Rion Paige inspires America, draws Carrie Underwood comparison from Simon Cowell

X Factor USA: Rion Paige performs Blown Away

The final audition of The X Factor USA‘s first show was inspirational teenager Rion Paige. Now, I’m not one to single out people who’ve overcome adversity, because everyone on these types of shows has a tale they can tell. But Rion warmed my heart with her personality and her pluck. At the young age of only 13, and having dealt with a condition that’s left her with curved bones in her arms and blind in one eye, Rion stepped up to that microphone and won me (and hopefully you at home) over with her bubbly personality. If you didn’t laugh a little when she told Demi Lovato that she was obsessed with Camp Rock, you have a heart of stone!

I think watching her mother watching skittishly from the sidelines appealed to the parent in me too. But Rion was adamant that she didn’t want to be treated differently. She kicked off a powerful version of Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away. The vocal wasn’t entirely perfect, with Rion struggling a little during the higher parts of the chorus, but she tackled it with gusto. There was a genuine feel good moment watching the audience get on their feet for a plucky child belting out a Carrie Underwood song like she owned it. And she has an adorable smile.

Rion walked away with four yeses from the judges, so we’ll be seeing her again at boot camp. It looks like she’ll be aiming herself at a country market, so I’m keen to hear what she sings next.

What the judges said:

  • Demi Lovato: Rion, I’m just so impressed right now, and I cannot believe the struggles that you’ve had and how positive you are. I think everybody in this room can learn something from you today.
  • Paulina Rubio: Music heals everything, and I’m honoured to live this with you.
  • Kelly Rowland: Rion, I just witnessed passion. I think that’s what I loved the most about it. Just everything about you is just so incredible.
  • Simon Cowell: I have to say something about you. I think you’re literally extraordinary. I remember the first day I met Carrie Underwood and I remember predicting that this girl was gonna go on and do special things with her life, and I’m gonna say the same thing about you, Rion. I’m gonna remember this audition for a long, long time. In every single way, Rion, you are a beautiful person.

Do you agree with Simon’s comparison of Rion Paige to Carrie Underwood? Do you want to see her continue in the competition? Let us know in the comments!

by Gerard McGarry on September 12th, 2013

Gerard is the founder and editor of Unreality TV. He writes about TV dramas as well as reality TV talent shows and is obsessed by sci-fi and Doctor Who. Follow him on Twitter @gerrybot or Google+

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3 thoughts on “Rion Paige inspires America, draws Carrie Underwood comparison from Simon Cowell

  1. Jeff Dyal says:

    A lot of us get caught up in our day to day bs and let it effect our contributions to what is important. Thanks Rion for not getting caught up in yours.

  2. Patricia Bylsma says:

    This young lady is amazing in her strength to overcome her disability. She is full of compassion for music. She is absoluty beautiful in every way and I will follow her progress every step of the way. She is an insperation. I must give credit to her amazing mother it is her love that has giving this little girl the courage to go out and blow us all away.

  3. Brian says:

    Just one word, AMAZING!

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