The September 19 episode of The X Factor USA 2012 featured a string of solid auditions from hopefuls around the nation. Although the judges sent several acts through with four yes votes, it was Belton, Missouri's Tate Stevens who earned mega high praise when one judge dubbed him "an American classic superstar."
Tate, 37, looked forward to performing for Demi Lovato, L. A. Reid, Britney Spears, and guest judge Louis Walsh, explaining that he'd "been waiting for a chance like this my whole life." The road worker noted that the timing had never been right for him to pursue a career in music, since he'd been busy supporting his family and raising his kids.
He stepped on stage wearing a light-colored cowboy hat and greeted the panelists with a "howdy." He immediately showed off his good nature and sense of humor by joking that he liked to rap, and quipped that they'd have to ask his wife what he'd do with the $5 million prize since it would all go straight to her.
Fortunately, Tate's affable nature wasn't the only thing he had going for him: He also showed off an incredible set of pipes with his rendition of "Anything Goes." His tone was clear and the vocals amazingly powerful and purely country. The audience erupted with applause in appreciation, and Tate's 11-year-old daughter cried backstage.
Demi found him "so likable" and noted the audience's impressive positive response. Louis declared, "we've found ourselves a country star," and praised his voice as "effortless" and "authentic." Britney said he was her favorite act of the day to that point, and L. A.'s only criticism was that he'd "waited so long to do what you're doing." He called him a "true country star," and after Tate had left the stage, he told the audience that they'd found "an American classic superstar" in Kansas City.
Will Tate Stevens make his way to the live shows later this year? Keep watching The X Factor USA 2012 and find out.