Since I was ten I have been watching clips of auditions and performances from the X Factor UK, like this one. Sunday night, Sophia Rossi and I went to the X Factor USA soundcheck and got to talk to/interview most of the contestants.
The X Factor is my favorite show besides American Horror Story, which, my parents do not know I watch (please don’t tell them). This was the first time I had ever done an interview. Also, I am 13 years old so please lower your expectations. In the beginning I was very nervous, and I was just as nervous at the end. What could have gone wrong? Would Astro be mad at me if I asked the wrong question? When I get nervous, I start to talk with a very high voice. Below are all the interviews Sophia and I did. I hope I don’t come across as a nervous wreck, even on paper.
It was a little intimidating interviewing LeRoy because he is the oldest contestant on the show. (I’m not sure if that is a reason to be intimidated, but…) When I first went to interview LeRoy, he made some jokes about how he hated interviews. Maybe LeRoy was trying to be funny? I couldn’t tell. I am a child.
Maude: What’s the hardest part of this experience for you?
LeRoy Bell: Doing interviews. No, I’m just kidding. There’s a learning curve and it’s non-stop. Today is an easier day but there’s still tons of stuff to do. You get a new song on Friday. Saturday you work and same with Sunday. Then Monday you go to the stage and run the rehearsals, do sound check and all of that. Tuesday you do the same and then you run through the whole show…changing, dress rehearsal and everything. Then you do the show that night. Then you turn around Wednesday and get eliminated.
M: Or not.
LR: Or not, right. Thursday you get a new song and then you go through the whole process again.
M: Wow, that’s a lot. What’s your relationship with Nicole?
LR: Nicole is a judge and she’s my mentor on the program. I think we have a good working relationship. She tries to get the most out of each of her artists by sometimes pointing out a weakness or strength. She’s the go between for us and the production. So if I have problem with something my mentor can help me change that.
M: So if you guys disagree, what happens?
LR: If Nicole and I disagree? We haven’t really had that problem. I don’t think we’ve ever disagreed on anything major. If she thinks I should try something differently, she’ll say it. Or I’ll say, ‘Can we try it like this?’ It’s usually not a problem.
M: What made you want to audition for X Factor?
LR: At first, somebody brought it to my attention and I thought, no way am I going to do a talent show. But I thought first that I wanted to build a fan base because I’m in a group, I have a group myself that I play in. I felt I could reach millions of people because it is a television show; it’s huge. It really wasn’t the money. It was more that maybe I could get a record deal and be able to reach more people… And play music for the rest of my life without worrying about finding my fans!
M: Who would you vote for, excluding you?
LR: I think everybody is wonderful but I’d probably vote for Josh. We’ve become buddies and I appreciate his talent. But everybody is worthy of the votes; they’re all spectacular.
I was so excited to meet Rachel. She is 13, just like me so that made me feel a lot more relaxed. I hoped she thought I was acting just like a regular teen! (one of the many unnecessary things I worry about) She is such an incredibly talented girl and sweet and funny as well. It felt like she really cared about this interview and I really appreciated it. She also has the most amazing hair!
Sophia: Rachel, we’re such big fans.
M: Who have you met through this experience that you love or look up to?
RC: I’ve met Willow Smith, who I look up to. I met Jessie J. I met Willow Smith’s brother, Jaden – my celebrity crush.
M: Has he ever tweeted you?
RC: No, but he did message me a lot. We did talk for a while, it was nice.
M: Really? Oh my gosh.
RC: I did get Willow’s number which was pretty nice.
S: Maybe you guys could do a song together!
RC: That’d be awesome.
M: Are you best friends with Drew in real life?
RC: Yes I am. Drew and I are bestest friends. It’s pretty fun.
M: You guys met on the show?
RC: Yea, we met on the show. It was really fun. We’ve literally spent more time together than a married couple in their first year. Because we’ve spent so many hours together all the time, we’re BFFs now.
