Watching this ridiculous 13-year-old on ‘X Factor’ will make your day

posted at 2:41 pm on September 19, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

Consider your palate cleansed. I was fretting over the future of the nation last night, as I’m wont to do, when I ran across this. Since then, I’ve watched it about 12 times and it has yet to fail to make me smile. This clip, from last week’s “X Factor” has been up for almost a week and deserves far more than the three million views it has thus far.

This is pure reality TV poetry, from beginning to end. From the 13-year-old who actually looks like a 13-year-old and her unassuming sweetness, to the last jittery look she tosses her parents before going on stage, to the reaction of the judges to her song choice.

“I’m hoping Demi (Lovato) and Britney (Spears) kind of look at me and say, ‘Whoa, that’s just like me. That’s where I was at one time,” the little singer says before taking the stage. By the time she leaves the stage, it’s clear Britney and Demi were never near here. Meet Carly Rose Sonenclar:

Here she is singing the National Anthem at a Mets game earlier this year, making a play for the crucial Allahpundit demographic.


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rokemronnie on September 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

When Barry sings like that I’ll switch over.

Limerick on September 19, 2012 at 4:11 PM

It’s too bad he didn’t. He could have been the celeb he always wanted to be and not have to make any difficult decisions.

kim roy on September 19, 2012 at 4:23 PM

So what, she was suppose to sing something from Willie Wonka?

Limerick on September 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Always ignore the casually critical, kid.

Rock on, Carly!

Axe on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

What useless crap / chickification.

rayra on September 19, 2012

There is little I hate more in the political sphere than people who think because you care about politics or write about politics that you cannot possibly spend time on anything else, lest you betray the country. It’s B.S., and it indicates what I can only imagine is a very boring, blowhardy approach to life.

As to musical criticism, feel free to make it. The young woman is on a talent competition and can no doubt take it. Her intonation is far better than libfreeordie’s punctuation, which has some very serious problems, indeed. Sadly, libfreeordie learned to riff before he learned the basics. It’s true of too many young Internet commenters these days. Exercise your instrument, as my music teacher used to say!

For the rest of you, you processed a joyful moment and a great performance in the normal way, which puts you ahead of much of the Internet. You may see more of this from me, not less, as the election approaches because joy and human accomplishment are pretty decent antidotes to the prevailing emotions of the waning days of an election. Enjoy!

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Kaptain Amerika on September 19, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Spot on.

olddog58 on September 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM

My God, what a talent, and that’s a very difficult song, not to mention the Star Spangled Banner as well. I have a feeling that in a very short while, we will remember this day.

Thanks, MK!!!

TXUS on September 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Her intonation is far better than libfreeordie’s punctuation, which has some very serious problems, indeed. Sadly, libfreeordie learned to riff before he learned the basics. It’s true of too many young Internet commenters these days. Exercise your instrument, as my music teacher used to say!

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

lol — I heart you. :)

Axe on September 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

For the rest of you, you processed a joyful moment and a great performance in the normal way, which puts you ahead of much of the Internet. You may see more of this from me, not less, as the election approaches because joy and human accomplishment are pretty decent antidotes to the prevailing emotions of the waning days of an election. Enjoy!

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I would have added, however, “Get a life!”, but I think he got banned here some time ago. Anyway, keep on doing what you’re doing, MK, it makes this an even better blog, by far.

TXUS on September 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM

MKH, thanks for the post. I have forwarded link to my wife and kids. I enjoyed it and know they will too. And for what it’s worth I exercise my instrument daily. Keep up the good work.

olddog58 on September 19, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Axe on September 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

And to think, there are those who still wonder why we enlisted in the War On Bacon! :)

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

this girl is good but needs to refine her voice more, i did notice a few flaws… sorry but you know who’s better?… jessica sanchez from american idol! she is 16, a little older than this girl here, but when jess was younger she was still super talented, i’ve seen videos of her when she was 13 XD this is my favorite performance from jessica… it will blow your mind!

Sachiko on September 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

I never watch any of these shows, but usually watch a clip if it’s linked on a site like HA.

It does warm the heart when a sweet kid like that comes out in front of a crowd like that and knocks it out of the park.

