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Kidsday talks to Carly Rose Sonenclar

Singer Carly Rose Sonnenclar with Kidsday reporters Jared

Singer Carly Rose Sonnenclar with Kidsday reporters Jared Goldstein, Daniel Winkler, Jiayi Ruan and Emily Yang, all from RC Murphy Middle School in Stony Brook, at Dave & Busters in Westbury (March 10, 2013) Credit: Newsday Pat Mullooly

We met singing sensation Carly Rose Sonenclar at Dave & Buster's in Westbury recently. Carly was runner-up on the popular TV show "The X Factor." We thought she was great and should have won!

Is Simon Cowell really as mean as everyone says?

Not at all. He's really, really nice. I'm not just saying that. He's extremely nice and really funny.

What are some of your favorite moments on "X Factor"?

There's a lot. The first audition was definitely one of them. Just meeting the celebrities who came to perform on the show was really, really cool. I enjoyed that. And performing every week also was just really fun, so -- basically, everything I did.

How did you feel coming in second? Do you think you deserved first?

I'm happy with second. I've heard a lot of people telling me it's better that you didn't win. Obviously it's a competition, so you get to a point where you're just competitive and you just want to win because it's competition, but after the show I don't really regret anything. It was awesome.

How does it feel to be the ambassador of the Starlight Children's Foundation?

It's awesome. I love being able to help in any way I can, any foundations. And Starlight [a foundation that brings entertainment to seriously ill children and their families] has just been really special because I got to meet all the kids and talk to them and stuff. It's been really nice and I've been very lucky to have that position. It's awesome.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I do a lot of things. I like softball, surfing, snowboarding, cooking and writing, piano a lot.

Is there anyone that you haven't worked with yet that you really want to work with?

Oh, there's tons of people. I don't know if you know Ryan Tedder -- he's in One Republic. I'd love to write with him one day. There's a lot of people like that. Then I'd like to collaborate with Bruno Mars. It would be awesome.

Do you miss your privacy?

Sometimes. It's not 100 percent gone yet, but it's getting there. It comes with, I guess, going on a show like that, your privacy goes away a lot. I'm getting kind of used to it. Yeah, maybe a little bit.

Do you ever Google yourself?

That's a really funny question. I don't like to Google myself in case there's anything like a story about me that I don't want to see. Not that I'm totally in the press. But if there is ever anything like that. But, not really. I feel kind of conceited if I do that.

How do you like performing on Broadway?

I love performing on Broadway. It was really fun. It was very different than television. Well, live television and Broadway are kind of similar because you have, like, that adrenaline and stuff like that, but it's just really fun and there's nothing quite like it. It's very different and for me, going back to Broadway now after the show and going to see a show, it kind of reminds me when I was on Broadway [in the musical "Wonderland"] and stuff like that. So I love it. It was the first thing I did.

How did you feel when you found out that Britney Spears was going to be your mentor?

I was so excited. She's a legend. So, just being able to call her my mentor is crazy in itself. But she was really, really nice and helpful. So I'm very lucky to have worked with her.

Are there any other charities you want to work with?

I only mainly work with Starlight. I love going to events like this. I go to a lot of separate events for different charities where I can go and just come and take pictures, maybe help out or something like that. But the main charity that I work with is the Starlight. If I worked with like a couple of different charities then people would start, like, I wouldn't feel like I was devoted to them. But I like going to different events.

Have you met with anyone else famous since you've been on the show?

Met with them? Well I met Usher a couple of times. He's really nice. So, yeah, after the show I've gone to his concert twice. So I just got to see him after the show. He's really, really nice. He's awesome.

If you could pick your mentor, would you pick Simon?

I don't know. I feel they're all good for different reasons. Brittney is -- she was doing this at my age and so was Demi. So they both kind of have the experience of actually being on the stage and singing and performing. But then L.A. [Reid] and Simon were, like, amazing producers, like record label executives, and they have awesome experience on that side of it. I feel any of the judges I went with would have been great to work with.

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