When I began watching this season of The X Factor, it became immediately clear that Alex & Sierra are the ones to beat. They’re the show’s most authentic performers, avoiding all the standard network pitfalls of cheesy backup dancers and sparkly outfits in favor of stripped down songs. The two semifinalists took some time to answer all my probing questions about their journey in the competition and their future plans. Enjoy!
You have a very unique, indie style to your performances. On such a mainstream show, is it difficult to keep your identity intact?
Thank you. We look at it like this; if we perform the songs the way we want to perform them on the show, whether we get voted off for it or not, we’ll leave the show with supporters who like what we do. We came in with an idea of what we wanted to do on the show and we want to leave with as much of that idea intact as possible. Everyone we work with on the show knows we have extremely strong feelings on how we want things to do and they have been really cooperative in helping us grow, while still staying true to ourselves.
I can’t imagine working beside my significant other. I like to keep my personal and professional life private. How do you successfully manage that overlap?
We are just having a lot of fun, and when things are going so well it’s tough to get upset about things. We aren’t really consciously managing our relationship along with the show, we’re just taking things as they come and trying to enjoy all of it.
X Factor is largely predicated on the mentor aspect of the show. What have you learned from Simon Cowell since the show began?
We’ve learned that we should continue to be who we are. It seems as though people in the business like to work with strong willed people who know what they want. And that’s good for us because we really like fighting for what we believe in! We’re grateful that Simon respects our opinions and always wants to hear what we have to say.
Being on a network show almost fast-forwards your journey as artists. How are you dealing with this immediate attention in such a short period of time?
This whole thing is so much fun. When people come up to us in public it’s really exciting, when we see commercials that were on it’s a surprise. We absolutely love this experience, however I think something that has made it easier to deal with such immediate attention is the people that we are going through this with. We’ve made incredible friends with the other contestants and we’re all able to share this new experience with each other.
How tough are you on yourselves after you receive the judges feedback? Do you watch your performances back to discover things you could have done differently?
Alex: Sierra is a little bit tougher on herself than I am, but we also agreed to come on this show knowing full well that we’d get criticized. It’s a new experience to sing and then be immediately criticized after, but we’re dealing with is as well as we can.
Sierra: It was definitely tough to deal with receiving criticisms on national television, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I know it’ll happen so as long as I’m happy with our performances I don’t take negative responses as “hate” I use them as motivation.
Both: And we do watch our performances back, we like to hear how our performances sounded on TV and we like to hear what we can improve on.
Lastly, have you thought of what you’d like your record to sound like and where you’ll go from here?
I don’t think we know what a record would sound like. I think we’re both just taking things as they come and if the prospects of a record come along then we’ll start diving into that. But as of right now we just want to get through each week!