Kelly Rowland has been through the highs and lows of the music industry, with its refusals and disappointments. Being signed, being dropped, being signed, then being placed on a shelf, as she puts it. Today she sits as one of four judges in the third season of the U.S. version of “The X-Factor,” and she’s happy to share what she’s learned with contestants this season.
“Coming up in the music industry I ran into people who had some harsh things to say, but I grew more from people who actually were constructive and gave details about how I can grow,” she says, “I paid attention to those people and wanted to apply that to the way I’m a judge, because it’s about seeing people grow and be better and become something wonderful.”
But what does wonderful mean to her?
“I think, above anything, people love to see passion, and I think that when it comes to performing, people just want to be entertained. If you’re not up there having fun, then how can anybody else who is watching you have fun?”
Rowland says she’s looking for fun, and while some might fear that could cloud her judgment, Rowland’s not worried.
“I’ve turned someone down because they had a wonderful look and they sounded awful. I don’t want them to come into this competition thinking they can get on by their looks. It’s more than that. It’s your talent, your passion, your hunger and your dedication. I am very honest with them and I’m very honest with myself [when it comes to talent]. I don’t cut any corners.”
She’s been there
Rowland actually participated in a talent show herself as a teen. With her group “Girls Time” – including, among others, Beyonce – she was on “Star Search,” but lost. She remembers the experience clearly.
“Once that red curtain closed we were like little sad puppy dogs, just bawling our little eyes out,” she says. “We were so sad, but I truly believe that when it’s your time, it’s your time.”