Teen sings her way to top 3 in ‘El Factor X’
By Dan Moran email@example.com August 27, 2013 9:14PM
Brisila Barros El Factor X | MUNDOFOX
Updated: September 29, 2013 6:51AM
School might be in session at Round Lake High School, but 15-year-old Brisila Barros has a good excuse for missing the first few days of classes: She’s competing in the inaugural season of “El Factor X,” a Spanish-language version of Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” franchise.
“I talked with her mom about making sure she gets her homework,” said first-year principal Donn Mendora about the school’s budding star, who has advanced to the program’s semifinals and will find out on Friday, Aug. 30, if she’s moving on.
Among those who will watch from the edge of his seat is her brother, Brian, who said his sister has been singing “pretty much since she was three or four.”
“We come from a singing family,” he said. “We get that from our dad, who was a singer in Uruguay, so we all sing — our dad, three brothers and Brisila.”
Joe Lanier, whose daughter, Angelica Garcia, has been friends with Brisila for years, said his family has been watching her steady climb up the “El Factor X” ladder and are hoping that the young singer will get the attention she’s earned.
“She’s in the top three out of the whole show, and she’s beaten out a pretty big group to get there,” he said. “But nobody knows about it, and to be in the top three — if it was the original ‘X Factor,’ every reporter would be at her door.”
As it is, “El Factor X” airs on the relatively new MundoFox, which is available in the Chicago market through Comcast and AT&T U-verse channels. Lanier said “as popular as it is here, it is twice as popular” in Mexico and Latin America.
Competition began in early August with three teams of five individuals in different age groups: boys and girls aged 8 to 11, coached by veteran Mexican singer-actress Angelica Maria; boys aged 12 to 15, coached by Venezuelan pop duo Chino & Nacho; and Barros’ team, girls aged 12-15, coached by singer-songwriter Belinda, who made her professional debut at age 14.
The contestants reportedly were selected through open auditions earlier this summer in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, and Brian Barros said his sister had to go the extra mile just to be heard in the first place.
“They didn’t come to Chicago, so she had to go all the way to New York,” he said. “Then she went to Miami for a second audition, then she made it to a (singers’) boot camp, and then she had an audition at the houses of the judges. So she went through four rounds before she got on the show.”
To this point in the televised process, Brisila — wearing a trademark fedora — has performed her versions of ballads like “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston, “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars and “Between the Sea and a Star” by Thalia. Along with Houston, she lists her musical inspirations as Christina Aguilera, Miriam Hernandez and Olga Tanon.
The show films in Mexico City, but Brisila has been able to keep in touch with her Lake County fan base via Facebook, where she’s posted updates on both the competition — “I’m in the finals!!! Yayyyy!” she wrote on Aug. 9 — and the all-important voting process.
“Fansssssss thanks for your support,” she wrote on Aug. 23. “If it wasn’t for you guys I wouldn’t of been here in the X factor!! But please do me a favor a vote plz! Spread the word to everyone, love you all and don’t forget to vote.”
Her Facebook page, with 869 likes and counting, also alerted fans to on-air performances on Aug. 5, 7, 16 and 22, and there are embedded videos that include her audition. She noted that Facebook followers can vote up to 20 times per round, or anyone can text “Brisila” to 21523.
Brian Barros said his family — including parents Nelson Barros and Milka Vazquez — will gather to watch the next round later this week. If she’s successful, the sophomore will have a lot of homework to turn in.
“If everything goes good and she makes it to the finals,” Barros said, “she’ll be home Sept. 5 or 6.”