Taking the stage in auditions for “The X-Factor” singing competition held in Oakland this summer, the 12-year-old former Brentwood Idol (2010) and homegrown bundle of energy managed to impress even Cowell.
“He was actually really nice to me and very funny,” said Jordyn. “He said I reminded him of a younger Demi Lovato (also one of the judges on the show). It was cool.”
High praise, especially considering that one of the two songs she sang was “Tomorrow” (the other was ‘Somebody to Love” by Queen). Unbeknownst to Jordyn, “Tomorrow” is Cowell’s least-favorite song on the planet.
“I had no idea,” said Jordyn, who said she was asked by producers to sing the “Annie” trademark song as a bit of a prank on “The X-Factor” judge.
And yet the pint-sized, pig-tailed, pink and sparkling powerhouse was the show’s youngest contestant to make it through to the next round – Boot Camp. And while she didn’t make it to the final round (the Boot Camp episode aired Oct. 3) Jordyn’s walk on the celebrity side was an adventure she’ll never forget.
“Oh, my gosh, we had so much fun,” she said of her Boot Camp auditions in Florida. “Simon was so nice. He upgraded all our hotel rooms to suites because he wanted to reward us for all our hard work and let us see how it feels to be famous.”
“It was quite something,” agreed Jordyn’s mom Deena. “Simon was very generous; he did all this out of his own pocket, which we were told was close to $500,000.”
For those who have been living under a pop culture rock, “The X-Factor” is a singing competition similar to “American Idol,” but open to individual performers and groups of all ages. The winner of the competition receives a $5 million recording contract with Epic Records. This season’s judges are Cowell, Lovato, pop-princess Britney Spears and producer L.A. Reid.
Jordyn said she spent much of her audition time hanging around the auditoriums, waiting to be called. But she had plenty of support to keep things upbeat and positive. “The producers told us all to bring family, friends – whomever we wanted,” said Deena. “They encouraged us to have people there, and we ended up with about 85. It was the biggest group they’d ever had. It was an amazing thing.”
Ever the professional, Jordayn fought the nerves. And when it came time to perform, she gave it her all. “I was a little nervous when I was backstage,” she said. “But once I got on stage it all clicked … it was a great learning experience.”
And one she hopes to repeat.
“It was an emotional time,” said Jordyn. “I did a lot of laughing and a lot of crying. But I am so glad I went. I made some new friends and had so much fun. I would for sure do it again.”
“The judges gave her lots of good feedback,” said Deena. “They told her that if she trained with a vocal coach, they could see her as another Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. That was really neat.”