And the ‘X Factor’ Season 3 Winner Is…
photo: Reuters/Kevork Djansezian
"The X Factor USA" has suffered from a credibility problem over the past two years, with its ratings in steady decline and winners Melanie Amaro and Tate Stevens failing to sell (or even release) many records. But with folk duo Alex & Sierra, who were crowned the show's Season 3 winners on Thursday, the fledgling "X Factor USA" may finally replicate the success it has had with U.K. contestants like Leona Lewis and One Direction.
"I feel like Christmas just came early…thank you America," said the duo's delighted mentor, Simon Cowell. As for Alex & Sierra themselves, they seemed to be in shock. All Sierra could muster was: "Thanks America, for not making fun of my weird faces all the time!"
The realization that they'd actually just won a $1 million Sony record deal seemed to finally set in when they started to sing "Say Something." Alex couldn't even get through the already weepy song, he was crying so hard...and by the time the rest of the top 13 ran onstage, all dressed in white, to congratulate them, everyone else was crying, too.
While lovebirds Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton, both age 22, didn't start off as this year's frontrunners, and Sierra had had surprisingly little onstage singing experience before auditioning with her boyfriend for the show, the twosome quickly became the most fascinating finalists of Season 3. There really was no contestant like them in the history of "The X Factor" — or of any singing competition, for that matter — and they always put their stamp on every song they covered, whether it was Robert Palmer, Britney Spears, or even the Grease soundtrack. And soon those cover songs were all over the iTunes charts.