12:11pm PT by Michele Amabile Angermiller
'X Factor' Burning Questions: Is Carly Wooing Justin Bieber's Fan Base? How Does Tate Feel About Being the Oldest Competitor?
It's a double elimination episode on Thursday night's X Factor, but some of the contestants already have plans for the $5 million prize dangling in front of them at the finish line.
In the true spirit of Christmas, 13-year-old powerhouse Carly Rose Sonenclar would like to donate some of the money to "charity," but it's something she doesn't want to "think about" yet.
As a matter of fact, the New York teenager said she still feels like anybody could win the Fox singing competition, even though she is still in the top spot behind country singer Tate Stevens.
"I would never get comfortable because you don’t know what’s going to happen," she said.
So what does make Sonenclar comfortable? What is Emblem3 singer Drew Chadwick's "happy place?" And why did Stevens skip the high note on Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer?" Read on for answers.
What would Emblem3 do with $5 million? Keaton Stromberg is feeling generous with his take, and said he would "start a bunch of different organizations that help people find who they are." Chadwick is more sensible with finances: "We have to make sure we don’t spend too much at the beginning. It sounds like a lot of money and it is a lot of money but it can be spent very quickly and very easily so you have to be very cautious about what you do with it. I think honestly putting it toward our careers and furthering ourselves even more and make ourselves more successful in what we’re doing."
How did Drew Chadwick feel about finally being able to play his guitar on stage? "That’s my happy place. When I got my guitar in my hand I always perform so much better. When I have my guitar, I don’t really care about the competition or the performance or anything, I’m just in the zone, singing the song and playing music. I heard it back and it sounded so dope. It may be my favorite."
Is Simon Cowell turning Emblem3 into another One Direction? Chadwick said this matter was actually discussed. "We talked to him and we’ve seen what he’s trying to do. He knows how to launch success in this show. Simon knows what works and he has a good strategy. Even if that means us taking heat for some of the songs, it's going to reach out to a bigger audience and get us more votes and that’s what he's trying to do."
How did Sonenclar feel about being compared to the singer JoJo by Demi Lovato? "I was really happy with that. I love her. Demi looks up to her, too. I think Jojo’s so incredibly talented. Having her compare her to me was a bit of a dream."
Does Carly Rose love that her fans call themselves "Carly's Angels," an obvious pun on Charlie's Angels? "I saw it on Twitter. It’s funny."
Is it part of Britney Spears' strategy to win Justin Bieber’s fan base over to Carly? "Maybe," said the teen. "Having them on my side would be really cool."
How did CeCe feel about (finally) earning Britney's praise? "If the queen approves, then I’m down with it. So, yeah that felt amazing. I feel like Britney doesn’t always love what I do, so to hear that from her it feels great." [Source: Hollywood.com]
What does CeCe think of her critics? "I hear crap on the Internet all of the time. I shouldn’t read it, but I do because I’m curious and I want to see what, like, people on the outside think. You know, people on the outside hate on me just as much as these judges do." [Source: Hollywood.com]
Was Tate Stevens nervous covering a Garth Brooks song? "It’s a song I’ve loved since the first time I heard it. It’s a beautiful song. I’ve sung it a hundred thousand times between my truck and doing it in shows. He was a big influence on me coming up in the '90s. Paying homage to him tonight was very cool."
Did Demi get it right when she said Tate didn’t hit the high note on "Livin' on a Prayer"? "Definitely. I can’t hit it. We kept it in a range where it still had some fire, some passion and emotion. I could have dropped it down a step and a half and done it but it just would have been kind of laying there. If you were singing along, which, hopefully all America was, you sang the high part. I didn’t have to."
Does Tate enjoy the battle of the judges? "I love it. I’m like, 'Punch her!' That’s good TV. You guys do your thing, get mad at each other. Just don’t take it out on me. I take criticism fine. You can critique me all you want. But some of the other BS they throw at you, it is a jab, it is a stick at the other judges, you know. 'Why did you do that song? I wouldn’t have done that song.' "
How does Tate feel about being the oldest guy in the competition? "I act like a kid. I act younger than most of them. They’re always laughing at me because I’m goofy."
Reporting by Jonathan Bernstein.