Melanie Amaro, 19, became the first winner of Fox's "The X Factor" on Thursday, Dec. 22.
Her earnings include a $5 million recording contract and an appearance in a Pepsi commercial airing next year during the Super Bowl.
Amaro defeated contestants Josh Krajcik, 30, and Chris Rene, 28, for the title of "X Factor" winner. Columbus, Ohio native Krajcik came in second place while Rene, from Santa Cruz, California, came in third place.
Amaro looked stunned when host Steve Jones announced she was the winner, but not so shocked that she forgot to thank God.
"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!" Amaro emotionally exclaimed as she was swarmed by family members. After performing “Listen” by Beyoncé, Amaro said, "God is good," and thanked her fans.
"Thank you so much, thank you. I'm just, I'm so happy and I don't know what to say," she said. "This is something I've wanted for all my life!"
Amaro's victory was ironic considering she was eliminated from “X Factor” after the show’s creator and judge Simon Cowell sent her home during the early rounds. Realizing he made a mistake, Cowell paid a personal visit to Amaro’s home and invited her to join the competition once again.
Cowell expressed that he was pleased with America's choice of Amaro as the first "X Factor" winner. "We came here to find a superstar, we found a superstar. Thank you to everyone who supported the show," Cowell said. He said Krajcik was "a worthy runner-up."
Krajcik congratulated Amaro after the win saying, "Melanie deserves it, she has a wonderful voice."
Early in the show, third-place finalist Rene said he was just grateful for being able to participate in the competition. "I got to touch a lot of people's hearts out there, and I just gotta say thank you," he said.
“X Factor” judge L.A. Reid functioned as Rene's mentor in the competition, and called the contestant a "gentleman" and a "talent."
"This is how it turned out, it doesn't matter. This is my man," Reid said.
Thursday's results show followed Wednesday's performance episode, where the three finalists performed duets with stars: Amaro performed with R&B artist R. Kelly, Krajcik performed with Alanis Morissette and Rene with punk rocker Avril Lavigne.
Thursday’s finale included performances by 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, Pitbull, and Ne-Yo.