X-Factor", Stevens was mentored by songwriter and record producer L.A. Reid.
In an exclusive interview with JustJared, Stevens talked about his win, his plans and his upcoming debut album. He spoke about winning over Carly, how he was confident throughout the competition but then also getting nervous especially during finale night. He listed Wednesday performance nights as his favorite moment of the season.
Asked about his family's reaction to his win, Stevens said his family was equally excited and overwhelmed as him and mused over how their lives are also going to change overnight because of his win. He only had kind words for Simon Cowell, who called Stevens "the next Garth Brooks."
"You know what, that's never going to happen, said Stevens with a laugh," but if I'm a third as fortunate as him, that would be amazing. Cowell had given Stevens good comments throughout the season, at one point telling Stevens, "You're an honest, good man and you deserve what this can do for you. You deserve a chance."
Stevens won a $5million recording contract which he'll be working on soon after the holidays. He shared, "Basically, I'm flying home tonight and I'm going to spend the holidays with my kids and wife. On January 2, I'm in Nashville and we're starting on my record."
As for collaborating with other artists on his upcoming debut album, Stevens had to say, "Honestly, there's a bunch of people who hopefully in the future I'll get to work with. You have the Martina McBride's and the Reba McEntire's, those people of the world. Even doing some cool collaborations with the Jason Aldean's and the Brad Paisley's and those kind of guys, it would be a lot of fun I think."