WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Mamaroneck’s Carly Rose Sonenclar stunned the “X-Factor” judges with three songs as hundreds of her fans cheered her on Wednesday night from a viewing party at Archbishop Stepinac High School.
“I think it’s really cool to watch somebody so young just being in command of the stage and giving your all,” judge Demi Lovato said after the 13-year-old’s performance of Nina Simone’s “I’m Feeling Good.” “You’re going to inspire so many young girls to follow their dreams.”
Sonenclar, an eighth-grade student at Rye Neck Middle School, is competing against country singer Tate Stevens and the all-girl pop group Fifth Harmony for a $5 million recording contract in the hit show’s second season.
Her loyal fan-base of friends and teachers wore “Carly Rose” T-shirts and waved signs with her name throughout the viewing party – hosted by "X-Factor" – including her sixth-grade teacher Teresa Castaldo.
“We hope she’s having as much fun doing what she’s doing as we are rooting for her at home because we’re just having a ball,” said Castaldo. “We schedule our lives around ‘X-Factor’ now. I am so proud of her. Not only is she a star, but she’s also a lady and she conducts herself so beautifully.”
Castaldo credited Sonenclar’s parents, Bob and Terri, for how they raised their daughter.
“They not only support her and help her live her dream, but they keep her grounded and they let her know what’s important,” said the 12-year Rye Neck teacher. “It’s awesome.”
When asked whether Sonenclar would win, Castaldo said yes because of her consistency throughout the show.
Before becoming known around the world on "X-Factor," Sonenclar performed on Broadway and sang the National Anthem at Mets and Dodgers games. Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum saw Sonenclar’s talent firsthand at local events.
“She will have a very successful career,” said Rosenblum. “She deserves it. As great as a talent she is, that’s how beautiful she is as a person. It’s a good mix to see someone that is centered because of her family and has that great talent.”
Members of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization Sonenclar volunteers for that helps children with chronic diseases, also attended the viewing party.
“She’s a kid herself and she’s giving back already,” said volunteer Mike Lee, who worked with Sonenclar at various events. “I didn’t start volunteering until high school and they made me at first. She’s doing it willingly. She wants to give back and appreciates what she has. These kids all love her.”
Sonenclar and her fans will find out whether she has won over the rest of the world when the results are revealed Thursday at 8 p.m. on FOX.