Still–and I really can’t explain it–I always feel a bit of contempt for the judges. Maybe it’s my general disdain for celebrities.

Anyhow, good for her and her family.

RedCrow on September 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Not after fairytales and imaginations will be drilled into you. Be very careful. Some here think I killed Igor. I have no clue who he is.

Schadenfreude on September 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Well, I like it when the bloggers post stuff like this. You may enjoy this clip from the XFactor UK, also. Rebecca Ferguson won the competition and I love her distinctive voice.

cynccook on September 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

still smiling 15 minutes after watching it. thanks for the post

Strike Twice on September 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

It is a misconception that it is the bacon. It is the eating that does it.

Enjoy an individual at the moment of triumph. She probably got more satisfaction out of those three minutes then most of us here will get in 367,920,000 of them.

Limerick on September 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

So good. This made my day. Seems to get better every time I watch it. Love it. Love it. Love it.

College Prof on September 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

this girl is good but needs to refine her voice more, i did notice a few flaws… sorry but you know who’s better?… jessica sanchez from american idol! she is 16, a little older than this girl here, but when jess was younger she was still super talented, i’ve seen videos of her when she was 13 XD this is my favorite performance from jessica… it will blow your mind!

Sachiko on September 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

you miss the point entirely. her youthful enthusiasm, cute smile and reaction to the judges is what this is about.

Strike Twice on September 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

That’s the same song another kid her age… Ronan Parke …sang for his audition on “Britain’s Got Talent” last year.

Someone should put him and this girl together for a collaborative singing session.

JetBoy on September 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Axe on September 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

And to think, there are those who still wonder why we enlisted in the War On Bacon! :)

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I know, right? :)

Politics is downstream from culture.

#war

Axe on September 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

you miss the point entirely. her youthful enthusiasm, cute smile and reaction to the judges is what this is about.

Strike Twice on September 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

that’s true too, she is very sweet =) sorry that i’m obsessed with jessica and had to talk about her lol

Sachiko on September 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

you miss the point entirely. her youthful enthusiasm, cute smile and reaction to the judges is what this is about.

Strike Twice on September 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Exactly. I didn’t much care for the song, even when Nina Simone sang it. The girl is clearly talented, particularily in this day and age, and its nice to see her win one. She’s a nice kid and thats the point.

sharrukin on September 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

you miss the point entirely. her youthful enthusiasm, cute smile and reaction to the judges is what this is about.

Strike Twice on September 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Darn, I missed the whole point. She’s a little genius.

Schadenfreude on September 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

This 12 year old, from Brazil, Jotta A. …is the best kid singer I’ve ever heard.

JetBoy on September 19, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Wow. That was truly awesome. She has a great future.

AZfederalist on September 19, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Liked the performance.

Hated the fake ‘surprised!’ reactions from the judges and the constant screaming of the crowd.

LegendHasIt on September 19, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I was bored. Sure, she’s a cute kid, but her singing wrapped up pretty much what is wrong with most modern voice performances — they prize flash and flourishes over substance. Yes, she’s only 13 and has some real potential. But she’s been singing professionally for 6 years now, so her pattern is probably set for her entire career.

AngusMc on September 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Serious intonation issues (especially in the lower notes) she’s learned to riff before she learned about proper pitch, true of too many young singers these days.

libfreeordie on September 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Thanks for your honest and frank criticism. I’m sure her voice coach appreciates the help and evaluation.

/s @$$hole

AZfederalist on September 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I almost cried and I’m a really really tough guy.

SparkPlug on September 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Tougher than I am apparently.

AZfederalist on September 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

What useless crap / chickification.

rayra on September 19, 2012

rayra / selffornication.

KOOLAID2 on September 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

What a sweet video. Wikipedia says she’s quite the star, so she’s pretty comfy in front of audiences. It was still neat, and I’d love a copy of the song, myself.

All for palate cleansers. It’s the beauty in life that helps us get past the crud.

eforhan on September 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I cried happy tears. I’m a mom. Carly’s amazing and I can imagine what her parents feel every time she sings. Keep singing girl!

