Just seconds after Sunrise, Florida native Melanie Amaro was declared the winner of The X Factor, the boyfriend she met on the FOX reality show shared her joy by rushing onstage to give her a hug.
Rumors have flown that the 19-year-old songbird has been dating former X Factor contestant Trace Kennedy, whose band Stereo Hogzz was eliminated early in the competition. The couple recently tweeted a picture of them together, but Melanie hasn’t talked about her guy to reporters.
After she beat out Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene for the X Factor championship, reporters coaxed Melanie into talking a little bit about how Trace shared her joy. Melanie said Trace’s hug onstage after she won “felt amazing. He is a great guy.”
She also revealed Trace was so happy for her. “He was like, ‘I am so proud of you man, I am so proud.'"
In fact, the musician was beaming and wouldn’t leave Melanie’s side on the stage. “He was like, ‘I want to give her another hug, man,’" she laughed. And the singer said she and Trace would be celebrating her victory Thursday night with other friends and family members. “He’s a wonderful person," she added coyly.
Meanwhile, she did open up about how surreal it was to win the first season of X Factor. “It has not sunken in yet. I am still working on helping that get in my head. It’s still … wow. I’m sorry, I just can’t get it that I just won,” she told reporters.
“I need to clean my ears more often. It was like, ‘What did he say? What?’ It was like, ‘Did he say me? Oh, he said my name?’ I was so shocked, but I was so happy.”
Melanie was so overcome with emotion she forgot the words to the song she was supposed to sing to end the show. “To think I have sung ‘Listen’ about a million times and for me to get up there and not remember any of the words … I couldn't remember anything as I was so overwhelmed and struck with this big thing. It was such a surprise to me. It was like walking into a room full of people and them all yelling ‘Surprise!’ You're like, ‘OK.’ So for me to have won was big. I feel blessed and I feel happy and feel I have worked so hard to get here and I truly deserve this.”
The singer, who won a $5 million recording contract, said her immediate plans were to splurge on “a good foot massage, because these heels are killing my feet.” She knows the money will change her life. “I mean, the most I've ever had is like $200, if I was lucky. I think I want to buy my mommy a house, I think she deserves that. I'm going to buy a new house because the one we live in right now sucks. And I want to buy a lifetime supply of chicken. I can't live without chicken. It’s my favorite food and you can cook it any way and I’ll eat it.”
When asked by Wetpaint Entertainment what kind of record she wants to make, Melanie said, “You know, I'm not telling anyone right now. I think I'm going to surprise everybody and when they hear it they'll say, ‘Is that Melanie Amaro on the radio? No!’"
"I want to surprise everybody because everybody thinks I just do these humongous ballads, and don't get me wrong I can do those and do a good job at them — I don’t know if you agree — and I like the ballads but I want to show people that is more to me and that I can do anything if I put my mind to it, which I think I have proved already and that's good.”
She’s determined to stay true to herself and not let others decide things for her: "I can hold my own. God has brought me this far and I am guaranteeing he is going to hold my hand and continue to guide me.”
Her relationship with mentor and judge Simon Cowell was a lot of push-pull, she revealed. “I had to be able to stand up and say, ‘I don’t know if I like that very much.’ There were many times we went back and forth but then I would sing things and think, 'This doesn't sound all that bad. Wow, this sounds good,’ I guess I'm going to sing this one then. It's a process and we have to have our back-and-forth about singing things or not."
“He said to always believe in myself and I could go anywhere.”
The turning point for Melanie came when Simon, who had eliminated her, then took her back on the show: “He apologized. He made a mistake, everyone does, it was a stupid mistake but … I forgave and I forgot and continued to believe in myself.”
Melanie said she told runner-up Josh, “You have nothing to worry about, you have gone far. [And] to be honest tonight if his name was going to be called and not mine I would've been completely fine with that. He is an amazing person and an amazing artist and an amazing friend and an all-around amazing guy. He’s worked just as hard as I have. I respect him and I would love to work with him, I would love to.”
The young girl with the huge voice plans now plans to “catch up on some sleep."
"You can’t see the bags under my eyes, thank God. Makeup works wonders. But at this moment I am taking what is thrown at me and working with what I have and trying to move forward with my life.”