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