M: How’s Simon as a mentor?
RC: Simon is a great mentor. We’re always hanging out, like, always. Today he told me he loved my outfit and told me this is what I should wear on stage sometime. I was like, ‘On TV? No…I don’t think so.’ Then I just kind of left.
M: Do you guys ever disagree on anything?
RC: We do disagree. Last show he told me five minutes before I went on stage that he didn’t like my outfit. It was 4:55! It was awkward.
M: And you couldn’t change?
RC: No. He was worried that I didn’t like it, but I did. It worked out okay…ish.
M: Do you get nervous to perform in front of so many people?
RC: I do. Right before. When I’m behind the A Doors, I really get nervous and I start to freak out. But then I get out there and I see people and I’m okay. It gets better.
M: Do you have any rituals you do?
RC: Rituals…I pray throughout the day, a lot. I just really have fun throughout the day, make it a positive day.
M: Do you know if Beyonce heard you sing her song?
RC: I don’t know. I heard from someone that she tweeted me. But I don’t know her twitter handle so I wasn’t able to look at all. That’d be cool if she did. I hope she’s heard me sing. I hope.
M: Who is your favorite person to follow on twitter?
RC: My fans. I follow some of my fans and I love to follow them because they say the weirdest things that you would never think of!
M: Who would you vote for if you couldn’t vote for yourself?
RC: If I couldn’t vote for myself I’d probably vote for Drew because she’s my BFF. Honestly, I put five votes in for each person on the show every week. Just to give back.
S: Would you do a song with Drew in the future?
RC: I think I would do a song with Drew, of course. We have completely different voices though so I think it might sound a little weird together. But lots of people ask me if I’d do a duet with Astro. I said yes, definitely. He’s, like, super talented. He just recently did the Eminem song. Everybody knows I love love love Emenim. So when he did that I was like, wow, made me want to do a song with him.
S: How did you feel last week when he got so upset?
RC: Last week when he got upset, it was heartbreaking to see him cry because I’ve never seen him cry. He’s kind of the cool guy that really doesn’t have much to do with anybody, but with me, I can make him smile sometimes. It was just a little sad when he was crying.
S: Do you guys hang out? Who do you hang out with most outside the show?
RC: Outside the show… mostly Drew. Our moms get along great, were in the same age group so we hang out. But the Lakoda Rayne girls, we just went to see BREAKING DAWN last night. We called The Grove and said ‘please let us come!’ and they let us come.
S: Team Edward or Team Jacob?
RC: Team half-and-half. I really can’t decide.
S: That was a good one, thanks!
Chris Rene is a very interesting man. He is very spiritual and sincere and open. I really cannot describe what I was feeling when I was interviewing him. I knew that he loves to wear clothes that he designed on the show and wasn’t sure if he had a clothing line or not. So when I asked if he would ever launch a clothing line and he replied that he already had, that made me feel embarrassed because I didn’t know that! Did he think I didn’t do my research? I will never know.
Sophia Rossi: Do you have any rituals before singing?
Chris: I’m working on that right now. Right now it’s memorizing the words, doing a little breathing. Sometimes I walk in a circle to let some energy out, get ready to go give it to the crowd. Definitely pray, that’s the main thing that I do before I go out there. I do a little prayer.
Maude: Would you ever consider launching a clothing line?
CR: I did that a few years ago. I did “Love Life” and “Love Life Music.” I’ve been doing that for a while. Here’s one of my shirts. For me, there are a couple of clothing lines I’d like to do: young urban clothing…
S: If you couldn’t vote for yourself, who would you pick?
CR: Let me think…a couple of different people.
S: You can name three.
CR: Josh Krajcik, Rachel Crow, Astro.
S: Are there people you’ve admired that you got to meet through this experience?
CR: Everyone. So many people.
S: Is there anyone that you thought, ‘I can’t believe they tweeted me’? Any celebrities?
