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Kelly Rowland & Paulina Rubio debut as 'X Factor' judges

Kelly Rowland & Paulina Rubio debut as 'X Factor' judges

Listen to Kelly Rowland on iHeartRadio | Listen Paulina Rubio on iHeartRadio

The third season of "The X Factor" is under way.  Kelly Rowland has joined the judges' panel this season, and was welcomed with a rousing performance from a 54-year-old grandmother on the premiere Wednesday night. 

Lilly McCloud sang Cece Winans' "Alabaster Box," bringing Kelly and judges Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and fellow newcomer Paulina Rubio all to their feet for the first standing ovation of the season.  McCloud walked out on stage in a stylish, tight-fitting leather outfit, and shocked the judges when she revealed her age.  Demi likened her voice to Whitney Houston's and said that she'd "ripped [her] heart out of her chest."  

Another contestant, 13-year-old Rion Paige, won the heart of Paulina.  The Mexican pop star was moved when she sang Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away."  Rion opened up to the judges about the physical disability in her joints she was born with making her hands bend downward, but said she wanted to be judged on her voice alone.  Paulina told the teenager that "music heals everything" and that she was "honored" to witness her performance. 

"X Factor" continues Thursday on Fox. 

Photo Credit Getty Images

 

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