The boyfriend/girlfriend duo of Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton were crowned Season 3 champions of "The X Factor" Thursday night.
Detroit rocker Jeff Gutt finished second and Carlito Olivero, a Latin-pop specialist from Chicago, took third on the Fox reality series.
Alex and Sierra, an indie folk/pop duo based in Daytona Beach, Fla., met each other in high school and have been dating over two years. They came out of the Groups division and were mentored by show creator and head judge Simon Cowell. The couple captured a $1 million recording contract with Sony Music.
Their victory was hardly a surprise. Poised and polished, they had never finished in the Bottom 2 all season and scored multiple Top 10 showings on the iTunes. Their sweet love story clearly won them a lot of fans, as well.
"This is incredible," Alex blurted after hearing the results. "Thank you so much for getting us here and thanks for not making fun of my weird faces all the time," Sierra added.
Said Cowell, "I feel like Christmas just came early."
But now can an American "X Factor" winner attain viability on the pop charts? Previous winners, Melanie Amaro and Tate Stevens, have yet to hit it big.
Alex and Sierra probably sealed their victory with Wednesday night's beautifully poignant rendition of "Say Something" by A Great Big World.
The two-hour results show featured performances from "Glee" star Lea Michele, who sang "Cannonball," the single off her debut solo album, and One Direction performing their new single, "Midnight Memories." Also appearing were Mary J. Blige, Pitbull, Leona Lewis and Ke$ha.
Contact Chuck Barney at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.ChuckBarney, or Twitter.com/chuckbarney
(c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.
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Original headline: 'The X Factor' finale: And the winner is ...
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