CR: Whole problem is I don’t remember her name…this girl who has a TV show. She’s really famous and she was like, ‘Chris Rene will you marry me??’ The crappy thing is I don’t follow famous stuff; I just haven’t so I don’t know. I’m kind of underground. What was her name…
S: Kat Dennings? Whitney Cummings?
CR: Yes! Whitney Cummings.
S: Really? Really??
CR: Swear to God. She was just like, ‘Chris Rene, will you marry me?’ I was like. ‘Oh my God!’
S: You should do it.
CR: Yea, of course. We’re already engaged.
After watching Astro last week I was terrified to meet him. We saw him hanging around throughout the day and he seemed very focused/ in the zone. We weren’t sure exactly what he was doing whether he was writing new lyrics or making a track, but he was working hard. Astro is a very serious guy. He was no different than how I had imagined him. BOOM:
S: If you had to vote for anyone but yourself, who would you vote for?
A: It would probably be one of the boys. I don’t want to put a specific name, but one of the boys.
S: Who is your closest friend on the show?
A: I don’t have friends on the show. It’s about five million, not making friends. Friends are a distraction because when they get sent home it’s kind of messed up so I don’t really try to make friends.
S: Who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
A: Probably Kanye. He doesn’t tweet much but when he does, it’s always inspirational.
S: Have you met anyone you were a fan of because of the show?
A: I met Jaden Smith, Willow Smith. I didn’t meet The Dream, but I saw them. I met Rihanna…I met a bunch of people.
S: Last week, we watched the show. Do you have anything you want to say to our readers about last week?
A: Yeah. Last week I got a little ahead of myself. I just want to apologize to anyone that was offended or anything. I’m over it now and this week I plan on coming out with a performance.
S: How did you get over it?
A: I just ignored it. I looked at my twitter and I had a lot of people supporting me. For some reason, my followers went up by 2,000, I thought they would go down but I don’t know why they went up. Thank God I have a lot of supporters. They motivate me to keep going and never give up.
S: Do you have any rituals that you do before you go on stage?
A: No. I just relax, I chill, nothing really.
S: Favorite rapper?
S: 2pac or Biggie?
I was not very familiar with Melanie, all I knew that she had a fantastic voice. Also that she loved nail art and baking. All of Melanie’s performances are so passionate. It was a pleasure to talk to her!
M: Do you have any rituals before you go on stage?
MA: I do. I pray and I drink lots of water. I shake and my knees knock.
M: Do you get nervous to sing in front of so many people?
MA: Not really nervous. More like, being anxious to get our there and do what I’ve got to do.
M: Who would you vote for, besides yourself?
MA: I probably would have voted for the Stereo Hogzz but they went home, which sucks. If I wasn’t on the show I’d probably vote for Rachel or Josh. Or Marcus.
S: Will you tell us about your nail art?
MA: I love doing my nails. I feel when your nails are powerful, your hands are powerful. Then you grab the mic and you feel really…I can’t explain!
S: Well, everyone is looking at your hands.
MA: Yes. I feel very commanding. I draw attention through my hands.
M: Have you met anyone that you look up to?
MA: Well I met Jaden and Willow Smith. I met Gus from Bring It On; he’s hot.
S: Anyone fun tweet at you?
MA: Arab from Soulja Boy’s group. He tweeted me. Also got a tweet from Kevin Hart.
S: Who would you do a duet with first?
MA: Stereo Hogzz.
S: That’d be cool! Get a woman’s vocals in there. Kind of like The Black Eyed Peas, you’d be Fergie.
M: One last question, what’s your favorite thing to bake?
MA: Red velvet cake! Cream cheese frosting!
Josh Krazick is a wonderful performer. I cannot say that I relate to him so I am unsure what to say except that he was a very nice man. He also looked a little like my dad. I mean that as a compliment to both of them.
M: How many instruments do you play?
