(NBC) — America’s version of “Eurovision” crowned its first champion on Monday night.
NBC’s “American Song Contest” showcased performers from all 50 states and six U.S. territories over the past eight weeks and a performer with some unique musical roots came out on top.
A soul singer from Washington state scored big with the jury, but a K-pop singer from Oklahoma won over America with the song “Wonderland.” When the combined vote came in, 25-year-old Alex Christine, better known as “AleXa,” won the first-ever “American Song Contest” title.
“When it was announced, I think my heart just burst inside, we were all crying, just so happy and so grateful for this experience,” said AleXa.
The Tulsa-born singer moved to her mother’s homeland of South Korea after high school to pursue a K-pop career. After ringing up several hit songs there she’s now gone stateside.
“Her originality, being from Oklahoma. Like, come on K-pop, Oklahoma?” said show host Snoop Dogg.
“I did not see that coming,” added co-host Kelly Clarkson.
Colorado’s Riker Lynch finished second and Washington’s Allen Stone came in fifth overall, despite winning the jury vote of music industry professionals.
“I love the jury’s vote, Allen Stone is incredible, I loved him before this show,” said Clarkson. “But it was incredible suspense and all of a sudden, AleXa killed it.”
Her winning song will now be played on iHeartRadio stations nationwide and a special invitation awaits for Sunday night.
“I believe I’m presenting an award at the Billboard Awards which is a tremendous feat, because that makes me nervous, I don’t know who I’m going to be talking to,” said AleXa.
But for now, the talk is about AleXa and her unlikely musical roots.
“I don’t know if it’s the home of K-pop in America, but Oklahoma is, forever and always, the home of AleXa,” said AleXa.
Kentucky’s Jordan Smith who previously won Season 9 of “The Voice” came in third and Grant Knoche of Texas finished fourth.
The rest of the top ten included, Tenelle of American Samoa in sixth place, Connecticut’s Michael Bolton in seventh place, Alabama’s Ni/Co in eighth place, North Dakota’s Chloe Fredericks in ninth place and Tennessee’s Tyler Braden in 10th place.