GeorgieGirl9 on September 19, 2012 at 4:59 PM

What useless crap / chickification.

rayra on September 19, 2012

…rayra / selffornication.

KOOLAID2 on September 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Too bad his hand falls asleep every time.

Or gets a headache :/

JetBoy on September 19, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Wikipedia…the ultimate source of edit your thoughts.

Limerick on September 19, 2012 at 5:00 PM

myiq2xu is correct…she’s a ringer!

They, X Factor, acted like she walked off the street and was finally being “discovered” after singing on Broadway as Cosette in “Les Miserables” and many other high profile gigs. Damn them.

She was still terrific but I don’t like that riffing either!

Christina Aguilera is the worst offender of it, which boxes her in from being a great singer like Aretha, Gladys Knight, Shirley Bassey, Celine, Martina McBride.

I love music but boycott almost 100% of those tv shows on the ABC channels except for NCIS.

Typicalwhitewoman on September 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Thx Mary Katharine, that little girl is AWESOME, made my day!

NY Conservative on September 19, 2012 at 5:06 PM

I liked the parents’ reaction. Her dad’s jaw was on the floor and her mom didn’t know what to do with herself. It was good fun all around. Thanks for the video.

MrX on September 19, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I think it’s better to just figure X Factor and most “reality” shows are fairly-to-heavily scripted and adjust accordingly.

She has a great voice and is a very good performer. I loved her rendition of the song (am not normally a Factor viewer).

eforhan on September 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM

If you like young girls with big voices, there is always Charise, (although she is an adult now).

LegendHasIt on September 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM

People like this girl give me hope for this nation.
Then I see what Dante and Libfree write, and that feeling is gone.

nobar on September 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM

A 13-year old girl singing for a celebrity-loving culture gives you hope for this nation????

You really should readjust your think.

Dante on September 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Politics is downstream from culture.

#war

Axe on September 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Well said, Axe. :)

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 5:15 PM

umpin Judas Priest! What a bunch of no-life-grumps on this thread. The child is a natural talent and stands a very good chance of being as popular as Adele one day. Now she will get the very best voice coaches, lots of exposure and as she matures hopefully she will not fall prey to all the evil hollywood can provide.

I don’t even listen to pop music but I can sing and sing well. I was in all the chorus groups throughout High School and had the lead in the big musical my school was known for city wide. This girl is good and not just good for her age. She is a star in the making.

You idiots that want to turn such a thread into some sort of platform for your bile and bitterness can go suck eggs! Losers.

nueces on September 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Serious intonation issues (especially in the lower notes) she’s learned to riff before she learned about proper pitch, true of too many young singers these days.

libfreeordie on September 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Having sang for 30 years in churches from downtown Memphis to Straford-on-Avon, I re-iterate was MKH said. You don’t have a clue.

kingsjester on September 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM

A 13-year old girl singing for a celebrity-loving culture gives you hope for this nation????

You really should readjust your think.

Dante on September 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Lighten up, Father Coughlin.

kingsjester on September 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

@Buttercup – I’d tell you it was before the advent of file posting, but you probably wouldn’t believe me.

mrsknightley on September 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Oh I believe it. I bet you were something before electricity.
Lame excuse. What’s to stop you from making a video of you singing today and posting it?

Buttercup on September 19, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Schadenfreude on September 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Never fear, my friend. I’m an observer and critic by profession.

I’m made of sterner, and more discerning, stuff than you might think.

I choose my friends. No one does that for me.

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 5:21 PM

SparkPlug on September 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Tougher than I am apparently.

AZfederalist on September 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

I’m not really tough at all. I just try to fake it so I don’t get a wedgie.

SparkPlug on September 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM

SparkPlug on September 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM

I will move to defend you from that ignominious fate, Spark, should any be so foul as to attempt such a dastardly deed, with all resources available to me!

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

@Buttercup – it wasn’t intended to be an excuse. If you care that much, give me a way to get in touch with you.

mrsknightley on September 19, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Mary Katherine Ham for POTUS!

Mary Kate, I remember recognizing that kind of talent in you watching those early videos you made.

Al-Ozarka on September 19, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Nice to see a young girl singing on stage who doesn’t like a hooker for a change.

