December 07, 2012 8:54am PT by Michele Amabile Angermiller, Sophie Schillaci
Melanie Amaro on Her 'X Factor' Return: 'I Had Nerves'
When it comes down to it, Melanie Amaro is a loyal daughter through and through.
The X Factor season one champ revealed that winning the $5 million contract with Syco Music and Epic Records changed her mother's life for the better, as well as her own.
"It gave me a new start," the 20-year old singer told THR. "It boosted my career. It helped me to financially help my mom. I got her that house."
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-born Amaro returned to the X Factor stage for Thursday night's results show, performing her new single, “Long Distance.” Earlier this fall, Amaro released the Rodney Jerkins-produced track "Don’t Fail Me Now"; written by Livvi Franc, the song served as a teaser for her debut album, Truly.
Amaro said she got a kick out of performing in front of her former mentor, Simon Cowell, once more.
"I had nerves," she said. "I don’t know if you noticed. It’s like, 'oh my god, Simon is watching me!' But what was good was the fact that I didn’t have to sing and then get criticized. So, I feel bad for the contestants."
The X Factor alum has been closely following the competition all season -- but can’t decide on a favorite.
“Carly [Rose Sonenclar] is definitely amazing. I think Fifth Harmony is amazing. I think Tate [Stevens] is amazing,” she said. “Emblem3, Diamond [White], CeCe [Frey]. They’ve all been doing so well."
Watch Amaro perform below:
What do you think, X Factor fans? Are you psyched for Amaro's debut CD? Let us know in the comments below!