InTENsity: We felt we could beat Stereo Hogzz and survive on 'X Factor'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/04/2011
InTENsity was eliminated from The X Factor, determining the new Fox reality competition's Top 11 acts, during the show's first live results show Thursday night.
InTENsity was ousted from the competition after The X Factor host Steve Jones revealed they were one of the bottom two acts based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's Top 12 performance show and judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and L.A. Reid then decided to eliminate the group via a 3-1 vote instead of fellow group act Stereo Hogzz -- which like InTENsity, had been mentored by Paula.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, the 10 members of InTENsity talked to Reality TV World about what their reaction was when they had discovered they were in the bottom two alongside Stereo Hogzz and whether they thought they had a chance to survive in the competition another week.
Reality TV World: The Stereo Hogzz had gotten some pretty incredible praise from the judges on Tuesday night. So what was your reaction when you found out you were in the bottom two with them? Did you think you were pretty much done at that point or did you think the judges were more likely to send them home instead of you guys?
Arin Ray: I really thought that we had the same chance. Everybody is equal in this competition, so everybody has an equal chance of getting through to the next round. It's just on how you perform and whoever is better. So I thought, and we thought, that we could beat them, but I guess the judges felt differently.
John Lindahl: It's just the fact that not even going up against them, but it's actually just the fact that we had to be in the bottom two with them. I think for us, we just didn't want to actually be in the bottom two with another group -- one that we worked really closely with, have hung out with a lot and it's just really sad to know that one of us is going home.
Emily Wilson: I think it was just really tough because both us and the Stereo Hogzz on Wednesday night, we didn't get any negative feedback at all from the judges while some other people -- whether it was on their wardrobe or their style -- most people got a little something.
So we knew it was fair game then and it was all about the "save me" song or the backgrounds and experiences of the past. So, we were all trying to think positive and really hoped that we could be able to stay in.
Also during the conference call, InTENsity talked to reporters about their The X Factor experience -- including whether they plan to stay together as a group, whether they felt they were at a disadvantage compared to the show's soloists because America couldn't get to know their individual personalities and how hard it was for them to hear Paula pick the Stereo Hogzz to stay in the competition instead of them.
Are you looking to stay together and continue on as group?
Austin Percario: Well, we're really going to try to continue as a group. We just want to try and be positive and even right now, it seems like the world is kind of ending. We're just going to try to wait and see what kind of opportunities we get from this.
What was it like working with Paula? What do you think she brought to the table that the other judges may not have?
Ma'at Bingham Shango: I think Paula is one of the most amazing mentors because she was one of the only judges who was there everyday at the rehearsal studio and she would always help us. She would actually be our choreographer. We didn't have anybody else. She would always make it up and it was just so amazing having her as a mentor.
Would you say groups in the competition were at a disadvantage in comparison to soloists?
John Lindahl: It's a lot different and a lot easier to connect with a solo artist on the screen because it's only focusing on them. It's their time. You're basically learning things about them, but with a group -- nevermind a 10-person group -- you can't really focus on every single person in the group.
You get a little amount of time with them, so I feel like America didn't really get to connect with us a lot and we hope that eventually they will.
Francesca Duncan: Song choice definitely played a big role this week. We were really kind of nervous with our first two songs, because we were going to originally sing "Kids in America" and "We Got the Beat," but we just didn't want to put up with the kind of childish, teeny-bopper vibe.
We wanted to be more pop and edgy, so we actually chose the other song "Party Rock Anthem" for ourselves. I think it mixed really well and I think we performed really well.
Both acts that were in the bottom were Paula's groups. Do you think you would have had a better chance if you got to work with a different mentor?
Austin Percario: We couldn't have gotten a better mentor. Paula was absolutely amazing with us. She always put in extra effort and she was always making sure that we performed our best.
When it came down to it, Paula had to say goodbye to one of her groups, which must have been really emotional for her. So, we're not mad at Paula or anything. We respect her decision, so yeah. That's just how it had to be. It is what it is.
How hard was it to have Paula vote against you? Were you really shocked?
Emily Wilson: It was really tough because we had all gone through an elimination before and it was just heartbreaking to have to go through what we went through at boot camp again - just waiting for your name to be called and you're in the bottom two.
After L.A. Reid just didn't send us through, it was like -- I felt like I should be waking up -- I felt like, "No, there has to be some other chance. I can't leave this competition for real. We can't possibly be out." But it was just devastating because the difference between us going home and Stereo Hogzz going home is that when we go home, we're all over the country.
We have to hope that there will be someone who wants to work with us and someone will sign us or something, so that we can still be together. But if Stereo Hogzz got sent home, they could all be from the same town and all from the same place and it wouldn't be hard for them to stay as a group. But for us, it's a little bit more of a challenge.
When you're in a group, it's clearly difficult to get your individual personalities across to home viewers, which is why Paula said they had trouble identifying with you. Did you have a strategy in place to try to showcase your individual personalities besides taking turns singing solos?
Austin Percario: I think that what was important about our group was that we brought a lot of energy and fun to the show. We just really -- that's all we ever really wanted to do, was just have a good time and make sure our audience is having a good time alongside of us. Hopefully America saw that and yeah, we're disappointed right now, but hopefully this open opportunities in the future for us.
How difficult was it for 10 very diverse people to gel together?
Francesca Duncan: Honestly, I'm surprised at how easily and quickly this group gelled together, especially since we're all from different places. It's crazy how close we've become over such a short period of time and it's going to be so hard separating going to our little homes in different parts of the country and not being able to see each other everyday.
We honestly don't know what's in store for us in the future. We really want to stay together as a group -- all 10 of us -- and we really have high hopes for that. Our name's InTENsity. There's 10 of us. If one of us leaves, it's not the same anymore and we really hope to stick together and do things in the future hopefully to get signed or just be successful.