The shining talent of the latest X Factor hopefuls aren't letting their hard luck backgrounds hold them back... Mitt Romney!
When Jessica Espinoza, a petite 22-year-old with fuchsia hair framing her earnest face, took the X Factor stage, she made it clear that this could be the only break of her life.
She told judges Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, LA Reid and Simon Cowell that she came from the tough south side of San Antonio, Texas.
"I know what it's like to be hungry!" she confessed. "Where I come from, south side of San Antonio, we were performing at market squares for our tips, we had holes in our shoes, and we had holes in our clothes."
Jessica in fact had holes in her well worn jeans and admitted that she was ready "but I'm terrified. I feel that anything that's ever hurt me or made me happy comes out on stage."
Watching her spill all to the judges, you just wanted her to be great and have a shot at making her dream happen.
And she more than delivered, belting out a heart felt version of Pink's gut-wrenching ballad "Nobody Knows," impressing all the judges, up the wazoo.
With lyrics like "Nobody knows but me, that sometimes I cry" and "The road to darkness has a way, of always knowing my name," it was so clear that Jessica was speaking about the challenges that she and her family have faced.
"It's been quite a struggle and this competition today can change our lives," she shared. And she's right -- with her talent, the show CAN actually transform her life -- Thank the Lord, there is something in this country today, that CAN do that.
Meet The Woman Who Dared to Flirt With Simon and He Loved Her
Let's hope, X Factor can have the same transformative affect for Panda Ross, a 42-year-old, wise-cracking mom of two, who had a big, extraordinary, deep, deep voice, and equally large personality to match.
It's not often that a contestant actually attempts to make an immediate personal connection to meanie Simon Cowell. But irrepressible Panda did just that. With a big, warm smile on her face, she flirted non-stop with incredulous Simon. You had to admire her uninhibited guts when she told him she wanted him to be her "baby daddy."
And then there was the Broadway-sized voice. It needs to be heard A LOT more. In fact, it has to be heard all the time, during and after this show. This is her big break opportunity that should have happened long ago.
Finally, the night's other heartbreaker, was 13 year-old Diamond White, with a smile as big as her face. The girl didn't lack for confidence either. Simon, who was sick of listening to non-talents, warned her that she "better be good," before she opened her singing mouth.
Guess what? She was. He admitted after she soared performing "It's a Man's Man's World," that she "blew the roof off." She sure did
It turns out that Diamond, even at 13, isn't a total unknown. Though the daughter of a single mom, she's apparently already signed with talent and modeling agencies and has starred in a production of The Color Purple.
You Don't Have to Be Born Rich to Have Talent
Now here's the thing. In just one night, we met Jessica, currently unemployed, Panda, who is apparently a barista, and Diamond, the teen daughter of a single mom. They are incredibly talented, charming, gutsy and determined to work hard. But I bet at least a couple of them are members of the infamous Mitt Romney 47 percent club -- i.e. those who don't earn enough to pay income taxes.
Yet, despite Mitt's perception about the 47 percenters, these contestants aren't looking for any handouts. They aren't moochers or unwilling to take personal responsibility for their lives. They simply weren't born rich in any way. They've had challenges in their lives and they are doing their best to succeed and have worthy, honorable lives despite those.
Isn't that what America, the land of opportunity is all about? Offering opportunity for those willing to work hard.
With all the negativity out there today directed towards the "have-nots," I'm so happy that a show like X Factor can provide a chance to make it, based purely on talent and effort, and not on the bank account you were born with.