Melanie Amaro Wins ‘The X Factor’

Celebrity Q&A, People
on February 13, 2012

Now that Melanie Amaro won The X Factor, what will be her big splurge?

—Fred Wade, Hastings, Neb.

Amaro will have a lot of money to spend as the $5 million recording contract she won is the largest guaranteed prize in TV history. At the top of the 19-year-old's priority list is the purchase of a house for her mother.

"My family has always been my support for me, so whatever I can help them with, I will most definitely help them with," she says of her cash prize.

That the singer, who was born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and raised in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, won The X Factor is pretty amazing, considering that Simon Cowell, who was her mentor, had originally eliminated her, so she did not make the Top 16. He later showed up at her home in Florida saying he had made a "huge mistake" and invited her back into the competition, so the show had a Top 17.

"He was so sincere about coming back to my house and apologizing about everything. I was hurt at first, but I forgave, forgot and let go," Amaro says. "I moved on from it and look at where I am now. What happened is the past and I am looking forward to the future."

All that her future holds has yet to be revealed, but one thing is certain: She will be releasing an album as part of her Sony Music grand prize. And despite a wish for the chance to work with Mariah Carey, Amaro is keeping the wraps on exactly what type of music her album will contain. "I don't want to give that away, but you should look forward to some great music."