Simon Cowell loses a $20,000 bet to fellow The X Factor judge L.A. Reid, banking his hopes and his paycheck on Carly Rose Sonenclar.
Cowell was so confident in Sononclar, the big-piped finalist of the singing reality contest, that he placed a $20,000 bet that she would win it all. L.A. Reid put his faith and his money behind country singer Tate Stevens, the New York Daily News reported.
The judges reportedly made the bet at the beginning of the season, each of them pledging that if they had a contestant win the finals the other judge had to pay $20,000, TMZ noted.
Come the finals on Thursday night, Tate Stevens takes home the crown, L.A. Reid wins the bet and Simon Cowell loses $20,000.
Simon Cowell wasn't the only one surprised by the result. Tate was seen as an unlikely winner, the 37-year-old country singer not fitting the typical mold of the made-for-television pop star that tends to win reality singing competitions. He told Rolling Stone after the win that it felt "surreal."
"Everyone put in the time and grinded it out every day. So it was relief, like, 'Oh my gosh, it's over.' It's hard to put into words right now. It's still very surreal. It's overwhelming. It's still very, yeah, like, this is so cool. I just remember looking around and thinking, 'Oh my gosh. It's me. I did it.' Dreams do come true."