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The X Factor finalist Beatrice Miller is showing her true colors — at least when it comes to the song she was handed for Wednesday night’s performance show.
The tune in question, Cyndi Lauper‘s chart-topping hit “Time After Time, just wasn’t much fun to perform, mused the New Jersey teen in a backstage interview. Miller said she loves to listen to the ’80s classic, but singing it live was another matter.
“I didn’t like it when I performed it, but I mean, I hope that didn’t show,” she said.
PHOTOS: ‘X Factor’ Season 2: Meet the Contestants
That didn’t come as a surprise to her mentor, Britney Spears, who advised the 13-year-old to soldier through it despite her lukewarm — make that ice cold — response to the ballad, which Miller said was assigned to her by producers, not Spears. Miller said she was informed of the theme five minutes before she met with the show’s team of voice coaches last week.
“Britney knew that I hated my song this week, but you know, she just said, ‘Get through it and just try to connect with the song,’ ” Miller revealed. “I don’t think it really mattered to her that I didn’t like it.”
Miller also acknowledged that the mood backstage Wednesday was “dull,” mainly because many of the contestants were indifferent to the Diva theme week.
“I think the majority of us as contestants didn’t like what we were singing this week,” she said. “I don’t think any of us got exactly what we wanted because this week it was all about saluting divas of the older time and whatever, and they kind of made us into the people that we’re singing this week, which was kind of weird. I don’t like that because it just turns us into people that we’re not.”
While not everyone hated their assigned songs — Emblem3 raved about covering Alicia Keys, Diamond White proclaimed herself obsessed with Beyonce, and Paige Thomas felt like a disco queen singing Donna Summer — Miller still makes a valid point. Many of the contestants were hesitant upon learning what songs they’d be performing, including her teammate Arin Ray (Madonna‘s “Crazy for You”) and Lyric 145 (Katy Perry‘s “ET” and Queen‘s “We Will Rock You”) and Jennel Garcia (Tina Turner‘s version of “Proud Mary”).
PHOTOS: ‘X Factor’ Top 12 Sound Off on Their Mentors: Red Carpet Interviews
“I hated it!,” Garcia told The Hollywood Reporter this week. “I remember walking into the vocal room and the guys were kinda playing it on the guitar, and I was like, ‘I feel bad for whoever is singing that song.’ And they were like, ‘Oh, it’s yours.’ I was like, ‘Oh, well … Damn!’ I was so mad. But you know, we changed it in a way so it could sound like my song.”
In speaking with several contestants earlier in the week — midway between Thursday’s elimination and the next Wednesday’s performance — THR learned that many spent very little time working with their actual mentors. Each song initially is selected by producers, and the contestants’ respective mentors enter the process only one or two days before showtime. At that point, it’s worth noting, many mentors (or producers) will hit their contestants with a change in song just one day, or sometimes only hours, before broadcast. Sometimes the swaps are due to licensing problems; other times, it’s creative differences.
Lyric 145 in particular felt the harsh reality of a last-minute change this week.
“We had the best song we could have possibly had,” Lyric Da Queen said Wednesday night. “It was our original lyrics, it was the diva of the century, it was perfect. Arguably would have been the best performance we had so far, and that was coming from the inside. Last night we got the ball dropped on us that we weren’t going to be able to do the song, and today we got the song that we were doing. It was just chaos.”
But it wasn’t just song selection that was rankling Miller. There also was a slight disagreement over the choice of stage outfit, which didn’t fit the 13-year old’s anti-style.
“I was like, ‘I hate this dress, and if you don’t take me out of it and put me in some pants, then we’re going to add some funk to this outfit,’ ” she said with a laugh. “So they were like, ‘Oh, we bought this hat for you, and we’re thinking that you should wear it next week. I was like, ‘Ha ha, no no no — we’re wearing it now because this outfit is really bad.'”
STORY: ‘X Factor’ Recap: Diva Week
And at the end of the day, that is how Miller wound up onstage wearing that attention-grabbing YOLO hat. “I also wanted to have the flannel shirt that I’m wearing because I like the plaid and I feel like overly exposed without it on,” she added.
It’s not all sour lemons for Miller, however. She was thrilled to learn that she picked up at least one high-profile fan last week: One Direction cutie Harry Styles.
“I was not a fan girl of One Direction before I met them,” she confessed. “I didn’t have any of their music in my iPod. I didn’t listen to them. Now that I realize they are such nice people, I am such a fan. Harry came up to me before he left and said, ‘I was talking about you in all the interviews.’ Then I read all the interviews that he did, and I didn’t realize how much he was talking about me, which is awesome. If Harry thinks I can do it, then I can do it! I am going to start talking about him in all my interviews just to pay him back!”
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