A Composite: How Ellona Santiago Has Grown As A Singer And Stage Performer Into A Star

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Entertainment
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The X Factor Influence

The American television audience and, yes, even the world, has had an opportunity to see the blossoming of a young lady grow from being a singing “hopeful” to a full-fledged Star before our eyes, thanks to her being a contestant on this season’s X Factor USA competition.  From audition to final performances on the X Factor’s “Final 6 Showdown“, here are her performances, with my own personal comments:

Ellona’s Audition – “Wings” by Little Mix

Judges Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell are initially surprised, or perhaps shocked, at how the soft-spoken Ellona erupts into a literal roaring tiger from beginning to end of this song.  But, Ellona serves notice that she is here and belongs here.


Ellona Sings “Clarity” by Zedd

It was near the end of the show and Ellona was the last performer who could unseat any of the “Girls” from the Final Four in the category.  Personally, I thought Ellona was a shoe-in, but Demi Lovato needed some convincing which was provided by Simon Cowell.  Her performance was moving and emotional, something an artist wants to convey in a performance.  Next is the first of the Live Shows.

Ellona Rocks The House With “Till The World Ends” by Britney Spears

 The first X Factor live show opened with Ellona Santiago and her performance was electrifying. Judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio were “Wowed” by it, as you can hear in their comments at the climactic conclusion, and Demi Lovato was moved to do a standing ovation.  It was a performance that, in my opinion, made it virtually impossible for any of the remaining Contestant Acts to top.  It was also a performance that showed that Ellona is a master as an actual stage performer and not just a singer.

Ellona Performs “Baby Love” by The Supremes

 This is “Motown Night” on X Factor and Ellona sings “Baby Love” by The Supremes.  Her voice has a warm, full richness which blends perfectly with the backup vocalists and she performs flawlessly.  She reaches the crescendos perfectly and with a touch of emotion that she always manages well.  And, as in past performances, this isn’t lost on the judges.

Ellona Performs “Titanium” by Guetta & Sia

 Whereas Ellona proved previously that she could “sing and dance”, this was her showing that she could also move an audience without the choreographed dancers and she did own this stage.  The judges also confirmed this by their comments and especially Simon’s. She also proved that she was a master of dynamics, moving from soft/slow to a medium crescendo, then from medium to a fantastic crescendo to finish, perfectly done.  It’s also becoming clear that she is growing into the role of singing superstar at this point and this is where the floodgates open.

Ellona Sings “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

 It’s “80’s Week” and Ellona sings “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston.  Ellona has a natural knack for being perfectly in tune, even when adding a little “flavor” to her rendition.  And, she continues to prove that being perfectly “in tune” with the choreographed dancing is easy for her, regardless of a very minor “slip” by her foot at one point, something that happens to every stage performer.  Like a pro, she recovered like nothing had happened that wasn’t supposed to happen.  And, like a pro, she moves through every part of her song with complete vocal control.

Ellona Performs “Burn” by Ellie Goulding

 Moving from “80’s Week” to “British Invasion Week”, Ellona takes on “Burn” by Ellie Goulding.  She’s in full “Diva” mode now, as a singer and stage performer, and the stage set is like that for a full-fledged singing Superstar in a concert.  She continues to demonstrate her complete vocal command, including dynamics and pitch control.  And, as a stage performer, she’s like a seasoned actress, complete with appropriate and perfectly timed facial expressions.  This could be considered her best performance as a stage performer and moves her into the Final 8.

Ellona Performs “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J

 It’s Thanksgiving week and this is “Big Band Night” and the Final 8 are performing..  Ellona sings “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J and, in my opinion, does a better job than the original.  In this performance, she comes out like a force of nature, fierce and dominating.  There’s nothing timid in this performance in any way.  Her vocals are dynamic and strong and she continues to prove, beyond any possible doubt, that she was born to be on the biggest stage.  Every part of this performance is done masterfully.  This is Ellona’s third straight performance that is a perfect “production”, a perfect mix of stage set and perfect performance at every juncture.  And this performance moves Ellona into the Final 6.

Ellona Performs “Applause” by Lady Gaga

 This is the “Final 6 Showdown” on X Factor and Ellona takes on “Applause” by diva Lady Gaga. In this first performance of the evening, Ellona becomes the Star she is meant to be, complete with the red carpet treatment and paparazzi on stage with her.  This is a completely dynamic performance and Ellona makes it her own vocally.  Towards the end, she gets a little “flirty” with Simon Cowell, perhaps to show him that she’s the only one of the remaining contestant/acts who really has the “X Factor”.  Having seen Lady Gaga’s performance, I felt Ellona’s was better quality vocals.

Ellona Sings “If I Were A Boy” by Beyoncé

 For her second performance on this Final 6 Showdown night, Ellona’s “unplugged” tune is Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy”.  In this performance, Ellona transforms from the “Complete Diva Superstar” into the “Cutest Girl Nextdoor”.  Like with every song Ellona has sung during her time on this show, she adds her own flavor to this performance, making it her own.  And, like every true diva, she adds emotion and moves perfectly through every vocally dynamic moment.

This would be Ellona’s last performance on The X Factor this season as a lack of votes eliminated her from contention.  However, it can readily be said that no other performer on The X Factor this season has performed as a true stage performer as Ellona Santiago has this season.  And, it very likely shows that the world can now await the emergence of Ellona Santiago on the music scene in the way that others now star on the big stage.


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