'The X Factor' winner on that final song, and the secret hand-gesture with the runner-up

Melanie-X-Factor

Image Credit: Nino Munoz/Fox

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know who won the first season of The X Factor! For the rest of you, check out what the winner had to say below: 

In my on the scene report from Wednesday’s performance finale episode of The X Factor, I noted that Melanie Amaro had yet to display the kind of personality in interviews with the press that has been steadily apparent otherwise on the show. Well, now that she’s officially the show’s inaugural winner, whatever guard she’s had up with reporters was nowhere to be found in the few quick minutes she spoke with EW after the show. From tearing up over the mere mention of her grandmother, to her breathless explanation of an inside joke she has with runner-up Josh Krajcik that I’m honestly still not sure I completely understand, Amaro behaved, well, like you’d expect someone who just won $5 million would behave. Check out our conversation below:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First of all, congratulations!
MELANIE AMARO: Thank you!

For a second at the very end there, it didn’t seem like you were going to be able to finish your song. What happened?
All I was thinking, “Oh my God, I just won!” and my mind went blank. And to think — I’ve sung “Listen” a million times. I could not remember my words. I was like, “What are my words! I just won!” I got all tongue-tied.

But then you hit it at the chorus — it was actually pretty powerful.
I had to. It was like, “You know this song. Do what you love. Do what got you here. Sing.”

Seeing your grandmother 
[Her eyes begin to well up]
— well, obviously it bowled you over.
It did, because I haven’t seen my grandmother in a very long time. So to be able to see her and see that she’s supporting me where she is, it was an amazing feeling. I was so overwhelmed and happy to see her.

Your duet with Josh was really sweet. At the end, you each pointed two fingers at your eyes and then at each other. What was that about?
You know, we always have this thing from the beginning, from boot camp. We’d say to each other, “You know, we’re going to be in the two.” We always used to say it — well, he used to say it to me. After a while, it just sort of caught on, and I used to say it back to him. [Making the same two-fingered hand gesture] “We’re going to be in the final two.” “We’re going to be in the final two.” And then he used to say to me, “Oh, when we’re in the final two, it’s going to be all on our faces.” [Circles face with two fingers] “It’s going to be in our faces. It’s not going to be my face, or your face, it’s going to be our faces.” So we always had this thing where, every time we got through, it’s like, “It’s in our faces!” So tonight, he was like, “Wow, it’s in my face, tonight. It’s in my face.”

He’s amazing. And to be honest, if he had won tonight, I would’ve been completely okay with it. Because he’s an amazing singer, and he’s a sweet guy. But I’m really happy I’m here.

Finally, what’s the one thing you’ve missed the most through this whole process?
Caribbean food. I’m so sick of fast food and the salads. I just need some real Caribbean cooking right about now.

Read more:
‘The X Factor’ season finale recap: All I Want For Christmas is $5 Million
‘The X Factor’: Josh and Chris talk about the future, and duetting with Melanie
‘The X Factor’: Are the judges returning next season? ‘Maybe I won’t be here,’ jokes Simon (we think)

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