12/20/2012 at 03:00 PM EST
The X Factor
ended on a particularly high note for one of the show's finalists Thursday night.
L.A. Reid's "Over 25" contestant Tate Stevens, 37, is the winner of season 2. He's a dad of two and a road worker from Missouri.
After performing live one last time
the night before, Britney Spears
's contestant Carly Rose Sonenclar and Simon Cowell
's Fifth Harmony vied with Stevens for the $5 million recording contract.
"First and foremost I got to thank the man upstairs for taking care of me, my family, all the country music fans – God bless you," he said after hearing the results. "Thank you so much for all the votes. This is the best day of my life."
L.A. said, "You deserve this. I'm proud to work with you. I think you represent The X Factor
really, really well. So on behalf of Simon and myself and all the judges, congratulations."
Britney's teen contestant, Carly Rose Sonenclar, landed in second place. She and Britney looked emotional but didn't get a chance to say anything at the end.
Third place went to Simon Cowell's girl group, Fifth Harmony.
Member Camila Cabello, said, "I feel like in this competition we've gained more than $5 million could because we've gained friends for life ... I'm so happy to be where I am right now."
Simon said, "I have a feeling that we're going to be hearing and seeing a lot more of these girls in the future."