Murf76 on September 19, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Miss Sonenclar’s performance brought tears to my eyes! Amazing and well done.

phoebe1 on September 19, 2012 at 6:25 PM

That kid is a phenomenon. I almost cried and I’m a really really tough guy.

SparkPlug on September 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

12 times??? That’s 84+ minutes! I’ve never watched anything 12 times.

albill on September 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I did cry, and I watched it 4 times. The kid has an amazing voice and presence

phineas on September 19, 2012 at 6:27 PM

What useless crap / chickification.

rayra on September 19, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Something very off-putting about little girls singing songs way beyond their life experiences.

rrpjr on September 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Who peed in your Cheerios? Lighten up Dude.

RadClown on September 19, 2012 at 6:29 PM

libfreeordie

And I suppose you can sing better?

Gothguy on September 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Sure he can. He’s got rhythm, don’tcha know.

Bless his heart.

Solaratov on September 19, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Thank you.

Solaratov on September 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Super awesome.

Best way to describe it.

BKennedy on September 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

A 13-year old girl singing for a celebrity-loving culture gives you hope for this nation????

You really should readjust your think.

Dante on September 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Typical leftist: just can’t stand to see anyone succeed or other people have a good time.

No wonder you’re lonely, dante.

Solaratov on September 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Cute girl. Nice voice.
Boring song, though.

Count to 10 on September 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

this is my favorite performance from jessica… it will blow your mind!

Sachiko on September 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

That was very impressive, not that my opinion about music and singing is worth anything. It didn’t blow my mind but it looked like it nearly blew hers … if she’d been attached to a power meter the needle would have been quivering way-up in the red zone. Thank you for sharing it.

YiZhangZhe on September 19, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Her intonation is far better than libfreeordie’s punctuation, which has some very serious problems, indeed. Sadly, libfreeordie learned to riff before he learned the basics. It’s true of too many young Internet commenters these days. Exercise your instrument, as my music teacher used to say!

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

What a petty, childish comment from Mary Katharine Ham. You’re attacking someone’s punctuation because they dared to point out some technical issues with the girl’s performance?

Yes, the girl can sing above average, but this is hardly the most amazing video in the world. Shows like this edit the videos tremendously in order to elicit the biggest “awww” emotion reaction from viewers. It’s manipuation, and people fall for it every time. Every year one of these shows needs to find at least one “cute, shy kid with a big voice and a heartwarming backstory.” The truth is that shows like X Factor select contestants they think will make compelling television, not contestants who are technically the best singers. Who comes across the most sympathetic and likeable? Who can a background story be built around?

bluegill on September 19, 2012 at 6:52 PM

This brought tears to my eyes. Just wonderful stuff. Such a sweet, unassuming kid. But such talent!

Wow.

SWLiP on September 19, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Who comes across the most sympathetic and likeable? Who can a background story be built around?

bluegill on September 19, 2012 at 6:52 PM

These are issues of which you need never be concerned.

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 7:04 PM

She didn’t sing that. -bo

The Mega Independent on September 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Technically solid in some ways, above average for that age, but still an annoying mousy kiddie voice.

nottakingsides on September 19, 2012 at 7:13 PM

No one suggested that there was any need to offer up some armchair, amateur, critique of this little girl’s talent.

Yet, you felt compelled to level one at her, anyway.

I can only surmise that you feel, somehow, threatened by this little girl’s obvious talent and success.

It must be a very lonely, and small, world in which you dwell.

thatsafactjack on September 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Leftists are always threatened by other’s success. They can’t actually do anything…so they are compelled to try to tear down those that can.

Solaratov on September 19, 2012 at 7:20 PM

bluegill on September 19, 2012 at 6:52 PM

“petty, childish comeent”?

You left the irony board on again, Skippy.

kingsjester on September 19, 2012 at 7:30 PM

It certainly put a big smile on my face! I loved the judges reactions!

Thank you for the break from politics, MKH! (And this from a politics junkie no less!)

Sherman1864 on September 19, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Wow, huge. Thanks for posting that, she was incredible.

