Over the next two days ANDPOP will be rolling out Q&As with some of our fave contestants on The X-Factor. The other day, we talked with Willie Jones, a small town country musician who is talented, unique and constantly surprising. Do you think he has what it takes?
I hear people in the background as I’m talking to 18-year-old country singer Willie Jones and he tells them to hush. “I’m doing an interview!” he says. Then he apologizes profusely in that polite way that’s characteristic of Southern gentlemen, explaining that he’s hanging out with relatives (of course it’s okay!).
It’s clear Willie has a tight relationship with his fam — they drove 14 hours to get him to his first audition in Greensboro. There, he threw the judges off with his unique Fresh Prince of Bel-Air style and impressed them with his rendition of Josh Turner’s “Your Man. He’s currently fighting for a spot in the finals with mentor Demi Lovato.
Where are you right now? Leaving my cousin’s college at Northwestern State.
What would you be doing if you didn’t audition? Studying musical theatre in Louisiana. I was really into community theatre and performed in a couple school plays.
What would your album sound like? I would love to do country but with my own little R&B spin on it. So far, I think I’m doing a good job!
Who would you love to do a duet with? Beyonce and Josh Turner of course! I can perform Josh Turner’s “Your Man,” 100 times. I’m a big Taylor Swift fan and I also love Kanye.
What was the most nerve-racking experience so far? During Boot camp we did a round with duets and that was really nerve-racking because it was the last time the judges would see us before eliminations.
Pre-stage ritual I always pray before I perform and talk to my family because they keep me encouraged
Toughest judge Demi and Britney.
Guilty pleasure Sour Gummy Worms.
Last song performed “Nobody Knows It But Me” by Tony Rich
Willie’s got tons of fans, including some celebrities, tweeting him words of encouragement or at least borrowing his deep lullaby voice: