Just because you're [article id="1698476"]finishing up your first album[/article] and you've crossed that magical bridge from unknown wannabe to major label artist doesn't mean you don't still get nerves when performing on a major network show.
But when [article id="1676458"]"X Factor"[/article] season one winner Melanie Amaro made her first trip back to the "Factor" stage since taking the prize last year she was feeling pretty confident.
"It was good, I really had a lot of fun and I gave my all and hopefully everybody enjoyed it," Amaro said of the televised debut of her new single, "Long Distance," on Thursday night's "X Factor" elimination show.
The 20-year-old winner of last year's inaugural $5 million contract took to the stage in a long black dress with some revealing sheer panels to sing the song that will appear on her long-awaited 2013 debut, Truly.
She admitted to being "slightly" scared about falling off the swing she descended to the stage on to start the performance. "But I kept my cool and was like, 'this can be fun if I look at it in a fun way of me being up high and surrounded by my fans.' "
Returning to the show a year after coming out on top was, well, like coming home for Amaro. "It was definitely warm and I was so happy to come back to the stage and have the responses that I got from everyone," she said. "'Oh, it was great, we loved you!' So, it's been great, I've been enjoying myself."
While working away to finish the album, Amaro has been keeping an eye on this year's hopefuls, who will battle for a spot in the finale next week. "I know everything the contestants are going through because I've been through it," she said. "I think Carly [Rose Sonenclar] was really good and some of her performances were really good. 'Rolling in the Deep' was good."
Asked to predict who might end up in the finale, Amaro said she felt good about Sonenclar's chances, as well as L.A. Reid's sole remaining Adult singer, cowboy crooner Tate Stevens.
Amaro has spent the last year recording the disc with a roster of superstar producers including Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry), Kuk Harrell (Britney Spears, Chris Brown), C. "Tricky" Stewart (Rihanna, Mary J. Blige) and Bleu McAuley (Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez).
"It's definitely a perfection thing ... we want to put out the best for my fans, for everyone, so we're taking our time on it," Amaro explained. "I think everything on the album is from me basically; everything has to do with [my] real life."