Santa Cruz’s Chris Rene goes acoustic, climbs to top 4 on ‘The X Factor’
Thursday night was an emotional rollercoaster on FOX’s “The X Factor,” as 13-year-old Rachel Crow received a surprise elimination from the competition. Fans of Chris Rene, however, rejoiced as the 28-year-old Santa Cruz singer/songwriter advanced to the top 4.
Now in contention with Marcus Canty, Josh Krajcik, and Melanie Amaro, Rene will compete in the semifinal next Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Rene’s lively performance of T.I.’s club hit “Live your Life” on Wednesday, had the audience on its feet as he rapped original lines like, “Chris Rene for the win, yeah $5 million” and “Just lovin’ my life.”
Despite the flashing lights onstage, Rene—wearing a simple backwards cap, black jacket and khakis—has never seemed more in his element.
“You go ahead and live your life, we’re living it right there with you,” said judge Nicole Scherzinger, following the performance. “I love you, I just love your spirit, I love your energy, and you know what? I love that you wrote the verses … It sounds like you wrote the hook as well, it sounds like it’s your own song.”
Though Simon Cowell told Rene he’s not the best singer, he acknowledged that “as an overall potential recording artist with charisma, with presence, I think you’re doing brilliant.”
But much to everyone’s surprise, it wasn’t the T.I. performance that captivated America this week. Rene returned to the stage for a second time on Wednesday night, and delivered a goosebump-inducing original song, “Where Do We Go From Here?”
Sitting atop a stool, armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, Rene proved he just might have the competition in the bag.
Inspirational lyrics—“I wonder if we look inside our hearts exactly what we’d find, maybe we can take a lot of pain away, maybe we can heal the world today”—paired with confident vocals, earned Rene more praise than any other contestant on Wednesday.
Though he admitted feeling anxious about singing his original song because no one had ever heard it before, if anything, “Where Do We Go From Here?” solidified his position as the contender to watch in the final weeks of the show.
Tune in to FOX at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 to watch Chris Rene compete in the semifinals of “The X Factor.” Don’t forget to vote.