Credit: FOX

Tate Stevens has the “aw shucks” thing down so pat, it’s hard to imagine him copping an attitude on The X Factor. But the top dog isn’t just bringing cowboy hats back — he’s bringing country music to the forefront of a largely pop-centric competition. We were impressed with his cover of Brian McKnight during Judges’ Houses, but it’s the country classics he’s making new again that have stolen our attention. We caught up with him at The X Factor party on November 12 to talk about his experiences so far, and where he’s gonna go from here.

Wetpaint: How did you feel when you first found out all the contestants were going to be ranked?
Tate: It was kind of odd, I thought it could be a good thing or a bad thing, it could go both ways. Good if you’re doing well and bad if you’re not. So yeah it kind of made me nervous, very much so.

What was your reaction when you found out where you ranked?
That speaks volumes for country music fans so it was great, it felt good and to be able to share that with my family when they were here that was very cool. The thing is though now is it’s a clean slate so this week everybody is back to even. SO hopefully I se the bar high for myself and I will continue to try to get there.

So what can you tell us about your song choice this week?
You know it’s Diva Week and I am a diva! (Laughs) I am the diva.

Haha, Tate Stevens is a Diva, you heard it here first!
Yeah! It’s very emotional, the song is very emotional.

How do you go about staging an emotional song?
Man I don’t know yet, we’re still working on it, we’re still working on it but hopefully I can draw the emotion that it needs.

Where did you get the inspiration to do something so emotional?
You know it was just one of those things, the diva thing as it is there’s so many great diva singers if you call them that, I don’t know why they call them divas but you know the one that I chose it felt right. I don’t know if that makes sense but it just kind of felt good, I could put myself there. So yeah it’s going to be fun.

If you could duet with one other contestant on The X Factor who would it be and why?
Man you know I’m going to tell you I would say maybe Carly Rose. She’s so amazing, she’s just an amazing singer I think it would be really cool. She has such a big, beautiful voice so I think it would match well.

What would you say has been the best part of this experience so far for you?
That would be hard to wrap up for one the best. This is pretty amazing, I mean the whole thing, just standing here talking to you, this is cool. This is something that you dream about. When you’re thinking what do I want to do for the rest of my life I want to be a musician, I want to be an entertainer this is part of so this whole thing, this whole experience has been awesome.

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