Beating out 20,000 entrants and 16 finalists, Melanie Amaro is the winner of The X Factor! The 19-year-old from Sunshine, Florida, beat out Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene for a $5 million recording contract. Amaro's mentor Simon Cowell called it for Amaro after her Wednesday performances, a duet with R. Kelly on "I Believe I Can Fly" and a rendition of Beyoncé's "Listen."
The singer, who was at one point sent home and then brought back to the competition, was understandably speechless when she was announced the winner. "Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!" she gasped before falling to her knees to pray.
"America, thank you for giving this girl an opportunity," Simon said on her behalf. "She is a star."
After attempting to sing, host Steve Jones tried to get an emotional Melanie to say a few words.
"Thank you so much!" she said. "I don't know what to say. Thank you. God is good."
As she promised, Melanie will be using some of her prize money to buy a new house for her mother. And for herself? A foot massage…and a lifetime supply of chicken. "I can't live without it," she says to People. "It's my favorite food." Doesn't look like the star-in-making will ever have to, again.
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(Photo: Ray Mickshaw/Fox/PictureGroup)