'X Factor' Finale Makes No Mention of Melanie Amaro? Says Simon Cowell: 'It Wasn't Deliberate'

Unlike the season one winner's as-yet-to-be-released first album, head judge Cowell promises Tate Stevens' debut will "happen much quicker."
Ray Mickshaw / FOX

“Whoever it is, it’s going to be a life-changing moment,” said Mario Lopez, flanked by finalists Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar in the final moments of the X Factor’s season two closer. Yet we couldn’t help but wonder: if this moment were so course-altering, how come there wasn’t one reference to last year’s winner, Melanie Amaro? After all, she too was promised stardom and success, not to mention support.

So was there one utterance of Melanie Amaro’s name? We asked creator and head judge Simon Cowell, who said with a smirk like he’d just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, “You know the answer to that … and well-pointed out two hours later.” He then defended the singer, who was a second-chance addition (a la this season's Diamond White) and his own mentee, adding that the snub “wasn't deliberate.”

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No doubt he had plenty on his mind, what with that red carpet-Christmas extravaganza to navigate, his boys One Direction in town and the still lingering aftertaste of curious performances from the previous night (we're looking at you, Leann Rimes). Still, it doesn’t exactly bode well for the show whose most basic promise is a music career, when its inaugural victor is nowhere to be found.

To be fair, Amaro did appear on the show a few weeks ago and it’s not like her fellow season one finalists, some of whom live within miles of the X Factor studio, made token appearances in the audience on finale night, either, and several of them also scored Sony Music record deals. Indeed, judge and Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid, whose roster includes season one's Amaro, Chris Rene, Marcus Canty and rapper Astro, told reporters after the show that he anticipates three or four of season two’s lot will also be offered recording contracts (despite the existence of official Syco-branded websites, neither Sonenclar or Fifth Harmony have been signed yet, according to Cowell).

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Cowell confirmed that winner Tate Stevens is already committed to Sony Nashville and that, as of Jan. 2, he will be working on songs with hit writer John Shanks (Miley Cyrus, Michelle Branch). Unlike Amaro’s as-yet-to-be-released first album, Cowell promised that Stevens’ debut will “happen much, much quicker.”

Both better get hustling, because today’s X Factor champion can be yesterday’s news in a hot TV minute.

What do you think of the show's Melanie Amaro snub? Let us know in the comments.

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin