BELTON, Mo. -- One of the X-Factor's top 16 is becoming a household name in the Kansas City metro.
When X-Factor judge LA Reed looked Tate Stevens in the eye and told him he made it, a small but loyal group of supporters went nuts in his hometown of Belton, Mo.
"Nobody knew -- we were sitting on our knees in front of the TV just waiting to see what was going to happen," said Pam Miller.
Miller and her family are life-long friends with Tate and his family. They lived across the street from each other. Their fathers were in a band and Tate was in an elementary school band with her brothers.
"He got better as the years went on, but he could always sing," she said. "He always had a voice, a very good voice."
His voice was a secret to most, and then Tate auditioned for the X-Factor in Kansas City, launching his rise to fame.
"People send me messages on Facebook or call me and say, 'Hey, can you have him sing this song?' Miller said. "Obviously, I have no control over what he sings, but everybody is excited."
Miller hopes the excitement reaches a fever pitch next week. The Belton School District offered up its new high school to host the official Tate Stevens watch party. Miller hopes it's the first of many.
"We're going to do it until he goes home, December 20th," she said.
That's the date of the X-Factor finale. The first watch party is set for next Thursday, Nov. 1. The only potential problem is the World Series. If it goes to a game seven, FOX will postpone the X-Factor.
Follow Tate on Twitter: @tatestevensctry
X-Factor is merging several Facebook sites and will have his official site up soon.