November 03, 2011 6:15am PT by Shirley Halperin
'X Factor' Redux: 12 Burning Questions Answered
X Factor’s Top 12 have shaped up to be an entertaining lot that offers a little something for everyone. But as we get to know these finalists, who range in age from 13 (Rachel Crow) to 60 (LeRoy Brown), questions remain, like these 12 naggers from the first shows.
Was Josh Krajcik’s cover of Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts” a tad girly for the burly burrito man?
'When I first heard it, it felt a little feminine,” he acknowledges. “But I think I did it my own way and I feel pretty good.” Josh adds that he’s still getting used to the stage, too. “It’s unlike anything I've ever seen, let alone been on,” he says. “Just nine months ago, I was playing in small, nearly empty clubs in Columbus. I always gave it my all, I don't want to disparage those clubs because I love those people, but this is so different. And in a lot of ways it's completely the same. And if I keep that feeling about it, I think I can do well.”
Whose idea was it to have Melanie Amaro begin her song, a cover of The Eagles “Desperado,” a capella?
“That was Simon's idea,” Melanie tells The Hollywood Reporter. “He wanted me to demonstrate my vocals in the beginning and give it that drama with the beat in the middle. I think the song choice is right. I trust Simon and his decisions and so far, they haven't led me wrong.”
When Simon Cowell told Nicole Scherzinger to shut her yap because “the adults” were talking, what was the reaction like backstage?
“It was, like, ‘Woah, hold the phone, sister,” says Rachel Crow. “When I got offstage, Drew was like, I can't believe he said that! I couldn’t, either.”
What’s Astro’s process when it comes to writing his own raps?
“I’ll do it whenever, wherever I can,” says the 15-year-old whose real name is Brian Bradley. “If I have to write on the wall, I'll write on the wall, or if I have a phone, I'll type something, an ipad… it's whatever I'm thinking. When words flow through my mind, I write them down.” His original raps seem to be working. On Wednesday, he received tweets from Snooki, who called his skills “sick,” and Jaden Smith, who suggested linking up.
What inspired Chris Rene’s “Young Homie?”
Surprisingly, Top 40 radio, says the man himself. “I just started listening to Rihanna, Drake and Lil Wayne in the last two years," he says. "I was inspired me to make a mix tape and 'Young Homie' was created because I listened to Wayne and Drake."
Why were the judges questioning LeRoy Bell’s confidence:
Your guess is as good as his. “It surprised me,” says the 60-year-old Washington native. “But it didn't bother me that much because I think my confidence was there. I felt at home in that song, even I wouldn’t want to sing slow songs at every show.”
With L.A. Reid commenting that Drew Ryniewicz “got the wrong mentor,” we had to know: who would have been her second place judge pick?
“Simon's always been my dream," says Drew, "but obviously LA is somebody I look up to almost as much.”
Did Lakoda Rayne have any gown regrets?
Not in the slightest, says the group's resident Jersey girl Cari Fletcher. “We're definitely ones to think about how we look because we want to stay true to ourselves and we want America to see who we really are. We also want to be comfortable on stage because if we're not comfortable, we feel out of our element and that will affect our performances. A lot of thought goes into what we wear.”
Why was Stacy Francis so bent out of shape about Cowell’s church comments?
“I love Gospel music, I listen to it every day but it's inside the church, it’s a smaller forum,” she clarifies. “I want to do Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Susan Boyle-type records. My uncle was a preacher I grew up in the church and I didn't want to be labeled 'a church singer.' To me, it felt very small. The people there aren't on this stage."
Is it more nerve-wracking to sing a song to L.A. Reid that he had a hand in writing?
“I wasn't really intimidated,” says Marcus Canty, who had to take on the Reid's Bobby Brown classic “Every Little Step.” “I feel like LA Reid gave me his baby, his song, for a reaons. i ahvd to deliver it and i did to the best of my ability.”
How trippy is it to watch themselves back on TV?
“It's almost just as exciting as being on stage,” say the Stereo Hogzz. “We watch it like it's a football game. Like, ‘Woah, touchdown!’”