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Carly Rose Sonenclar covers Justin Bieber, Beyonce on 'X Factor'
In just a few hours, the final four contestants will be revealed on tonight's episode of "X Factor." And considering Carly Rose Sonenclar's powerhouse performances of Justin Bieber and Beyonce songs on Wednesday's show, the Westchester teen seems guaranteed a spot in the semifinals.
On Wednesday's episode, each contestant performed twice: The first song was an unplugged version of a recent hit, and the second song was chosen by fans for the Pepsi Challenge.
For her first performance, the 13-year-old from Mamaroneck delivered a stripped-down version of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me,” which Britney Spears chose for her protege to cover.
Carly Rose Sonenclar
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Carly Rose seemed unsure of the selection, calling it “a very unexpected song” to perform unplugged. But she embraced it and made the song her own, delivering a stark and intense version of the Bieber hit.
At an “X Factor” viewing party at Chat 19 in Larchmont, Carly Rose’s friends and fans gathered to watch the show and cheer her on. The crowd included 13-year-old Claire Julian of Rye, who said she has been friends with Carly Rose since the fourth grade.
“I think it was amazing,” Claire said about her friend’s rendition of “As Long As You Love Me.” “What she changed about the song made it more interesting and unique and it really showed off her talents.”
The judges has similarly positive comments. L.A. Reid said he liked how she “showed restraint” and the song was “not filled with vocal acrobatics,” and Demi Lovato said that she preferred Carly Rose's unplugged version to the original.
For the Pepsi Challenge, “X Factor” viewers voted for Carly Rose to sing Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy.” Not only did viewers pick the song, they also voted on her clothes, hair and makeup. So Carly Rose wore a casual ensemble of a jacket, T-shirt and jeans with an upswept do while tackling the bombastic Beyonce tune. Fans cheered and chanted her name after the performance.
The judges were also wowed by her take on the Beyonce hit. Simon Cowell said, "You have had a phenomenal night tonight,” and Spears added, “You’re the definition of ‘X factor.’ It was stunning.”
Two of the remaining six acts will be eliminated on Thursday night's episode. Carly Rose doesn’t seem likely to go because she has topped the leaderboard two weeks in a row. And after Wednesday’s pair of strong performances, Carly Rose just might be the show's top vote-getter three weeks in a row.
Check back here after the show for a recap of which contentants advanced and which ones went home. And while you wait for the show to air, check out videos from last night's performances below.