'X Factor' Redux: Why CeCe Frey Is Actually Cool

There's an F-word the 21-year-old won't use -- and (surprise!) it reveals the polar opposite of a diva.
Jeff Lipsky / FOX

Often on reality music competitions, newbie singers experiencing their first taste of public support immediately refer to those people voting as “fans.”

Ah, who are we kidding -- they pretty much all do that. But bucking the trend is X Factor contestant, CeCe Frey.

Although she was often showcased as a diva in early audition episodes, Frey is increasingly revealing herself to be quite the opposite offstage. The most recent example? Telling reporters that she refuses to use the F word to describe her supporters.

“I feel really weird calling them fans,” said the former postal worker on Monday. “That’s a weird word for me.”

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As a matter of fact, a humbled Frey said she feels a kinship with anyone who picks up a phone and throws a vote her way, and is grateful for those who went out of their way to select her song for the week: "Part of Me" by Katy Perry.

“They know what they want to see me do. They picked this song for me. What better way can I repay them for sticking by me than to give them exactly what they want?” she said.

Color us suprised: CeCe is actually pretty cool in person and comes off so different from her TV persona. She said so herself while lamenting roommate Paige Thomas' early exit from the competition. “Paige and I have been roommates from the very beginning. People don’t believe that we’re friends, but we really are."

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Did the two have a sad goodbye? Said Frey: “She left me a little note on my bed that said, ‘You can do it. You just have to believe in you.' That was very nice of her. I wish her all the best. It was sad to see her go. It’s really strange not having her in the bed next to mine and not sharing a bathroom and getting ready in the morning, but there is no doubt in my  mind that Paige is going to do some really big things.”

So is Frey nervous about being perilously close to the bottom each week? The 21-year-old singer, who is a favored pick of the website Vote For The Worst, seems to have developed a Zen attitude about it.

“If I’m in the bottom  I’m like, ‘Ok! Let’s do it!’” she said. “But when I’m safe, I burst into tears.”

Twitter: @MicheleAmabile

Reporting by Sophie A. Schillaci