‘X Factor’ Contestant Rion Paige ‘Blows Away’ Judges With Carrie Underwood Cover
When Simon Cowell gives you a standing ovation, you know you’ve done something right. Such was the case for ‘X Factor’ contestant Rion Paige on Wednesday (Sept. 11). Just 13 years old, she floored the judges — and viewers — with a fantastic performance of Carrie Underwood‘s hit ‘Blown Away.’
The Jacksonville, Fla. vocalist stunned everyone in the audience of the show’s first auditions — not just with her powerhouse vocals, but also with her spirit. Paige has been through a lot, born with congenital disorder arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), which causes malformation of the joints and muscle weakness. She is also blind in her right eye.
But that obstacle hasn’t stopped her from honing her talents and developing one of the most lovable personalities to grace the show’s stage. “[My hands] are something that I have to deal with every day. People can look at me and say, ‘Oh, her hands are different,’ but it is not who I am,” Paige tells People. “I’m not the girl with the hands. I’m Rion.”
With gorgeous blond curls, a huge smile and a spunky spirit, Paige has what it takes to captivate an audience — her singing abilities only add to the package. We haven’t seen Cowell this impressed in a long time, and after a standing ovation from the entire audience and judges panel, he said, “Rion, I have to say something about you — I think you’re literally extraordinary. I really do.”
He continued, “I remember the first day I met Carrie Underwood, and I remember predicting that this girl was going to go on and do special things with her life, and I’m going to say the same about you, Rion. I’m going to remember this audition for a long, long time.”
The typically negative judge continued, “This is the easiest ‘yes’ I have ever given anyone in my life.”
It isn’t every day that a 13-year-old is compared to the Grammy-winning Underwood, and Paige utterly deserves that accolade. Just as Cowell told the other judges that he was “blown away,” we (as well as the rest of America) are too.