Alex & Sierra – Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton – the singing duo and off-stage couple were named the winners of X-Factor’s season 3 on Thursday night.

Kinsey and Deaton paired up in life and in music while attending the University of Central Florida. As predicted by their mentor Simon Cowell, they out sung and outperformed the eventual runner ups – Jeff Gutts and Carlito Olivero.

“This is incredible!" Kinsey exclaimed upon learning that they’d won. Sierra, who looked floored to hear their names announced, said, "Thank you so much for getting us here and thanks for not making fun of my weird faces all the time."

Cowell, for his part, couldn’t have been prouder of the duo, saying, “I feel like Christmas just came early."

Christmas did truly come early for Alex & Emma, who’ve earned themselves a $1 million recording contract. What does the couple plan on doing with the opportunity?

"Definitely original songs," Kinsey told MTV. "We don't really know exactly where we're gonna go with it. I think what you've seen on the show is definitely a taste of it, but we're excited to get with producers and songwriters and see what Simon thinks we should do, and go in whatever direction feels right."

Throughout the three months of X-Factor, Alex & Emma won over fans with their stripped down performances – but also with their sweet romance that played out onscreen. When asked if the pressures of the reality singing competition affected their relationship, Kinsey and Deaton agree that if anything, it made them stronger.

"I think it's just made us stronger," Deaton confessed. "We already knew we were strong, but going through an experience like this and staying the same way that we were, I think it just confirmed the things that we already thought."

Alex & Sierra’s version of A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” which they reprised on the finale Wednesday night, is currently a top 10 download on iTunes.

– Chelsea Regan

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