Alex & Sierra

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Alex & Sierra
Origin New Smyrna Beach, Florida, U.S. (Alex)
Orlando, Florida, U.S. (Sierra)
Years active 2013–present
Labels Syco, Columbia
Members Alex Kinsey
Sierra Deaton

Alex & Sierra are an American indie pop duo consisting of Alex Kinsey (born September 8, 1991) and Sierra Deaton (born February 11, 1991), who won the third and final season of The X Factor USA. They were mentored by Simon Cowell and became the first and only group to win the American version of the show.

Career[edit]

2013: The X Factor[edit]

Alex & Sierra auditioned in New Orleans, Louisiana,[1] and wowed the judges with a sultry version of Britney Spears' "Toxic", resulting in them getting four yeses. They made the top 40 and got Simon Cowell as their mentor.[2] In this part of the competition, Alex & Sierra took on the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John classic "You're The One That I Want" from the 1978 musical film Grease.[3] The judges praised them for putting their own twist on the song. Kelly and Paulina felt the performance was "nice" and they have "sexiness" to them, Demi Lovato told them they were one of her favorite acts, but questioned the future and their relationship, which annoyed their mentor Simon Cowell due to his support of Alex & Sierra as a couple. Despite this, they made the live shows.[4]

For the first live show, Alex and Sierra performed a stripped-down version of the Robin Thicke hit "Blurred Lines".[5] Kelly Rowland felt that she wishes it had been a bit sexier and she thinks it got corny at times, something Simon Cowell disagreed with.[5] He praised Alex & Sierra on their performance, calling it "original" and "unique".[5] It earned them a spot in the top 12.[5][6] For Motown Night, they took on "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, which earned them praise, Paulina felt it was "Natural" while Demi felt at first that it "feels organic" but said it was "hot" and "sexy".[7] On the re-vote show, which happened due to a graphics error that nullified the votes, Alex & Sierra sang "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran, Simon said "That was immaculate, it was ragged and raw".[8]

For '80s Night, the couple took on the Robert Palmer classic "Addicted to Love".[9] The performance earned them negative reviews; Kelly wanted them together more, Paulina calls them "Bohemian" and "vintage.", Demi felt that Sierra looked uncomfortable in her shoes and wanted the performance more organic and their mentor Simon expressed his own disappointment over how the performance went by saying that they lost the melody in the beginning and "it wasn't as good as it should have been."[9] For British Invasion night, Alex & Sierra took on the One Direction hit "Best Song Ever". Demi Lovato called it their best performance and even told them that she planned to download the song on iTunes.[10] However, Sierra's vocals were criticized for not being as strong as Alex's. Their version charted on the top 40 of the US iTunes, the first act to do so that season.[10]

For Big Band night, Alex & Sierra performed Taylor Swift's hit "I Knew You Were Trouble".[11] Demi said that she hated the arrangement at first, but Alex & Sierra made her like it by the end - they "nailed it". Their mentor Simon said that their arrangement was clever and cool and not obvious, and also praises Sierra: "You just shut up the Witches of Eastwick here because that was a great, great vocal performance." They later faced off against the others in a group performance 'Cry Me A River', in which they received praise from Kelly, who said they "soared".[11]

For Divas/Unplugged night, the couple took on two songs. Their "Diva" song was "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child, the song earned them praise from Kelly, who adored the new sassy side of Sierra.[12] Their "Unplugged" song, "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, the performance earned them well deserved praise by the judges; Kelly said she felt like she was watching an awards show, Demi felt that the performance was "magical", Paulina was impressed with Sierra's talent with the piano and their mentor Simon stated that this was not only their best performance of the night but of the season.[12] Their version of the song hit number one on the US iTunes charts, which was the first time that a song from the US X Factor reached the top position.[13]

For the semi finals, the public chose "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men, which earned Alex & Sierra praise; Kelly said they nailed, Demi felt she was looking at the winners, Paulina said that they keep coming back stronger and suggests that there's a huge gap in the industry for them and Simon said they're not just performing - they're making records each week.[14] They faced Carlito Olivero in The Duet Duels singing "Falling Slowly" with the Judges feeling that while Carlito and Alex did well, Sierra stole the song.[14] but it was their performance of "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles that earned high remarks; The judges felt that Sierra had blossomed during the competition, Alex's vocals were "fricking crazy" and their performance as "perfect", bringing judges Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato to tears, and securing their place in the finals.[14] Like "Say Something" before it, the couple's version of "Gravity" hit number 1 on iTunes.

