'The X Factor': Alex and Sierra on making Kelly Rowland cry, girl power, pageants & more

alex-and-sierra-x-factor-semifinals-gravity.jpg Sierra Deaton is a timid sidekick no more. The singer, one half of "The X Factor" star duo Alex and Sierra, has only been singing on stage for a few months, having occasionally popped up on stage to back her boyfriend, Alex Kinsey, during his gigs. But now, going into the finals of FOX's reality competition, she's finally a star in her own right. So much so that she brought judge Kelly Rowland to tears during her critique of the duo's goosebump-inducing cover of Sara Bareilles' "Gravity."

"This experience has been a really big journey for me, not just as a singer but as a human," Sierra tells Zap2it backstage after her big semifinals night. "And for them to say things that really brought it all together -- when Kelly was saying things about female empowerment I was like 'Oh my god! Preach!'"

It was especially flattering coming from a personal role model. "It just meant a lot mostly because ever since I was a kid she's always been someone in the spotlight that I've looked up to whether it's her in a group or her as a soloist. Just as a human, too -- she is just such a nice human," Sierra says. "She's not our mentor, she doesn't have to go backstage and pull us aside and be like 'I meant every word.' I just died."

And Kelly wasn't the only one crying, either -- Sierra shed a few tears too, something she's been known to do. "This show does not need more scenes of me crying ever again," she jokes. Quips Alex, "But they got 'em!"

Alex's story was a little more lighthearted this week thanks to the revelation that he competed in pageants as a little boy. "You think I'm not proud of that?! That's how it all started," he says with a smile. Besides, Justin Timberlake did pageants. "And Justin Timberlake, his mother goes to every single one of his concerts. There's no shame in that. He's a mama's boy and so am I," Alex says. "No, I only did two of them I think. Edgewater is a teeny tiny town in Florida. I won one year and I was the runner up the next year and I cried because I didn't win."

While there might or might not be tears Thursday night (Dec. 12) when the three finalists are announced, Alex and Sierra are proud of their run on the show. "No matter what happens, if those are our last performances, then we're really happy that's how we ended," says Sierra.

Frankly, they won't be surprised no matter how things go down. "I feel really good going into tomorrow but the thing is we're at the stage in the competition where literally anyone could win it and it would make sense," says Alex. "Everyone has a huge fanbase, everyone has crazy supporters, and we're all so different. No one is direct competition. Anyone could win and I wouldn't be surprised. That, I think, is really exciting. It's anyone's game. Everyone is talented. We have a lot of fun being around such talented people."
Photo/Video credit: FOX