Josh Krajcik: I play guitar and piano but when I was a kid, I played the tuba. I haven’t tried that in a long time.
M: This is your first week playing an instrument without a track.
JK: Yes, it’s just me and a piano this week, which is great for me because that’s a little more in my comfort zone.
M: Have you met anyone through this competition that you look up to?
JK: I just talked to David Arquette earlier. I met David Hasselhoff who is hilariously awesome. I ran into Queen Latifah – she told me she was rooting for me so that was pretty cool. Just meeting all the contestants is really cool because they’re all really interesting people.
M: Who would you vote for, excluding you?
JK: I would vote for LeRoy, because he’s my buddy. Or Melanie because she’s fantastic, she’s really good. Insane.
M: What are some of the things that have changed since you’ve been on the X Factor?
JK: Paparazzi. I had a doctor’s appointment the other day and when I came out there were like fifteen of them waiting. So that’s different, but it’s neat. That’s changed. People in general, when I go to dinner or out-and-about, for the most part they’re really nice and they just want to tell me that they like me. Just being famous in any capacity is different. It’s cool, though.
M: What has been the hardest part of this experience?
JK: It’s hard work. You don’t get much time to yourself. Less sleep and a lot of waiting around. But in the end its all worth it because you want to make a better life for yourself and this is the process.
M: Do you work every single day of the week?
JK: Yeah. Seven days a week. As soon as were done with the Thursday show, the result show, we’re working Friday. We have to get prepared for the next show. It’s a lot of work.
M: Thank you so much, that’s all.
Drew is a fantastic singer and she is definitely one of my favorites. She also loves Justin Bieber. I am not sure If this short interview has all the information necessary, but we did find out why she does not like to wear shoes while preforming.
S: We can talk about Justin Bieber. Tell us about how he tweeted you.
Drew: Justin Bieber tweeted me. Well he tweeted about me but not directly to me because I didn’t have a twitter back then. So it kind of sucks because if he would have tweeted at me, then he possibly would have followed me, and then he would have made my world.
S: We’ll do a HelloGiggles campaign to have Bieber follow you.
D: Well I don’t want to seem obsessive because then he’ll think like, ‘Oh wow, she’s one of those girls’ and then he wont want to be my friend…for life!
S: Who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
D: Justin Bieber!
S: Do you ever disagree with Simon?
D: There have been times that I’ve disagreed with Simon. But every time I confront him about it, he always has a reason for it and it’s very understandable. He’s very good at explaining things from his point of view. He’s been in the business a lot longer than I have. So I usually disagree with him and then realize he has a really great point. He’s been right so far.
S: Why don’t you like wearing shoes?
D: It’s not that I don’t like wearing shoes, it’s just kind of my signature thing because I’m a teenager and no matter how mature my voice is that kind of represents that I’m free, I’m a teenager, and I am still comfortable. Actually, I’m probably going to wear shoes this week. It depends on the outfit, really.
M: Did your parents help you audition?
D: My parents have never been the kind of people who want to push me. I’m very independent with the decisions I make. But my mom has always been all over the internet trying to find things that I could do with my singing. Whether it is a local thing or this audition, she was just googling things and found X Factor. She said, ‘Drew, have you head of this show? Simon is on it.’ Of course I’ve always been in love with Simon my whole life. So when I heard Simon runs the show, I was like, ‘of course I’m there!”
M: Thank you!
Sophia and I had a chance to watch most of the soundcheck, which was great. They all have such unique voices and I loved watching them. We also got to sit up in the contestant holding room and watch them rehearse for their group number. We had the chance to meet Simon. He was nothing like how I thought he would be! He was so nice I was surprised to the point of blacking out . He also said he was going to read this so hello, Simon! He was nicer then my dad. And my dad is nice.
At the end of the night I was very happy because I felt like we did a great job. I only realized the next day after reading the transcription that I didn’t do as good as I thought. How many people could I ask, “Who have you met that’s cool” to?
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