Tate Stevens! The 37-year-old country crooner beat out runner-up 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar for the top prize Thursday night. 35 million votes were cast Wednesday to determine victory for L.A. Reid's mentee.
Near tears, the Raymore, Missouri native thanked his fans for their overwhelming support.
"This is the best day of my life," said an emotional Stevens.
Girl group Fifth Harmony, mentored by Simon Cowell, placed third in the competition. Earlier in the night, the holiday themed finale saw performances by One Direction and Pitbull.
Auditions for an all-new season of The X Factor USA have already begun online. In-person auditions will start on March 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.
The celebrity judging panel has yet to be announced, but L.A. Reid has already taken himself out of the running. Spears has expressed interest in returning to the show for season three, but nothing has been confirmed.
Beauties from 89 countries strutted their stuff Wednesday night in pursuit of the Miss Universe crown, but only one woman would earn the coveted title.
In the end a panel of ten celebrity judges, including Cee Lo Green and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, appointed Miss USA Olivia Culpo the winner.
The 20-year-old Rhode Island native beat out Miss Brazil (Gabriela Markus) Miss Philippines (Janine Tugonon), Miss Mexico (Irene Sofía Esser Quintero), and Miss Australia (Renae Ayris) for the distinction.
Culpo follows in the footsteps of Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, who earned the crown in 2011.
The two-hour show was broadcast live from Las Vegas with musical acts One Direction and Train lending their talents to the annual extravaganza.
Break out the Woof! Woof! fist pump: Arsenio Hall is coming back to late night TV in the Fall of 2013 after a 17-year break from the game, and only ET is behind the scenes with the timeless talk show host as he shoots his first-ever promo for The Arsenio Hall Show!
"[This is] the first time America will see anything on television about the show," says Arsenio. "Instead of a commercial where I do something like say, 'I'm baaaaack' -- and everybody's, 'Ugh' -- they've come up with a real, unique, creative angle that -- actually, I looked at dailies, and it scared me. I looked at the dailies and I frightened myself."
The trailer-length promo from CBS Television Distribution pays homage to horror movies and begins airing today on all Arsenio Hall Show affiliate stations, kicking off the campaign for the new late night syndicated talk show that will be seen all across the country next year.
"I'm real excited about this; so many things have changed in pop culture since I left the air," says Arsenio about his return to late night. "I can't wait."
The Arsenio Hall Show premieres on 9/9/13. Look for much more with Arsenio between now and then, only on ET!
For 2012, Time Magazine has selected President Barack Obama as their Person of the Year.
"For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is Time's 2012 Person of the Year," Time's Managing Editor Richzard Stengel explained.
He also cited both of the president's re-elections, snagging over 50 percent of the popular vote, as one reason he received this honor.
This is the second year Time has tapped Obama as their Person of the Year -- he previously was selected in 2008 for becoming the first black president of the United States.
Time previously named the eight finalists for 2012's Person of the Year. They included: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Malala Yousafzai (the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for her crusade for better girls' education), Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and the three scientists who discovered the Higgs Boson particle.