Alex and Sierra discuss their journey to ‘The X Factor’ crown

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 19: Winners Alex & Sierra with judge Simon Cowell (C) onstage on FOX's 'The X Factor' Season 3 Live Finale on December 19, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/FOX via Getty Images)
Winners Alex & Sierra celebrate with judge Simon Cowell, center, onstage on FOX’s “The X Factor” Season 3 finale on Dec. 19 in Hollywood. Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX via Getty Images

On Dec. 19 Alex and Sierra, one of Simon Cowell’s groups, was crowned the winner of “The X Factor” 2013. Meanwhile Jeff Gutt and mentor Kelly Rowland came in second place, and Paulina Rubio’s Carlito Olivero placed third.

The winning duo consists of Alex Kinsey, 22, and Sierra Deaton, 22, who are both from Florida, and with impressive iTunes song chart numbers, a $1 million recording contract and Simon Cowell supporting them, their future seems bright. They shared their experiences about the road to the top during a conference call on the week of the finale.

Were you afraid to stand in front of Simon the first time? And did you prepare for if he said something blunt?
Sierra: Could you not tell that I was nervous the first time we saw Simon? I was freaking out. I think we had tried to prepare ourselves for standing in front of someone like Simon Cowell, but there’s really nothing you can do to prepare yourself because once you step out onto that stage, it’s a completely different feeling.

Sierra, you received some tough criticism from the judges. You seemed to really come back from that…
S: I think the night that happened, I had to get all my emotions out. I pretty much cried. But, you know, we came here to get criticism. I think I just had to get it and get over it. I really wanted to prove to myself that I can take it and I can come back stronger. I think getting that criticism just motivated me and I’m actually glad I got it because I know now that I can take criticism on national TV and still come back stronger.

Alex: We watched [it] back that night a few times, because we wanted to see what they were talking about. I honestly think the girls were wrong when they were calling out Sierra as strong as they did.

What was the turning point for you on the show? 
A: I think that “Give Me Love” was a really high point for us. It was our idea to do that song and it went over so well. I think that that was, kind of, when Simon started trusting us to make some good decisions on our own.

S: Yes, I think that our main big moment was “Say Something,” because it was the first time we both got to sit down, play instruments and just be artists that are singing the music that they want to sing. The charts definitely reflected that it was a good decision.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced during the competition, and how have you overcome that?
A: I honestly think that just the amount of work that goes into it. Coming into it, you think, “OK, you’ve got to learn a song here and there [and] you’ve got to be prepared.” But it’s a television show, too, you know, and there are a lot of interviews and things that we didn’t really expect to come across. We were prepared for the music. We were prepared to work hard and learn the songs and change them up and do our thing with them. We weren’t really prepared for just the amount of time that is spent on things that aren’t really as much music as you would think. You get very tired.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from Simon?
A: To be ourselves and to make sure that when we’re working with someone, we let them know what we think and what we want to do. We have to be able to sell the music that we’re performing. We have to be able to be behind it and love it and perform the crap out of it. We can’t do that if we don’t love what we’re doing from the get-go.

S: But also [to] know how to compromise and take the advice of people around you that probably know a lot more than you do. That’s definitely — we’ve learned how to stand up for ourselves, but also know how to compromise.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

PHOTOS: Who is Alix Tichelman?

Who is Alix Tichelman, the high end call girl who allegedly murdered a Google executive?

National

Washington state approves first producer of pot edibles

  A Seattle-based company that makes marijuana-infused drinks and candies has become the first business in Washington approved to make edible pot products for the…

National

Florida cat owners call 911 after Russian blue…

By Barbara ListonORLANDO Florida (Reuters) - Kush the cat was quarantined in central Florida after her owner called 911 over the weekend for help, saying…

Local

Times Square costumed characters under scrutiny

Costumed characters in Times Square are under scrutiny after a string of incidents involving Elmo, Woody, Mario and Spider-Man.

Going Out

What to do this week in NYC: July…

Le Fooding Beach Club Presents: San Pellegrino Fruitstock at the Rockaways Friday-Sunday, Noon; $40 Beach 97 97-01 Shorefront Pkwy., Rockaway Beach Picnic on the beach…

Going Out

Where to eat on Bastille Day in NYC

We had ours on the Fourth of July, now it’s time for France’s equivalent on July 14. Go out and show your solidarity with the…

Books

What to eat while you read

A smudge of chocolate on a page never hurt anyone.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, July 9: 'The Bridge,'…

See Diane Kruger solve some mysteries in the second season premiere of "The Bridge."

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

MLB

MLB power rankings: Athletics cement spot on top,…

The Athletics cement spot on top of our MLB power rankings with a huge trade, while L.A. teams follow.

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Wellbeing

Sugar isn't making anyone's life more sweet

Not so sweet. Anne Alexander, author of “The Sugar Smart Diet,” tells us where sugar is hiding and how it’s making us sick. Bet that…

Wellbeing

This will take more years off your life…

  Obesity can cut life short by causing strokes and other illnesses, but a new study quantifies the toll: The most extreme cases cut a…

Wellbeing

Kids parkour classes teach how to climb the…

If your kids like to get creative at the playground, then consider taking their fun to the next level at the upcoming parkour workshops hosted…