21 December 2012 11:00 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

While his girl group didn't win The X Factor, Simon Cowell thinks America got it right when viewers picked the show's oldest contestant, Tate Stevens, 37. "We set out to do this show and take away as many rules as possible, partly to prove the point that you can sell records and be popular beyond the age of 29," Cowell said after the show's finale Thursday when Stevens, a married father of two, walked away with a $5 million recording deal. "At my record label we don't have a sign on the door saying, 'If you're over 30 you can't sign here,' " he continued. »

- Andrea Billups and Patrick Gomez

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