'The X Factor' breakout Drew Ryniewicz on her surprising Justin Bieber cover


Image Credit: Fox

Last week, my X Factor obsession was the amazingly poised Melanie Amaro, who knocked Beyonce’s “Listen” out of the park at her Miami audition. This week the singer that pleased my ears (and tugged at my heartstrings) the most was 14-year-old button-cute Drew Ryniewicz, the high-school student who impressed the judges (most notably L.A. Reid) with her slowed-down, soulful cover of Justin Bieber’s smash “Baby” in Seattle. Now back home in Arizona, Ryniewicz got on the phone to talk about her much-talked-about debut.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So how was your day at school today?
DREW RYNIEWICZ: It was kind of crazy. People were screaming, but they were trying to keep it on the down low, because it’s school. They were kinda like, “This is school, this is a normal day, but Drew was on TV…”

Were you surprised at how much airtime you got last night?
I was beyond surprised, just because I didn’t have a big story about my life. But I had, what, seven minutes and 30 seconds or something? It’s crazy.

Who came up with that arrangement of “Baby”?
I came up with that all by myself. My mom and my dad are not musically inclined and I don’t have a vocal teacher currently. So I came up with that arrangement all on my own in 20 minutes or so.

So that’s you playing the piano on the track?
No, I found that track online. I don’t play instruments. [ED. NOTE: According to a rep for the show, The X Factor producers refer some contestants to a web site where they can find suggested tracks with which to audition in front of the judges.]

Did the producers play up your love for Justin Bieber or are you really that much of a fan?
I do think that he is cute, the way he flips his hair — all the things that I said about him. But I also really appreciate the way he puts his music together and the way he performs. I really look up to that. I didn’t quite say that on there. I wouldn’t call myself an obsessed girl. Obsession is kind of a strong word and I’m not like about anything except Jesus Christ.

I went on Justin’s Twitter page today and he hasn’t mentioned your audition. Do you wonder if he’s seen it?
Yeah, I was waiting to see if he was going to say anything about me and he hasn’t. But he’s a busy kid. I hope that someday he’ll see it and want to sing with me!

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

Read more:
‘The X Factor’ recap: Hot Dog! It’s Seattle’s Best
Ratings: ‘X Factor’ gives Fox a nightly win
‘The X Factor’ audition episodes: Are they better or worse than ‘Idol’?

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • debra

    i missed last night i have church however i have found and listened to this about 10 times today. What can i say did anyone just close their eyes and just listen to her WOW what talent i would buy that single and i am a 56yr old women.

  • jp

    Justin is on his way to Mexico. His Latin American tour begins this Friday.

  • Ella

    I missed the show last night and couldn’t watch the whole thing tonight either – wow, it’s so boring, fake, predictable and stupid! Simon has NO IMAGINATION! And look here – there is almost nobody to comment. Big fat fiasco!

  • jason

    this girl is pretty darn good. i personally have enjoyed a lot of the people. i know most people are not pleased, but i like the balance between the over 30’s and the kids. should make for QUITE an interesting competition.

    • Kata

      I love the format and show. Thank goodness for DVRs though… can’t stand the commercials. Some of the talents have been AMAZING, including this young girl.

  • apolloallyn

    I’m surprised at how much fun this show is to watch so far. I’m really looking forward to the boot camp episodes next week!

  • Justin

    That’s a frakking good version of that song, a gazillion times better than J Biebs. Yowza.

  • victoria

    she was awesome, and yes, I would buy this song too…there was also a guy named Josh that night as well, he was fantastic!!! Loving the show, some great talent… can’t wait to see what these two can do next!!!

  • shawn

    in my opinion i like the show because its different format with having singles to groups to all the ages
    i say lets give it a chance

  • Robert

    the probkem with a show like this is that they edit it in such a way that they tell you who to like! Its kinda unfair as they only show us who they want us to see there might be better singers and more talented people on the show and we will never see them. Not a fan of X there ratting will show that Im not the only one.

  • brandon

    “I came up with it all by myself…by finding it on a website!” …Hilarious. I did like her voice though.

    • JJ

      I think what she’s saying is that she found the backing track online, but the way she sang the melody was her own interpretation. She is an adorable combination of bubbly and poised, and her voice is phenomenal. This girl has great things in store for her!

  • Lauren

    I think Drew was Ammazzingg!(: When i was watching this at home i had tears in my eyes. I would definetly buy the single!! Way better than jbs version(;

  • Chantel

    Ok I love this show and I am sold on Drew she’s adorable, I love this if someone doesn’t help her record her version I will. I am so proud of her and I just love how supportive her parents are! GREAT JOB MOM AND DAD! I just started to cry watching how proud her family is of her! Exactly what a 14 year old needs! I just love this family just AMAZING!!!

  • Brooke

    Absolutely a beautiful person and I love that she asserts her faith. So young, yet she gets it that God has gifted her.

    • lost fan

      Yes, I was pleased to see that too. What an amazing way to witness.

  • April

    I’ve been singing this version in my head since Wednesday. Also, Drew’s adorable reaction, as well as her father’s heartfelt response and the adorable-ness of her family, actually brought tears to my eyes. Extremely talented.

  • Mary

    What do you say, Justin? Drew Ryniewicz has thrown it down – and done so with respect toward you – and with the full respect of the X Factor judges, too.

    Drew – you are a breath of fresh air. Loved your soul and freshness. LOVED your voice.

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