'X Factor's' Marcus Canty Talks Elimination, Judges Advice; Admits He Googles Himself

Marcus Canty The X Factor Episodic 2011

“Look at my face all over the screen!”

Ninety minutes after his elimination from X Factor’s final four, Marcus Canty is mocking the ways of the web. “That Marcus Canty is finally gone,” he says with a laugh while glancing at the results of a Google search on a laptop.

Marcus admits: since he’s been on the competition, he’s Googled his own name, but not when he’s feeling bad. “When I feel great about myself, I Google,” he clarifies, ever the optimist as he’s proven time and time again throughout the competition. “I learned to always have positive energy on the show. That's what it's about -- it’s how you keep fighting.”

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Marcus says he didn’t wake up Thursday thinking he was going home, nor did he have that funny feeling which contestants often mention, along with ominous signs marking an end to the X Factor journey. “I didn't know what was gonna happen,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I was like, ‘It's all up to you, God. Whatever you say.’ I'm here. He brought me this far.”

Indeed, the 20-year-old from Bowie, Maryland, who was mentored by LA Reid, has been one resilient competitor and a survivor of several trips to the bottom two, only this time it was a one-way ticket. As for his final performances, “I’ll Make Love to You” and “Careless Whisper,” Marcus says his main concern was to not sound karaoke. “I'm one to step outside the box. I'm not scared of anything. I'll come out and do it my way and enjoy every moment.”

It wasn’t always so. Marcus reveals that he was incredibly shy growing up. “My mom will tell you, I was always the type of kid where I'd go in a room, be quiet, sit in a corner. Then all of a sudden I would warm up. I really just wasn’t sure of who I was.”

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He credits performing, both as a singer and actor in school plays, and playing basketball for bringing him out of his shell. Today, he relishes the spotlight no matter where he is. “I'm an entertainer,” he declared. “I can make my own stadium.”

Inspiring words from someone who hopes that his advancement on the show will spur some other talented soul to audition. Says Marcus: “So many people on Twitter will say, ‘You inspire me to follow my dreams.’ It's amazing.”

He may have reached the end of this road, but Marcus takes with him invaluable experience and the words of some very wise mentors. What stands out from all of the judges’ comments? Marcus fills us in…

Simon Cowell: “When I watch back my boot camp audition, in the groups, the first thing Simon said was , ‘He needs work, but Marcus is a star.’ That's what stuck with me. To hear that from Simon Cowell, regardless of the live shows, was amazing.”

Nicole Scherzinger: “She called me a young Al Green. I listen to so much old school soul and I love Al Green, so that stuck with me.”

Paula Abdul: “When everything went down with Rachel [Crow], Paula looked at me and she said, ‘Don't you hold your head down, don't you look at Twitter or Facebook or anything. You go into this next week thinking about your performance and not what happened before. That's what she told me.”

LA Reid: “LA always tells me, and I always say this, don't let anyone take away your joy. Yeah, I didn't win, I didn't make it to the finale but I got to Top 4 and I won't let anyone take that joy away from me.”

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin