The X Factor USA's very first winner may not have planned her next career step, but Melanie Amaro knows exactly where a good chunk of that five million dollar cash prize is going—to her mother!
"I'm gonna buy my mom a house," said Melanie proudly. Following that sweet splurge, Amaro plans to give herself a much deserved rest with a "first class plane ticket to Hawaii." The 19-yr-old tells ET she wants nothing more than to spend her holidays relaxing on the beach with a pina colada in hand. Virgin, of course.
Melanie was initially cut from the competition early on which made the win infinitely more momentous for Amaro and her mentor Simon Cowell. "I really, really wanted her to win," said Cowell of his uber-talented protégé. "I like Josh, I like Chris, but I really, really wanted this for her."
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While Simon remained confident in his pool of gifted girls, he confesses that the moments before host Steve Jones announced the winner were some of the most nerve wracking of his life. "The pressure got to me tonight," he admitted after the finale. "You have a responsibility for them winning or losing, and there is that moment, and I had it tonight. You go… did I get it right last night? Did we choose the right songs? Because for her, this is a life changing moment. Five million dollars. I was aware of that when I was thinking about it and the pressure got to me tonight."
While the immensity of her achievement "hasn't sunk in" yet, Melanie says "the sky's the limit," and she's all fired up to move towards her unquestionably bright future.