Midas on September 19, 2012 at 7:48 PM

What useless crap / chickification.
rayra on September 19, 2012

There is little I hate more in the political sphere than people who think because you care about politics or write about politics that you cannot possibly spend time on anything else, lest you betray the country. It’s B.S., and it indicates what I can only imagine is a very boring, blowhardy approach to life.
Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I sounds like, in this case, that it’s due to a lifetime of rejection from the fairer sex, MK. (Not that I blame them.)

I enjoy the occasional breaks at HA from all politics, all the time.
And this beats AP’s zombie shows updates!
:D

whatcat on September 19, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Awesome performance.

CW on September 19, 2012 at 8:43 PM

OMG!! WOW! She KNOCKED it out da PARK!!!!

Such a soul and heart in this child…

I have never heard better!!

You go Girl!!!!

Scrumpy on September 19, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Carly Rose Sonenclar seems like a great kid. Also very talented.

jaime on September 19, 2012 at 9:38 PM

If you watch her performance at the Mets singing the national anthem, you learn that far from being a nobody with no performance experience, she’s been on Broadway and she’s already a child actor with considerable experience.
Not that this tarnishes her outstanding performance, but it puts it into a little more perspective. She’s a pro. She deserves a chance at the brass ring. Hope she does well.

Jewel on September 19, 2012 at 9:57 PM

You may see more of this from me

Mary Katharine Ham on September 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

You rock, MKH. Ace reposted you, too. I’m grateful you’re part of the HA team.

John the Libertarian on September 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

If you watch her performance at the Mets singing the national anthem, you learn that far from being a nobody with no performance experience, she’s been on Broadway and she’s already a child actor with considerable experience.
Not that this tarnishes her outstanding performance, but it puts it into a little more perspective. She’s a pro. She deserves a chance at the brass ring. Hope she does well.

Jewel on September 19, 2012 at 9:57 PM

This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Shows like “X Factor” ALWAYS do this. They try to make the audience believe that many of the contestants are total amateurs with a thus far “undiscovered” talent that the show is just now unveiling to the world. TV viewers eat this stuff up. Just look at the reactions of some of the people on this site who said the video brought them to tears. The X Factor video editors, who are masters of manipulation, obviously did their job and did it brilliantly.

As a related example, remember Carrie Underwood? She had made a record BEFORE her experience on American Idol, but you wouldn’t have known that just from watching the show. You would have thought Carrie was just some naive farm girl who had never stepped foot in the big city.

Of course, as you say, this shouldn’t take away from these young people’s talent, but I think the over-the-top reaction from some people here is a little much. Anyone who has seen productions at a performing arts school knows that the level of talent displayed in the above video is hardly extraordinary or unheard of. I’m not saying that to put the girl down; she is very good, and I hope she goes far! You people just need to understand that this X Factor show is looking for a particular package to sell: the look, the story, the personality, etc. They have different boxes or types they need to fill for their final contestant line-up. I guarantee you that there were thousands of technically superior singers who were turned away at the auditions (and didn’t get to appear before the celeb judges) simply because they were deemed not the right “package” for the show. If they can lead you to believe that the girl is a total novice who has never performed before a large audience, then it’s better for them because they will have make a strong emotional connection between their product (the 13-year-old girl) and you, the customer.

bluegill on September 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM

bluegill on September 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Keep eating that lemon, sunshine.

kingsjester on September 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Keep eating that lemon, sunshine.

kingsjester on September 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Was there a point to your comment, or did you just want to take up space on this page?

bluegill on September 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM

bluegill on September 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Yes, genius. You’re the biggest sourpuss on Hot Air. And no, you do not represent the collective opinion of American Conservatives.

kingsjester on September 20, 2012 at 6:40 AM

I’m not sure “Ridiculous” is the right word. What about here would you ridicule?

mr.blacksheep on September 20, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this young lady.

I fear for her though. I really do. I fear that she’ll become yet another casualty of the entertainment industry, another Lindsay Lohan. It is not by accident that two of the judges in this clip, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, have both struggled with serious mental health issues.

The trouble with fame is that you cease to be a person and become a product, something to be squeezed and extracted until there is nothing left, and those doing the squeezing don’t care that you are left a shattered wreck. They just move on to the next.

leereyno on September 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

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