September 11 marked the season premiere of X Factor, and one performance in particular stood out among the rest. This 13-year-old contestant even made Simon Cowell smile, believe it or not. Ah, pending fatherhood. Anyway, Rion Paige went up on stage and belted out an amazing rendition of Carrie Underwood's hit "Blown Away" during her audition in Charleston, South Carolina.
Not only was Simon impressed, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio were also, well, "blown away" (how many times is that gonna happen?). But as you can see, this talented teenager has had her fair share of difficulties in life, and she has risen above them in a way that would make anyone proud and a tad weepy.
Rion has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which has made growing up a bit challenging for her. She's had it since birth; fortunately, it isn't progressive. "My hands, like, they’re curved differently because of my joints," she explained. "So I have to learn things differently, and I’m almost permanently blind in my right eye."
Poor, brave girl! But she had her very supportive mom along with her. "The fact that Rion’s getting on stage today ... makes me nervous," her mom said. "I feel like she’s prepared, and it’s not [for] me to hold her back. It’s for me to give her every opportunity and say, 'It’s your time to fly, baby.'"
And fly she did. Sorry, that was cheesy, but this girl is awesome! Of course the judges had nothing but positive things to say as well.
"I remember the day I met Carrie Underwood and I remember predicting this girl was going to go on and do special things with her life," said Cowell. "And I’m gonna say the same thing about you, Rion." Whoa, can't get a much higher compliment than that, can you?
And as Paulina says, "Music heals everything."
All that said, check out her incredible, memorable performance:
Did you see Rion on X Factor last night? Will you be rooting for her?
Image via TheXFactorUSA/YouTube