CBSN

'Star Search' Champs On Parade

After nine weeks of intense competition, three champions were crowned on Saturday night's "Star Search" finale.

Mark, Mejia, 11, was the top vote getter in the junior singer category. Jon Cruz, 20, took home the young dancer prize and Jake Simpson, 28, won the adult singer crown.

This is not the first time all three champions have tasted victory. They were also winners on past editions of "Star Search."

That didn't make it any easier for Mark, who told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm, "When I competed against the other people, it was really hard to deal with, because we're all friends. But one had to win. So that was part of the game."

Asked if he was nervous at all, Mark with a big smile responded, "Only a little bit. I was mostly excited." The 11-year-old not only got accolades for his performance but also for his wardrobe. "Best dressed man in showbiz'" exclaimed Jon Cruz.

Dressed in suit and tie for the interview, Mark admits he lets his mom pick his clothes.

Cruz for his part, told Storm he doesn't have any formal dance training. He combines old and new moves, he said, plus tries to "defy gravity. I just put it all into one show," he said.

His talent has opened doors to work with Jennifer Lopez and Missy Elliott. And he noted, "I just did a movie called 'You Got Served.' That was a good experience. It's just going up from here hopefully."

In total he has won $300,000. And with the money he says he plans to buy a condo in Hollywood. He noted, "I bought a house in San Bernardino. Now I let my mom have that."

Cruz also bought a Corvette for his mom, singer champ Jake Simpson pointed out. "Don't forget about that."

Simpson, who used to work at a piano bar in New York City, has also moved to Hollywood. And though he says people do not recognize him on the street yet, he has the distinction of bringing "Star Search" judge Naomi Judd to tears.

"It was a really emotional night for everybody," Simpson said, "I was having a really hard time keeping it together because I saw Naomi cry. She cried after I sang my first song. She said, 'I just get so emotional.' And everybody started crying. It was a cry fest."

Now, Simpson is all smiles. His dreams are coming true, he says. The singer champ has a recording contract with A&M and a new single.

On the finale, the show's three judges Naomi Judd, Matt Leshem, and M.C. Lyte had no say over who won or lost. It was all up to the viewers who voted via the Internet.