X Factor‘ 2012 winner: Tate Stevens crowned Season 2 champion

_tate stevens

The country vote never fails.

Tate Stevens, 37, was crowned “X Factor” Season 2 champion tonight over Carly Rose Sonenclar, proving that it is never too late to live your dream and sing on-stage with a cowboy hat like a real country star.

Joking aside, the Belton, Mo. native likely will be a country star one day — he definitely has the voice for it. Tate was a fan favorite from the beginning, coupling his pure, powerful voice with a likeable, family-oriented personality. The $5 million recording contract couldn’t have fallen to a nicer guy. He and his family deserve it. No more concrete work for this man.

“This is the best day of my life,” Tate said, holding back tears as he gave his reaction.

Tate blew the judges away in his St. Louis audition, belting out a strong cover of “Anything Goes” by Cole Porter. Through the middle rounds, he never stumbled, was always poised and easily advanced to the live shows.

Somewhere in the middle of the season, Tate began to get a bit boring with passionate country ballad after passionate country ballad but turned up the heat with a rousing rendition of “Bonfire” by Craig Morgan in the semifinals. But who knows? It may not have mattered. Tate clearly had the country vote in his corner and they put him at or near the top of the leaderboard each week.

Other highlights for Tate included great versions of Lonestar’s “I’m Already There” and “Tough” by Craig Morgan.

And when he re-sang “Anything Goes” Wednesday night, he reminded everyone why he deserved to win.

I have no doubt that this loving husband and father will have a successful career in country music. Good for him.

Oh, and fun fact: Tate Stevens is not his real name.


• You have to feel for Carly Rose, but all things considered, this was right decision. Tate said it best. “These kids want to win. I need to win.” And he did.

• Tate’s wife and daughter are getting a great Christmas this year.

• Writing about the big X has been a fun ride and for those of you who stuck it out with me, thanks for reading. I’ll be back for “American Idol” in a few weeks. What can I say? I’m a sucker for these singing shows.

By Bobby Olivier/The Star-Ledger for nj.com