Steve Jones

While there appears to be speculation about whether or not The X Factor host Steve Jones will be asked to return next season, the Brit himself certainly has no mixed feelings about the gig. After the first U.S. winner of the $5 million singing competition was announced last night, Jones talked to press about bringing the season to a close and whether or not he'll be back for more. "[There's] a sense of euphoria," Jones said backstage after the finale. "I'm proud of the entire season; I'm proud of the judges, our contestants. I'm a little bit proud of myself, too. I'm happy with it all, I really am."

Though faced with criticism from fans and critics alike, Jones says he hasn't felt misunderstood or taken any heat from the creative team behind the scenes. "If you want to do what you do on the biggest stage possible, you're going to get a lot of criticism so it doesn't really affect me," he says. "Nobody's taken me offstage at the end of the show and gone, 'What the hell are you doing? That's not what we asked.' They asked me to do something and I delivered."

That doesn't mean the host didn't face a steep learning curve of his own during the competition. "It's been a tough ride in the sense that I've told a lot of good people some really bad news, like Rachel Crow and Drew, and that was horrible," says Jones. "That affected me. I don't know... maybe I was a bit naïve going into it emotionally. I hung out with them for months on end so [eliminating them] was horrible, so if you'll excuse the conceit I think I deserved that little moment where I got to tell Melanie she'd won. Her face — it was sublime."

Does that mean the host will return next season for more X Factor?

"Hopefully," he says. "If they'll have me back, I'll do it. If they don't, I'll go do something else." He added that, "It's not about me. A lot of people have been asking me [if] I'm I coming back next year, but who cares. It's all about Melanie and the contestants, their moment. Someone just won $5 million. That's extraordinary."

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