(Yahoo!) - From the beginning of "The X Factor" Season 2, Simon Cowell pushed the show as a tweenybopper program, hiring barely-20-year-old former Disney star Demi Lovato and pop princess Britney Spears as the new judges, and packing the season's top 13 with Teens, Young Adults, and three very young Groups. Simon's rival judge, L.A. Reid, was in fact so upset to be saddled with the dreaded "Over-25's" category that he threw a hissyfit and slammed down his phone in disgust when he was given his assignment. But on this Thursday's "X Factor" Season 2 finale, age trumped youth, and L.A.'s 37-year-old country crooner beat out Britney's 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar and Simon's teenage girl group Fifth Harmony to win the show's $5 million record contract.
Tate is now the oldest champion in the entire "X Factor" franchise's history; the record was previously held by Steve Brookstein, who won the very first season of "The X Factor U.K." at age 36 in 2004.
Said a triumphant Tate, punching the air upon hearing the news: "First and foremost, I've got to thank the Man upstairs for taking care of me, and also my family, all the music fans, and thank you so very much for all the votes. This is the best day of my life!"
L.A. Reid probably regrets his aforementioned tantrum now. He did sound sincere when he told Tate, "Congratulations to you. You deserve this. I'm proud to work with you, and I think you represent 'The X Factor' very, very well."
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