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The X Factor USA Crowns Winner Of Season 2

SPOILER ALERT: 1D & Pitbull also performed during last night's finale...

SPOILER ALERT: This article covers events not yet screened in the UK.

The X Factor USA crowned its second ever winner last night (20th December) with Tate Stevens beating Carly Rose Sonenclar to the title.

The 37-year old county singer - who had been mentored by LA Reid - said of his win: "First and foremost, I got to thank the man upstairs for taking care of me, my family, all the country music fans.

"God bless you and thank you so very much for all the votes. This is the best day of my life."

Reid - who has already confirmed he will not be returning to the judging panel next year - added: "Congratulations to you, you deserve this... I think you represent The X Factor really well. So on behalf of myself, Simon [Cowell] and all of the judges, congratulations."

Host Mario Lopez went on to pay homage to 13-year old Carly Rose, branding the singer "a little star" and insisting that she had a bright future ahead of her.

Simon Cowell's group Fifth Harmony - who were put together at the Judges' Houses phase of the competition - came third.

As well as Tate Stevens being named the winner, boyband of the moment One Direction and rapper Pitbull also took to the stage to perform.

Meanwhile, in other XF USA news LeAnn Rimes has defended her 'awkward' performance with Sonenclar the previous night, after she was accused of being drunk while singing her hit single How Do I Live with the teen.

Rimes is said to have dismissed the accusations as "gossip and lies", with TMZ quoting her as saying: "I was trying to help this 13-year-old girl who was having some trouble with the song."

LeAnn's lawyer Larry Stein also apparently told the website: "LeAnn was not performing the way she would normally perform, because she was on stage with a young girl."

Rimes later took to Twitter to express her support of Carly Rose, stating: "In my 18 years of performing, I have never been anything but professional on stage.

"It is a shame that gossip and lies are overshadowing the performance of Carly, a very talented young girl."

She added: "And while I have not given any media outlet a quote, if you want one, here it is - 'It was an amazing opportunity to share this experience with Carly and I know I'll be watching for her to win tonight'."