Boyfriend/girlfriend duo Alex & Sierra were named the winners of "The X Factor" U.S.'s third season on Dec. 19, 2013. As with any outcome of a talent show, there are always people who are happy about who won and people who are unhappy about it. Rock singer Jeff Gutt came in second place, and his supporters have been loudly expressing their disappointment on the Internet and elsewhere by saying that he was the contestant who deserved to win. But in case anyone was wondering if it was a close contest, "The X Factor" executive producer/creator Simon Cowell (who was Alex & Sierra's "X Factor" mentor) says it wasn't even close, because Alex & Sierra got the most votes every week.
After the season finale on Dec. 19, 2013, Cowell spoke to several reporters. In an interview captured on video by Celeb Secrets 4 You, Cowell had this to say about how Alex & Sierra did in getting votes every week: "What I did find out was that they won every single week, but the gap was closing, but we held out 'til the end. I genuinely think the right people won."
The British "X Factor" has had a tradition of releasing all the weekly voting statistics after each season finale ends, so people can see where each contestant ranked each week and which percentage of votes each contestant received.
The American "X Factor" doesn't do that but should, because it really would be helpful for a lot of viewers to see what percentage of votes their favorite contestants received.
In 2012, "The X Factor" U.S. did reveal how the contestants were ranked in the votes (but not the exact percentages) in the voting-results episodes. And the voting results revealed that every week in which voting was open to the public, Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar were always the top two contestants. In some weeks, Stevens was No. 1; in other weeks, Sonenclar was No. 1. Stevens ended up winning, while Sonenclar came in second place. (Stevens' self-titled debut album was released on April 2013, and it flopped. He has since parted ways with Sony Music, but that's a whole other story. Sonenclar is signed to Sony Music, but it hasn't been announced yet when her first album will be released.)
Cowell has said in interviews that "The X Factor" U.S. didn't reveal the voting rankings in 2013 because in 2012, people saw that the same two contestants were getting the most votes, so there was no suspense involved by the time the season finale happened. However, there's no reason for the show not to reveal the voting results after the end of the season.
Even though the American "X Factor" won't release the exact voting statistics, it was fairly obvious that Alex & Sierra were the frontrunners on the show this year, based on the fact that they sold more songs on iTunes than any other contestant on the show this year. Alex & Sierra were also the first and so far only "X Factor" U.S. contestant to hit No. 1 on the iTunes (U.S.) Top 100 Songs chart while still a contestant on the show. And they hit No. 1 on the chart twice: first, with their cover version of A Great Big World's "Say Something" and then with their cover version of Sara Bareilles' "Gravity." (Despite hitting No. 1 on iTunes, Alex & Sierra still haven't made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart yet.)
And now that Alex & Sierra (whose full names are Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton) have won $1 million and a Sony Music recording contract as part of "The X Factor" grand prize, they have to prove that they can actually have hit albums. This is where a lot of "X Factor" winners falter. Melanie Amaro, the first winner of "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011, has had her first album (which is titled "Truly") repeatedly delayed. And because all of Amaro's singles were sales flops, there is very little chance that her album will be a hit.
And most of the winners of the British "X Factor" have been dropped by Sony Music because these winners' album sales did not meet expectations. All of the winners on the British "X Factor" had No. 1 hits on the U.K. singles chart, but album sales are where all "X Factor" winners have to prove their worth to Sony Music.
Of course, Sony Music doesn't just sign "X Factor" winners. Several former contestants who placed in the Top 10 have also gotten signed. As I first exclusively reported, these "X Factor" U.S. contestants of 2013 are also headed for deals with Sony Music: Gutt, Latin pop singer Carlito Olivero (who came in third place), country trio Restless Road (fourth place), pop singer Ellona Santiago (sixth place) and possibly R&B singer Josh Levi (seventh place).
Gutt has been saying in interviews that he plans to put a band together, release new music, and tour. There's no word yet on if he plans to perform as a solo artist or do what former "American Idol" contestant Chris Daughtry did, which was form a band and give it his surname. (Jon Bon Jovi did the same thing decades earlier when he formed Bon Jovi.)
As for Olivero, he has also been saying in interviews that he plans to release new music and tour in 2014.
Even with Alex & Sierra's success on iTunes in America, "The X Factor" U.S. still hasn't found an international superstar. It's very unlikely that the show ever will accomplish that goal, since the future of the show looks very uncertain, and the ratings have continued on a downward spiral of losing millions of viewers every year.