‘The X Factor’ USA: Winner Tate Stevens replaces Phillip Phillips for NYE special

Tate StevensWhy not replace the winner of one singing competition with another? This was apparently the strategy of Fox, who has been forced to make a last-minute scheduling modification to their New Year’s Eve lineup after a unplanned change has caused for “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips to back out.

So who will be stepping into his shoes? According to a new report from Entertainment Weekly, that lucky man is going to be “X Factor” USA champion Tate Stevens. When we say “lucky,” we are trying to emphasize that this is about as great of a gig as Tate could have hoped for at this given time.

One of the biggest flaws with Simon Cowell’s show at the moment is that it ends so late in the year that many of its contestants are forgotten about over the course of the holiday season, and they don’t have much time to promote themselves before becoming overshadowed by “American Idol.” This gives Tate an opportunity to step in front of an audience (though certainly not as big of one as what Ryan Seacrest is going to have for his own New Year’s Eve special over on ABC) and show off more of who he is as an artist. This is huge in proving that he can be viable in the real world, and the fact that he will also be heard from in a commercial during the 2013 Grammy Awards also helps. This means that he will at least have a few moments during the first couple of months to be recognized, and hopefully he will not wait too much longer than the summer to release his first single. After all, Simon Cowell has already promised that Tate will be on it faster than season 1 champ Melanie Amaro.

Do you think that this gig could be bigger for Tate than it would have been for Phillip, especially considering that he already has a #1 hit under his belt? If you want to see why Britney Spears may be let go from “The X Factor” before next season, you can do so over here.

Photo: Fox

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