Sounds like no one was as surprised as Tate Stevens to learn last week on live TV, no less that viewer votes put him at No. 1 among 13 acts on Foxs The X Factor. No. 1!
By TIM ENGLE
The Kansas City Star
Crazy! the country singer from Raymore told us in a quick backstage phone interview from L.A. on Monday. I really just wanted to make it to the next week, so to be voted No. 1 was just awesome. It speaks volumes for the country music fans out there.
Wed wondered about that. Was Stevens polling so well because he has made a lot of fans? Or because hes the only country act in a field of pop acts?
I would like to say both, Stevens says. People are really getting behind what I do, and the rest of the nation that watches is like, Man, lets get the country guy through.
He knows that local fans, including those whove been gathering Wednesday nights at the Belton High School Freshman Center, are pulling for him. (If his No. 1 ranking is due to the Freshman Center crowd, its kind of a miracle.) But hes been reading tweets of support from all around the country.
We also asked Stevens, a (former?) Belton street crew worker, about:
• His schedule: Were here (in L.A.), he said. You dont leave until you go home (after being voted out). But his wife, Ashlie, and two kids flew there last week to see him perform.
I hadnt seen em in a month, Stevens says. For them to be here was awesome, just to get to hug em and love on em and talk to em face to face.
• Choking up onstage: You know, he says, laughing, its very emotional, man. Its tougher than you would imagine, to be out here and the stress youre under. I guess you could call me a crier. (But) its real. Its real feeling, and I cant do anything about it.
• The X Factor stage: Its a great feeling. Its big. You dont see this (kind of production) in the largest tours, so its pretty cool.
Will he be surrounded by glittery dancing girls one of these nights? I have no idea. I might come out with my pants on fire.
• Song selection: He says he goes in with ideas, and the producer and his mentor, judge L.A. Reid, bring ideas as well. The best one wins.
• On whether he can actually win: By God, thatd be cool. Thats why Im here.
The X Factor airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.
To reach Tim Engle, call 816-234-4779 or email email@example.com.