December 23, 2011 12:47am PT by Jethro Nededog
'X Factor's' Melanie Amaro: 'I've Come So Far From Where I Was' (Video)
Even a couple hours after Melanie Amaro found out that she had indeed won Fox’s The X Factor and its prize of a $5 million recording contract, she told reporters that it hadn’t really “sunk in.” Yet, that didn’t mean she didn't know exactly what she has to do next.
“At this moment, I feel as if I’ve worked so hard and I’ve come so far from where I was,” Amaro, 19, tells reporters. “From this moment, I have to continue to work hard and make my dreams come true – my dream has already come true – but I have to continue to do my best.”
The Florida resident was clearly popular with the fans, having never found herself in the show’s bottom two, and she was effusive about how thankful she was for the support. The fans, her tough past, and mentor Simon Cowell seemed to give her the tools to get through the competition.
“Simon told me never to doubt my talent, never doubt myself,” she says. “And I think that was the best advice I was given, because every time I go on stage I think of it.”
The powerful singer, who made singing Beyonce’s “Listen” look easy on the finale performance show, was actually cut after the judges’ homes auditions. And that would have made for a very different competition. But, Simon changed his mind. And with the blessing of the other judges, he asked her to return to the competition. Melanie says she has no hard feelings over Simon’s original decision and doesn’t claim to feel any vindication as the show’s ultimate winner.
“I feel as though he made a mistake and he made up for it,” she says. “And he came back out to get me. I was so happy and so thrilled to have that second chance.”
As far as her upcoming album and even the possibility of releasing a winner’s single, Melanie isn’t saying a thing. But, she knows exactly what she’s going to do right away.
“I’m going to sleep, hopefully catch up on some sleep,” she says. “Maybe go celebrate my family and friends, all my loved ones.”
Watch the full interview with Melanie above.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro