X Factor's Willie Jones Says He Thought He Was Going To Win It All

Give him credit: After Willie Jones was eliminated from the Top 16 on "X Factor," he kept his sense of humor as he talked about being on the show and who he thought would ultimately win.

In his exit interview, "X Factor" finalist Willie Jones said that he wouldn't change a thing about his run on the singing competition reality show -- except for getting kicked off. He laughed as he said it, which is a good thing. It's good to see that he could laugh about being eliminated, because earlier he looked a little peeved at his mentor (and judge) Demi Lovato. And he had good reason...

On Thursday night's Top 16 results show, each judge was tasked with saving two finalists for their team, then having the remaining two battle for the final positions. The judges/mentors would have the final say over who would fill the last slot in their respective teams. In the case of Demi Lovato, who mentored the Young Adults, Jennel Garcia and Paige Thomas were saved, leaving Willie Jones and CeCe Frey to sing for their lives.

CeCe Frey performed exceptionally well, singing Irene Cara's "Out Here On My Own" from the "Fame" soundtrack. Willie Jones attempted to play to his own strength and performed a low register classic country tune, "You Don't Know Me," which was a hit for Eddy Arnold (who co-wrote it) and Elvis Presley. Even though Willie has a good country voice, the song seemed to get stuck in neutral.

On a positive note, though, his performance from the night before was far superior to CeCe's, where she took the classic rock song "Because The Night" and turned it into a shouty, campy thing. Patti Smith would undoubtedly cringe if she heard or saw the rendition, as would Bruce Springsteen. Why Springsteen? Well, the "Boss" co-wrote the song with Smith, that's why.

Willie's performance was the upbeat country song "Here For The Party" by Gretchen Wilson. He had fun with it but it lacked a certain believability. In the critiques, Judge Simon Cowell not only criticized Willie's glam country look but the production and song choice as well. Demi said -- to paraphrase -- that Simon didn't get it because he was old and she wasn't. Still, Simon was right -- on all counts (well, maybe not about the way he was dressed -- take a look at some of the rhinestoned-and-glittered acts of country music's past). And still... Willie Jones put on a better show than did CeCe Frey.

But here's the thing: During his performance of "You Don't Know Me," cameras caught Demi looking around liked some caged animal. She sat enraptured not five minutes earlier listening to CeCe, so viewers knew which contestant she would choose long before she made her anguished (obviously faked) choice. And there was no possible way Willie didn't see that cornered look while he was singing just a few away from her. So if he seemed to have a "yeah, right" look on his face while Demi hugged and extended what sounded like wooden words of encouragement, he most likely was feeling a little frustration.

Of course, it didn't help that he was holding up a pouty CeCe determined to have a phony crying session. Not one tear did she shed, although she was trying her best to make it look as if she was crying her eyes out...

Still, Willie pulled it together to tell the audience that it sucked that he had to go home but he had fun. He said he would keep on chasing his dream.

During the exit interview, Willie said he would miss the people he'd gotten close to while being on the "X Factor," but he would miss Jennel Garcia the most because he and the 18-year-old retro-rocker had become close. He said he wished that he'd made the Top 12 because he believed America would have voted for him.

And he just might have been right in that assessment. Professional oddsmakers must have seen something in him (because we all know that singing is only part of these talent shows; personality goes a long way as well), because they had his odds of winning as high as possibly finishing in the finale.

When asked who he thought would win, he told "X Factor" that he didn't know. "I thought I was going to win," he laughed, "until about an hour ago."

Yes, just by watching the personable country singer joke and talk about his journey on the show one could easily believe that Judge Demi, in choosing CeCe Frey, a young singer Willie himself insisted was "very nice" despite her portrayal on the show (but still presents as unlikeable and phony), might have been a mistake.

Viewers shouldn't be surprised if she was in the first two up for elimination after next week's Top 12 performance show. The "X Factor" returns for the performance and results shows on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. on Fox Television.

(photo credit: Freemantle North America, SycoTV, Fox Television, Wikimedia Commons)

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I HAD TO COPY THIS AND REPOST ----Yes, just by watching the personable country singer joke and talk about his journey on the show one could easily believe that Judge Demi, in choosing CeCe Frey, a young singer Willie himself insisted was "very nice" despite her portrayal on the show (but still presents as unlikeable and phony), might have been a mistake.(HOW CAN DEMI LIVE WITH HERSELF, BUT SHE DID SAY SHE HAD A GIRL CRUSH ON CECE IN HER FIRST AUDITTION..UMMMMMM SMH.....DEMI IS CONFUSED!!!!! WE WAT WILLIE JONES BACK.....

Submitted by Virginia Allison (not verified) on
Am I the only person that noticed the resemblance between Willie and the late Nat King Cole. I mean personality, mannerisms, velvet voice and even looks (though Wille is better looking.) I hope some Hollywood type noticed and deceides to make "The Nat King Cole Story"

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I noticed especially the voice with that last song!

Submitted by Becky (not verified) on
Funnily, I thought that about Willie as well. In that last song he sounded a bit like Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and Michael Buble all rolled into one. His voice is definitely special and is best suited to the classic songs rather than the 5 minute wonder pop tunes or high note ballads. His voice is smooth and sophisticated but I think he still needs a bit more fine tuning to project it better. I hope he gets picked up by a record label that would actually work with what he has rather than try to change him.

Submitted by Ed Hartway (not verified) on
I WAS SEEING A YOUNG CHARLIE PRIDE, I AM A CHARLIE PRIDE FAN FROM THE 70S, AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIM OPEN CHARLIES CONCERTS

Submitted by AnonymousVirgin... (not verified) on
He could cover for Charlie Pride(who I really admire) but i think overall he looks and acts much more like Nat Cole. But like like all the other contributers I think he is his own person with his own sound and hope he will go far.

Submitted by Emille (not verified) on
I was in total shock when Demi Lovato chose CeCe Frey over Willie Jones. Willie Jones' talent is in a completely different league. He is the only contestant in the competition who is original and different and he is super likeable, extremely well mannered and humble and this makes him appeal to all age demographics, not just the teen market. If he had stayed, the public would certainly have voted for him and I sincerely believe he would have made it to the top three. Demi did him a big injustice simply because she didn't know what to do with such unique talent. She saw the very thing that made him unique (the country and R&B fusion) as a big problem instead of his strength and unique selling point that the others couldn't compete with. It was obvious she could relate better to the bubble gum pop that people like Paige and CeCe will inevitably deliver. Cece can sing but is often pitchy and there is nothing in her voice that stands out. Also right or wrong, people just plainly don't like her and yes, I have noticed the absence of tears when she "cries" !! Demi thinks she can make her likeable, I say good luck with that one!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I am Scottish, I never watch X-Factor in the UK, let alone the US version. But I came into the room when the tv was on as Willie Jones sang for the first time at the audition stage and I couldn't believe it, his voice is amazing. If Willie Jones can make an X-Factor cynic watch him sing in the US from home in Glasgow, then he's got something special. On the upside, no need to watch now!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Ditto to the glaswegian's story above. Just replace scotland with new zealand. LOVED willie jones, only reason for watching xfactor in my view. But i'm hopeful his talent shone through enough for him to be picked up by a mentor who can appreciate and showcase his talents so the fans can continue to enjoy his unique skills.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Somebody please tell me why do they have that in expierenced girl demi on there judgeing talent that she obviously dont have a ear or an eye to do so.cece dont have anything unique or excting to bring to the industry.wont be watching anymore willie should have won!!! Hands down...ms e

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I was so dissappointed to read willie jones never got through,although I have not watch the show yet,it will be on tonights tv here in the uk, now he has gone I will not watch it.he certainly should not have been voted out.when I first heard him sing he reminded me of Nat king Cole.I was looking forward to buying his album.Maybe someone with a bit of sense will give him a record deal. Good luck to you Will Jones.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Willie is why I had been watching and now that its clear they are just looking for another bubble gum princess I won't waste my time with the x factor, however the good news is that Simon and L.A. know a good thing when they hear it and one of them will take care of Willie, He'll sale more albums than whichever pop princess wins x-factor and Simon and L.A. know it, and theres no way they're going to let Willie get away from them

Submitted by Karina Mays (not verified) on
Willie would offer something really fresh and unique to the music industry. What a disgrace for X Factor to treat him like that. What the hell is a 20 year old Disney protegee doing on X Factor as a judge/mentor? It is quite clear that Demi Lovato favors Cece. She rejected Jillian for Cece and then she chooses her again over Willie. She did say she had a girl crush on her at the audition, but this is ludicrous - where is the impartiality? Both Jillian and Willie are better singers by far and people like both of them. Cece has sub-par vocal talent and she doesn't seem to have that connection with the public. Demi doesn't have the skills to be a good judge and doesn't seem to be impartial in my opinion. Willie needed a mentor that gave him material that would accentuate his distinctive voice.

Submitted by venus (not verified) on
I am very disappointed that willie jones is not on the show, I was knock off my feet when I first heard him sang, I guess that it for me watching the x-factor. I was really looking forward to hearing more from him. willie you should try the voice. I look forward to seeing willie again

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Will Jones is a terrific young man. I do think his voice (as do most of the contestants) needs a little coaching and, at seventeen, a little maturing. He can sing anything in the baritone range, country, soul, classics and rockabilly. I do think he would have been better off picking his own songs and wardrobe. He dresses his age, but notice that he is always clean and pressed. The only thing--he seems to have a terrific family that really supports him and he shouldn't be in such a rush to leave Shreaveport. Don't end up hating your roots like Miss Brittany

Submitted by Emery (not verified) on
seriously Willie Jones did not make it to the actual competition. I couldn't believe it when I tuned it so that I could cast my vote Willie's way. Demi does not have a clue what she is doing and this is the first night of the actual competition and she is already getting on Simon's nerve. Don't get to comfortable girl you might be replaced next season. Have no desire to watch anymore the two worst singers are still on the show CeCe Frey and Pa ige Thomas

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Demi, is too young to be a mentor. I thinkd the rating will go down

Submitted by Barbara (not verified) on
If Willie is gone, so am I. He and Simon are the only reason I watched in the first place. It was obvious from the git-go that neither of the female judges would back Willie, so--good bye X-Factor.

Submitted by Barbara (not verified) on
If Willie is gone, so am I. He and Simon are the only reason I watched in the first place. It was obvious from the git-go that neither of the female judges would back Willie, so--good bye X-Factor.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
one word describes this - FIX - one of the best voices I have ever heard - and a flat version of the eye of the tiger is deemed better??? Just hope someone picks him up and boy will they make it big time!!!!

Submitted by Penny from Wales (not verified) on
Why oh why was Willie Jones voted out? he is the best singer I have ever heard on the X-factor! do these people know what they are doing? I am so, so disappointed he is gone, he was the reason I watched every week, now I just dont want to watch anymore, the best is gone and he was my favourite. Please, please bring him back, you did Diamond, PLEASE BRING WILLIE JONES BACK!! you cannot let him go, he made the show. :(

Submitted by Jo (not verified) on
Willie, you have had ALL of us talking ... from the 12 year olds, 16 year olds to the 40+'s ... We have all downloaded your music at the office ... Unfortunately, as Simon said, your mentor hasn't chosen the right songs for you ... I'm afraid to say Demi didn't quite like you in the audition either ... Simon, you and LA saw what we all saw ... Surely there is a way the two of you more accomplished, experienced folk could have done something to show Willie's incredible talent and charm. Let's say one learns fromt thier mistakes - next X factor let's see a group or mentor for the likes of WIllie .... WIllie ... don't quit ... we in SA are behind you.

Submitted by janet NAJ (not verified) on
Sorry Willie lost out...He SHOULD HAVE WON THE WHOLE THING

Submitted by janet NAJ (not verified) on
Sorry Willie lost out...He SHOULD HAVE WON THE WHOLE THING

Submitted by janet NAJ (not verified) on
Sorry Willie lost out...He SHOULD HAVE WON THE WHOLE THING

Submitted by janet NAJet (not verified) on
Sorry Willie lost out...He SHOULD HAVE WON THE WHOLE THING

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I have been watching X Factor from the first time it came on. This season I am not pleased with the results to let Willie Jones go. I think the judges should not decide who to send home for the final 12. Let the peoples decide.I did not think he got a fair chance before he had to go.

Submitted by bobrocks (not verified) on
Willie Jones can perform, sing and entertain Cece any day of the week. It was not fair that she was kept to continue screeching and shouting and pouting and fake crying while a talent like Willie Jones was ousted. I pray someone in the country music arena picks him up, I would love to see more of his performances and I love that voice!!! Demi is an idiot.

Submitted by bobrocks (not verified) on
.....can sing and perform BETTER than Cece......anytime.

Submitted by Vic (not verified) on
The first audition was really original, but then "the x system" destroyed his style and originality as well it could do it. Willies talent will not need any more X Factor. He can sing anything he really likes, hopefully he does that, and it will bring him really enough fame and fortune. ( also hoping he will manage better in the future than anyone from X Factor ever). I would like to hear Willie to sing Chrismas songs and gospel songs, like Elvis did at his time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Willie Jones must return to X Factor - the show is nothing without it's audience and we are screaming for WJ to return; in fact we are demanding it - there are plenty of other shows that we can watch, and we will - bring Willie Jones back!!

Submitted by England (not verified) on
Willies gone i and all family are gone,we will not watch again.

Submitted by England (not verified) on
Willies gone i and all family are gone,we will not watch again.

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