Credit: Fox
Simon Cowell, American Idol

The X Factor wrapped up its second season on Thursday with a holiday-themed blowout, crowning its winner at the end of the two-hour episode. So long as you’re unafraid of spoilers, read on to learn what Simon and co. had to say about who took home the $5 million prize.

Credit: Fox

Simon Cowell: “I have to say yes, [the right person did win]. There are times on these shows when you think, ‘Oh God, after all this time the wrong person won,” but you know, when he sang that song at the end and you hear how good his voice is and his story, you could not not root for him. I think America got it right. It’s a great ending.”

Mario Lopez: “You can’t argue with America. I just love the fact that this is the only show a 37-year-old guy could get a shot and he took that shot and he won the whole thing. He’s a blue-collar guy with kids — it’s just an amazing story. And I think the other [contestants] are going to be just fine.”

L.A. Reid: “The biggest joy I get from [The X Factor] is that I know we actually get to change some people’s lives. That’s what I love, right. I don’t really need fame, I don’t need popularity. What I really need is that really good complete feeling that I’ve helped change someone’s life. And that’s always been my mission, and I had a great time doing the X Factor.”

Khloé Kardashian Odom: “Tate is so open with his emotions. He’s onstage in front of millions of people, and he’s a grown man that will shed a tear, and I think that’s something that’s so endearing about him. Something that I found really cool about Tate is that every time he would be like, “You know, tomorrow I might have to go back home and get back to work,” and I’m like, “Are you kidding? Do you hear yourself?” It’s interesting that it doesn’t go to [his] head a little bit. I couldn’t imagine singing out there and everyone praising you and — I think it would [go to your head], but it never did for him.”

The judges and hosts also weighed in on who should replace departing judge L.A. Reid — Mario Lopez suggested Fergie. Reid himself said with a laugh, “I think Rihanna should fill my spot, so that I have a reason to watch.”

Click here to read Annie Barrett’s recap of The X Factor‘s season 2 finale.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

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Simon Cowell, American Idol
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Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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