"X-Factor" is back for a new season, and while the judge's table may have changed a bit--swapping out Britney Spears for Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio--the formula is still the same. Much like "American Idol", the show tends to lean on the same strategy for each episode. Few of the contestants stand out in a positive way, so when 13-year old Rion Paige took the stage, it was a breath of fresh air for many.
Paige suffers from arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which causes the joints in her hands to curve so badly that it's hard for her to do even the simplest tasks. She's also nearly 100% blind in one eye, but that isn't stopping her from pursuing her dream in front of millions.
Paige said she was nervous that the judges wouldn't like her at first, but she knew she had to push it aside if she wanted to show them what she had. After performing a version of Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away", the judges couldn't deny that they had something good.
"I think you're literally extraordinary," said the hard-to-please Simon Cowell. "I really do."
Cowell went on to compare her to Underwood and said he would remember the audition for a long time. Paige hit a couple of flat notes in the song, which is quite a melody for a 13-year old to undertake; but she's young, she was filled with nervous energy, and she clearly has the moxy and talent to follow through with her goal. She easily made it through to the next round.