'The X Factor' USA 2013 Season 3 Recap VIDEO: Rion Paige, Disabled Teen, Compared to Carrie Underwood
on Sep 12, 2013 12:19 PM EDT
A blind and disabled 13-year-old blew the judges away during the season 3 premiere of The X Factor on Wednesday.
Rion Piage Thompson, from Jacksonville, Fla., impressed Cowell and his three co-judges when she sung Carrie Underwood's Blown Away. Before Thompson sang her heart out, she revealed she is blind in one eye and has limited use of her hands due to the medical condition arthrogryposis. She told the cameras that despite the disability, she always found a way to use a microphone to sing while growing up.
After her performance she told Demi Lovato she is a huge fan of her role in the teen Disney movie Camp Rock. When Thompson ended her performance, Lovato returned her affinity for the 13-year-old.
"Rion, I'm just so impressed right now, and I cannot believe the struggles that you've had and how positive you are," Lovato told Thompson. "I think everyone can learn something from you today."
New judge Paulina Rubio told the teen she is the perfect example that "music heals everything" and "I'm honored to live this with you." Kelly Rowland said she was impressed because Thompson's performance was full of "passion."
"I think that's what I loved most about it. Just everything about you is so incredible," she added.
Cowell was silent for a moment before he told Thompson "I think you're literally extraordinary. I really do" and compared her to Underwood.
"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," the former American Idol judge shared. "And I'm gonna say the same thing about you, Rion. I'm gonna remember this audition for a long, long time...This is the easiest yes I've ever given anybody in my life."
Cowell later said he was unsure which category to put Thompson in, but he would love to work with her.
Part 2 of The X Factor's two-night premiere airs Thursday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. EST/7 Central on FOX.
Watch Rion Piage's The X Factor season 3 audition video below.
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