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10/28/2011 10:00:00 PM
'X Factor's' Drew Ryniewicz: Chino Valley teen talks about ascent to fame
Fox/Courtesy photo
Drew Ryniewicz performs a soulful rendition of “What a Feeling” on Tuesday’s “X Factor.” “I really like it to be just me and the microphone,” Drew said of her performing style.
Fox/Courtesy photo
Drew Ryniewicz performs a soulful rendition of “What a Feeling” on Tuesday’s “X Factor.” “I really like it to be just me and the microphone,” Drew said of her performing style.
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Though "becoming a diva is so easy to fall into," Chino Valley teen and "X Factor" breakout star Drew Ryniewicz says, "I am never going to let that happen to me – ever.”
Special to the Courier

Joining the likes of Sting, Cher, and Madonna, Drew Ryniewicz of Chino Valley is now known simply as "Drew" and, on Oct. 26, made the final three on TV talent show "X Factor."

With her soulful rendition of "What a Feeling" from the "Flashdance" soundtrack, Drew, 14, joined co-competitors Melanie Amaro, 19, and 13-year-old Rachel Crow in making it to the next round of the competition.

Simon Cowell - contestant mentor and show creator - stated several times throughout Tuesday's show that he would be faced with one of the most difficult decisions he's had to make in choosing which two of the remaining five contestants in the female performers category he would have to let go. When the moment came, Cowell reversed himself, saying, "This is the easiest decision I've had to make. My first girl through is Drew."

During a break from her rehearsal and performance schedule in Los Angeles, Drew took some time to update the quad-city area on her "X Factor" experience so far.

With only two other contestants left in her category, who is Drew's biggest competition? "I honestly feel that Melanie could be my biggest competition," Drew said. "Simon saved her, he obviously loves her, and wants her on the show for a reason. He knows that America will also want her."

In a previous show, Cowell said he had made a mistake in dismissing Amaro and brought her back into the competition.

As "X Factor" judges are known for being brutally honest with the contestants - and each other - Drew admitted it can be a little intimidating to face them. Is there a judge who is more intimidating than the rest?

"I'd have to say Simon," she said. "He's my mentor so I want to impress him, plus I've been following him for so long. But also L.A. Reid. He signs people and the people he signs have become the biggest artists, the biggest stars. He knows what's going to sell."

Tuesday's show was this season's first live performance. Drew said her process remained the same.

"Performing is performing. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone and do something that Simon would like."

While other contestants opted for large production numbers, including back-up dancers, elaborate costumes and lighting effects - one prompting a comment from Reid that the only thing missing was the kitchen sink - Drew's performance was very subdued and intimate, which she said she prefers. As she and Cowell work together planning the performance, her opinion is valued.

"He doesn't want me to be uncomfortable, so I have a lot of input," she said. "I really like it to be just me and the microphone, but I can't wait to try things with the lights and the dancers later in the show."

Her "X Factor" experience so far has been an education in the industry, the judges being her professors.

"I really focus on what they are saying. It was unbelievable that they were directing those comments at me," Drew said. "As judges, they don't just give out any kind of comments; they say what they believe."

The biggest lesson so far has been to avoid getting caught up in the "star" mentality.

"I have learned that becoming a diva is so easy to fall into. I am never going to let that happen to me - ever," she said. "I have to remember that when something goes wrong right before you go on stage, with your hair or your make-up, something that really bothers you, it's going to carry over into your performance. You can't let that kind of stuff bother you.

"If you have make-up on one eye and not the other, that shouldn't bother you. That's where people want to become a diva, and who wants to watch that?"

Reid summed up Drew's appeal Tuesday, remarking, "You're the whole package. You are a star."

The "X Factor" competition continues at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Fox.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Article comment by: Chino Valley Mom Dian Tucker

Congratulations Beautiful Drew! As a Chino Valley Mom raising two daughters, it is inspiring to watch our daughters' enthusiasm as you sing. The love, respect, support and Grace your family shows is contagious! Keep it up girl - we look forward to supporting you throughout your well deserved career!

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011
Article comment by: Charlotte W

Drew, my family continues to pray for you and your family. We are so excited for you! It is such a joy to see you succeed. Keep your faith and stay positive.

To Kelly: your examples of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan can not even come close to being compared with Drew and her family. Ms. Lohan's own father was recently in the news yet again for being arrested. Unfortunately for these two young ladies, they come from highly dysfunctional families... and that is putting it lightly.

