*Tonight might be the night for folks on the fence about “The X Factor” to tune in — at least this once. And the reason is a singer named Panda.
The 42-year-old contestant (yes, that’s her real name) is the African American woman seen in the promos being wheeled out of the auditions on a gurney yelling, “Don’t let Simon see this.” [Scroll down to watch the promo.]
Sources tell EURweb exclusively that Panda, a Simon Cowell fanatic, was suffering from pneumonia during her audition. However, she managed to wow all four judges with her rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me” before falling seriously ill.
The singer also explained why her name is Panda, saying that she was born in jail and her mother’s cell mate was white.
Panda’s warm personality impressed the judges just as much as her vocals. And as “X Factor” enters its second week of auditions tonight (8 p.m. on Fox), judge L.A. Reid continues to maintain that the program – unlike rivals “The Voice” and “American Idol” – is always looking for that extra something aside from contestants just hitting the right notes.
“To me, ‘The X Factor’ is a combination of many, many things,” he said in interviews last Sunday. “It’s the ability to be loved or hated, to be polarizing, to be noticed; to not walk into a room, but to arrive. It’s the difference between the light being on and the light being off. There are certain people – when they walk into the room, they arrive and it feels like a spotlight came on them. Those people have ‘The X Factor.’”
L.A. says that fellow judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato were recruited for the panel this season because they, too, have that X factor, and the ability to spot it in others.
“I think we’re a very unique panel because we have in Simon Cowell someone who has historically made stars and had great success as a music executive,” said Reid. “And then my talent is sort of evenly matched with Simon’s. Then we have these two young girls who are bona fide superstars, who are in the moment. They’re not yesterday’s stars, they are in the moment. They are stars right now, and that’s what makes us very special.”
In the below audio extra, L.A. reveals which one of the judges continuously got the most audience love during the audition shows.
Below, Panda appears at 0:18.