For the finals, Alex & Sierra did three songs. They did their "save me" song from the re-vote show as their "song to win", "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran.[15] They also got to sing "Bleeding Love" with Leona Lewis, and their "song of the season" was "Say Something".[16] Despite the "Bleeding Love" performance receivng a bit of a mixed response mainly from Demi Lovato who said that it wasn't their best performance, but the other two songs received praise. In the finale result show, Alex & Sierra performed "All I Want For Christmas Is You", later that night Alex & Sierra were announced the winners of the season on December 19, 2013.[17] They are the first group to win the American version of the show.[18] In an interview with Simon Cowell after the winner was announced, Cowell revealed that Alex and Sierra received the most number of public votes every week of the competition.[19] He said that the margin for the number of votes had narrowed closer to the end of the season.[20]

Performances on The X Factor[edit]

     denotes having reached within the top ten of the iTunes chart.

2013–present: Debut studio album[edit]

Following their win on The X Factor, Alex & Sierra announced they would be making their debut album 'quick' and 'right'.[21] They have been working with Julian Bunetta, Sam Watters, John Shanks, Toby Gad and Grammy award winning singer/songwriter John Legend on their album.[22] They have said that they hope to release their album no longer than four months from January.[22]

Members[edit]

Alex Kinsey[edit]

Alex Kinsey (born September 8, 1991) is from New Smyrna Beach, Florida and is an only child. Alex cites Jason Mraz as one of his biggest musical influences, and has seen him live in concert eight times.[23] He has been playing guitar since middle school. Alex attended New Smyrna Beach High School and The University of Central Florida.

Sierra Deaton[edit]

Sierra Deaton (born February 11, 1991) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Orlando, Florida, was born to a British father, Dr. John Deaton, and Vietnamese mother Vu Deaton.[14] She has an older sister named Lara.[14] She attended Lake Howell High School and The University of Central Florida. Sierra has been dancing since the age of two and studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, and more. She competed for eleven years and won three international titles in Irish dancing.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The X Factor 2013, season 3
  2. ^ "Alex & Sierra Flaunt ‘Toxic’ Love On ‘X Factor’ Season Premiere — Watch". HollywoodLife. September 12, 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Still, Jennifer. "'The X Factor' USA: Four Chair Challenge part four recap". Digital Spy. Retrieved Oct 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Alex and Sierra – You’re The One That I Want – The X Factor USA 4-Chair Challenge". southomer. Oct 10, 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Wightman, Catriona. "'The X Factor' USA recap: The live shows begin, but four say goodbye". DigitalSpy. Retrieved Oct 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Alex and Sierra with their cover of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines". thexfactorusa. Oct 29, 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Fienberg, Daniel. "Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 Top 12 Performances - Motown Night: What is the twist Simon Cowell has been teasing?". Hitfix. Retrieved Nov 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ Fienberg, Daniel. "Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 13 Performances Deja View - Thursday edition: After Wednesday's SNAFU, the Top 13 perform again for your votes". HitFix. Retrieved Nov 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Fienberg, Daniel. "Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - First Elimination and '80s Night Performances". Hitfix. Retrieved Nov 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Kubicek, John. "'The X Factor' Recap: The Top 10's British Invasion". BuddyTV. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Wightman, Catriona. "'The X Factor' USA Big Band Week recap: Swinging and swooning". DigitalSpy. Retrieved Nov 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Wightman, Catriona. "The X Factor USA Diva & Unplugged week: Five best performances". DigitalSpy. Retrieved Dec 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ Bentley, Jean. "'The X Factor': Simon Cowell says 'Say Something' was Alex and Sierra's star-making moment". blog.zap2it. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Wightman, Catriona. "The X Factor USA semi-final recap: Duet duels, tears & killer songs". DigitalSpy. Retrieved Dec 12, 2013. 
  15. ^ "The X Factor On Fox - News-Detail". Thexfactorusa.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  16. ^ X Factor USA: Paulina Rubio To Perform As Alex And Sierra, Jeff Gutt And Carlito Olivero Make It To Final - Celebrity Gossip, News & Photos, Movie Reviews, Competitions - Ente...
  17. ^ Still, Jennifer. "The X Factor USA: Grand finale". DigitalSpy. Retrieved Dec 19, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Top Three Finalists Announced on 'The X Factor'". tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  19. ^ "Simon Cowell Interview at "The X Factor" USA Season 3 Finale Night 2 - Alex and Sierra". maximotv. Retrieved Dec 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ Saltman, Laura. "Congrats to @TheXFactorUSA winners @AlexandSierra3 @SimonCowell told me backstage they were the #1 vote getters every single week it was on". Twitter. Retrieved 10:03 PM - 19 December 13. 
  21. ^ Murphy, Shaunna. "Alex & Sierra: ‘X Factor’ Winners Plan To Do 1st Album ‘Quick’ & ‘Right’". Hollywood life. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Parker, Lyndsey. "‘X Factor’ Winners Alex & Sierra Writing With John Legend for Debut Album". Yahoo. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Alex Kinsey: Road To Hollywood Interviews - AMERICAN IDOL". American Idol. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tate Stevens
Winner of The X Factor
2013
Succeeded by
N/A