Last night, The X Factor aired its third episode of Season 3, an episode that skipped, hopped and jumped across different cities and through plenty of different apparel worn by the three female judges. There seemed to be a remarkable lot of highs and lows in Wednesday’s chock full episode, but part of that can be chalked up to the fact that The X Factor, unlike many reality competition shows, doesn’t edit according to audition location. Thus, we see some of the best of the best and the worst of the worst each episode, but it gives viewers a distorted perception of where a lot of the talent comes from early on. Last night, the editors of the show were going for some real heartwarmers, bringing us a return contestant and a socially awkward fifteen-year-old with a big old voice. The real winner of the night was Carlos Guevara, a sixteen-year-old high school student who wants to compete, despite the fact that he is suffering from Tourette syndrome.
The X Factor can’t miss a chance to throw both triumph and tragedy in the audience’s face, but last night’s performance by Guevara managed to bring tears to Demi Lovato’s eyes, as well as half of the women in the audience. When we are first introduced to Guevera in the video, he’s telling some girl in line that he has Tourette’s, after one of his vocal ticks pops up while they are talking. We learn that he’s been diagnosed since he was 12, and the only thing that can keep many of his problems at bay is music.
The X Factor isn’t shy about its motivations, so by the time Guevara actually hits the stage, we already know this one is going to be a good performance. Guevara stands on the stage, shuffling and having a little trouble getting words out. You can tell the judges already think the kid’s going to be a trainwreck, and so they ask him if he’s nervous, to which he has to explain that he has a condition where “Sometimes I beep and yell and my body moves.” It must be aggravating to constantly have to explain to people why your body sometimes makes movements and noises outside of your control, but the teen really takes everything in stride and focuses on his performance.
Luckily, music really seems to light him up and relax him quite a bit. Guevara’s performance of the John Mayer song, “Gravity,” highlighted one of the smoothest voices we’ve heard so far in the competition, and marked him as one of the contestants to watch. It helps that the female judges were all over the contestant and that Simon Cowell even managed a “good for you” smirk throughout the initial round.
I often find myself wishing we would see more contestants that The X Factor judges disagree on and who are on the border of moving forward in the competition, but I still can appreciate when a person with a great voice walks onstage and lights up the room, earning respect from all four of the judges. Guevara was lucky enough to be one of those individuals last night.
You can catch Fox’s The X Factor on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.