'X Factor': L.A. Reid talks leaving the show, supporting Tate Stevens
After this week's final performance show, Reid spoke with reporters and discussed why he had to make the tough call to go.
"I'm not happy to leave," Reid says. "I'm very sad to leave. But I have a responsibility that I have to get back to. But it is a sad thing. Being around all these talented contestants, watching people come in practically an unknown and walking away famous, some of them walking away as real stars, that's the greatest feeling in the world and I will miss that."
Reid says his exit won't change his relationship with fellow judge and "X Factor" mastermind Simon Cowell. "We'll continue to do things behind the camera, behind the scenes," Reid explains about his personal and professional friendship with Cowell. "We came into this knowing it wasn't going to become, like, my life. I'm a record executive. We're both record executives. He knew at some point I needed to get back to work."
Before Reid officially bows out, there's one more thing he wants to see on "The X Factor": His contestant Tate Stevens to come out on top and nab the coveted $5 million recording contract prize.
"He seemed very comfortable, really at home," Reid says about Stevens' three performances in the finals. "What I've noticed is the more country the songs are, the more confident he is. Because I didn't have a background in country music, I always made decisions that were a little more pop leaning for him. I may have gotten him in trouble early on. Once I started to understand -- the more country, the better -- we sort of hit our stride."
"I believe my guy is a frontrunner," Reid continues. "I think he's done everything right and I sincerely believe in him."