"I'm going to dance with the one that got me here," he tells USA Today of plans for his debut album. "It's going to be country. It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm going to put some very fun tracks on there. I'm sure I'll do some old, tug-at-your-heart country ballads. I'm excited."
The singer is still trying to absorb the fact that he won the $5 million recording contract. "It's amazing. It feels great. I'm still trying to take it in," he says. "It was so intense the last few minutes of the show, I wanted to throw up. It was terrible. They called my name and it was huge. I'm very blessed. God is great."
Tate admits he was originally skeptical that he would take home the grand prize. "I didn't honestly think I had a chance until just a few weeks ago," he concedes. "And a few weeks ago, I was like, 'You know what, I do have a chance.' Even though I'm 37, I'm a lot older than everybody else, I started thinking there is a chance I could win."
Tate, who performed with Little Big Town for the finale, credits his mentor on the show, hip hop and pop music mogul L.A. Reid, with helping him triumph. "L.A. has done a great job," Tate told The Boot. "I think he learned a thing or two from me, and obviously I have [learned], as well, from the other side of the table ... He buys in to country music now."
Tate has the full support of all of the judges, including Simon Cowell, who foresees a bright future for newly-minted star . "There's a gap in the market for him," Simon says. "I think he will sell records, and he's very determined. He reminds me a bit of Garth Brooks."
In spite of the fact that he is an instant celebrity, Tate insists nothing in his life will change. "I'm the same guy I've always been and I'll continue to be that guy," he notes. "My tax bracket just changed, I guess."
Read The Boot's exclusive interview with Tate here.