21-year-old Jade Richards showed up to the X Factor auditions with plans of singing Etta James’ “All I Could Do Was Cry,” but that’s not the song that sent her through to the next round.
After singing the Etta James song beautifully, the judges weren’t satisfied. Louis Walsh asked Jade to sing Adele instead.
“Everybody had been singing Adele all day so my first song wasn’t an Adele song. I did an Etta James track to begin with called All I Could Do Was Cry,” Jade explained. “It was Louis who asked me if I would sing Adele. Originally I didn’t want to sing it because everyone else had, but he asked me so I couldn’t say no.”
The struggling, unemployed photography student agreed to do the song and it’s a good thing she did because her second performance ended up moving the judges to tears – especially Kelly Rowland.
Jade’s performance of Adele’s hit “Someone Like You” completely blew the judges, and the entire crowd, away.
“I’m so emotional. I whispered to Gary before you started singing – if this audition goes the way I think it’s going to go then it’s going to be amazing,” Kelly Rowland said about the performance.
She added: “Because I had a dream about this song. And the fact you came here and stood on that X and sang that song so beautiful. You have the X Factor and then some.”
The judge’s praise didn’t stop there. They knew that this Adele song was the song that would change her life forever.
Fellow judge Tulisa Contostavlos told her, “While you were singing I felt I heard your whole life story through your voice.”
Gary Barlow, another judge, said, “That was absolutely fantastic. You have blown this whole place away. Jade, that performance is going to change your life.”
Walsh, who was also on the brink of tears, concluded, “You have a God-given talent and you just make the whole show worthwhile, I’m so glad we came here. I’ve been doing this show for eight years and this it’s what it’s all about – finding someone who deserves a break, and you deserve a break because you’ve got talent.”
Jade’s grandmother, who is also her biggest influence, was there at the audition supporting her granddaughter who has had trouble “fitting in.”
Normally, Jade goes by her alter-ego Jade Von Horror and wears specially-made fangs because she’s a self-proclaimed vampire. Before auditioning for the show (which was her fifth time), she removed all of her piercings.
“I love ‘Twilight’ but I haven’t drunk blood or anything like that yet. I could be the first vampire ‘X Factor’ winner – how great would that be?,” she told Standard UK.
“You don’t see many Goths doing well on ‘X Factor’. I guess I look less like one now I’ve taken out most of my piercings.”
Jade’s first song never aired on the show, but the tearful Adele performance went viral. The video has been viewed over 15 million times!
Despite her success, Jade’s friends found it a bit odd to see her ‘vampire’ friend on stage without all of her normal goth getup.
“I was surprised to see Jade with no piercings. She’s always rolling around pubs looking like Morticia from ‘The Addams Family’ with fangs. Some people steered clear, but she’s a good laugh. It’s just an image thing,” said one of her friends.
Regardless of Jade’s alternative lifestyle, there’s no denying that she’s an absolute talent. Watch her incredible audition in the video below.
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