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011
Article comment by: An excellent singer

I saw the X Factor for the first time last week, and she was excellent. I'm a long time American Idol watcher, and based on what I've seen over the years there, this girl can be very successful. And I feel sorry for the naysayers, who quote some halfbaked madeup statistics telling us how she'll be ruined, bla bla. In my experience these comments are born from jealosy, and the "holer than thou" mentality.

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011
Article comment by: How Dare You!

What a terrible thing for you to do, Kelly P! How dare you spread such negativity and try to bash the dreams of this wonderful, talented girl! What a shameful thing to do. I am very proud of Drew and her ability to respect her youth and the valuable lessons she is learning throughout this exciting experience. HOORAY DREW!!! Keep up the excellent work - and just know we got your back.

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011
Article comment by: trisha C

Kelly, you are a sad soul!
Drew and all the fans .... we know you will do great! Drew is grounded with herself and her family watches over her. I have worked with Drew and she knows what she wants and is a very smart girl. Go Drew! Take is far! Ride this amazing wave and enjoy your new life!

Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011
Article comment by: Chino Fan

Drew Ignore the negative Kelly, It is just her opinion, and its HER opinion. God will guide you, you are an amazing young lady and your voice will get you far. Remember your Values. People like her are everywhere, Just Pray about it and remain positive. Good Luck.

Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011
Article comment by: here we go

Drew you are one amazing young lady.
You are truly gifted with personality, originality and above all your family.
The passion, heart and courage you've proven to the world speaks volumes.

Dreams are meant to be achieved not chased.

Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011
Article comment by: Kelly P

No need to beat around the bush here. Someone who sings good and gets famous will be exploited, in return they will receive monetary gain for that exploitation. To say otherwise is to deny reality and the historical legacy that Hollywood has laid. Hollywood is not guided by moral principals, it is guided by money. Those who dare enter into its lair will be exploited and if they are of young age, they will have a greater chance of being corrupted. Look at Miley Cyrus and her family, went from a close loving family to a divorced disaster. Miley was exploited and became a sex figure and she is now headed down the road of Spears and the rest. A 14 year old is not of sound mind to deal with the pressures and vices of Hollywood. Enough of these parents trying to live out their fantasy lives through their children.

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: SUPPORT the youth and their DREAMS!!!!! G

First of all Congratulations to Drew on what you has done so far. This article is not about Lohan or Spears it is about a young lady from Chino Valley AZ that has a dream and is working very hard toward reaching that dream. Lets be positive and be behind her or any young person that has a dream and is willing to spend many hours working toward that goal. And support the parents that also give up so much to help that young person reach that dream.

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: ughh people

its funny to read everyones negativity on stories

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: To Kelly

....and 81% of statistics are made up.

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: I Have Observed

Drew appears mature beyond her years. I think if anyone can handle the hoopla of becoming a star and stay grounded that she can. I am very proud that she comes from our local community. All the way, Drew!

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: Ardent Chino Supporter

Do you have no praise for someone who has worked hard to get where she is? Do you just ASSUME that Drew will turn out like Lohan, Spears etc? Do you know her parents? Their lifestyle? Do you know all there is to know about Drew?
You wrongly assume that she will become another child star who goes off the tracks. I believe that if that happens Drew will make a decision to abandon the dream.
Your quote of statistics is with some merit, but don't put everyone under the age of 14, who wants to be a rising star, in the same basket.

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: Mary A

having watched this young girl and her family on the "X Factor", I would hazard a guess that they are all well grounded, including Drew herself. Being a star at a young age does not necessarily mean that she will become involved in criminal activity, and to suggest she might is not only judgement, but a generalization as well.
She has an amazing voice, and we are rooting for her.

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: Linda Essex

You are unbelievably talented and it is a gift to share. Good luck! It is obvious your parents care for you deeply and will give you their best guidance always.
Linda, a big fan

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Article comment by: Kelly O

Statistically, a child that achieves fame prior to the age of 16, has a 80% probability of being involved in substance abuse. Need one mention Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and the countless others that ended up in a train wreck? You would figure parents would keep their child as far away from a Hollywood studio as humanly possible. Let us hope that Drew can beat the odds and not end up as a drug addict, alcoholic, or criminals. At 14 you don't have the mental capability to deal with the stresses of fame, that is fact, ask Dr. Drew Pinsky. I hope her parents realize what they could be getting into.

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