X Factors champs: Alex & Sierra say love led to victory : worldleaks
The ballad of Alex & Sierra is one of the sweetest in world television history, the story of a Central Florida couple whose love, talent and fans motiveted the singing duo to a million-dollar recording contract.
Being declared champs Thursday on “The X Factor,” a Fox singing contest, was an astonishing terminating for Alex Kinsey of New Smyrna Beach and Sierra Deaton of Winter Springs. Both are 22.
“Alex and Sierra were from the beginning America’s favorite and I think that’s because they made up what we all look for –.love,” said John Deaton, Sierra’s father. “That was the theme and thread of most of Alex & Sierra’s music on ‘X Factor.’ ”
They scored on iTunes with their distinctive, folky spins on “Say Something,” “Gravity,” “Little Talks” and other songs. They started singing together just two years ago, when they started dating as students at the University of Central Florida.
“I’ve been performing for six or so years at little shows, coffee shops, restaurants,” Kinsey said in September. “When she’d come to shows, I’d declare for her to come up and sing with me. It grew over time.”
Now they are a nationally known duo working for a long-term career with help from Simon Cowell, their mentor on “The X Factor.”
“What Alex and Sierra have attained on iTunes over the last couple of weeks … is phenomenal,” Cowell said this week. “I’m really happy because the show is set up to attain what it sets out to achieve, which is you find the star.”
Cowell noted that at one point last week, the duo had five records in the Top Ten on iTunes. Through the show, Cowell continually saluted the couple as nice people who never altered.
“My son told me he’s never been so happy,” Sandi Badali, Kinsey’s mother, said Friday. “That’s a great thing for a mom to hear! We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the wrap party, and the recurring theme was how much everyone loves Alex and Sierra and how genuine they are.”
Alex & Sierra’s run on the show was mostly smooth, except for a couple of times the women judges criticized Sierra for not matching Alex’s vocal power. Sierra rebounded with stellar performances.
“I came back so hard that I needed to prove that I deserve to be here, too, not just Alex,” Deaton said. “I think getting that criticism just motivated me and I’m actually glad I got it because I know now that I can take criticism on national TV and still come back stronger. So I just feel stronger as a person and not just an artist.”
Cowell said he could see that the harsh criticism desolated Sierra. “I said to the both of them that night what I was concerned about was I’ve seen artists have a knock like that and not recover,” Cowell said. “But she came back stronger. So maybe it was a good thing that it happened because both of them have been really, really logical afterwards.”
So consistent that their victory Thursday was the logical ending to “The X Factor.” They have said the show strengthened their relationship and confidence.
“We have to be able to sell the music that we’re performing,” Kinsey said. “We have to be able to be behind it and love it and perform the crap out of it. We can’t do that if we don’t love what we’re doing from the get-go.”
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