Alex & Sierra is an American duo consisting of Alex Kinsey (born September 8, 1991) and Sierra Deaton (born February 11, 1991), who won the third and final season of The X Factor USA. The duo are also dating. They were mentored by Simon Cowell and became the first and only group to win the American version of the show.
2013: The X Factor
Alex & Sierra auditioned in New Orleans, Louisiana, making it to the next round after wowing the judges with a sultry version of Britney Spears' "Toxic". They continued on to the top 40 and received Simon Cowell as their mentor. For the Four Chair Challenge, Alex & Sierra took on the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John classic "You're The One That I Want" from the 1978 musical film Grease. The judges praised the duo for putting their own twist on the song. Kelly and Paulina felt the performance was "nice" and said they had "sexiness" to them, while Demi Lovato told them they were one of her favorite acts but questioned the future and their relationship. Simon Cowell was annoyed and disagreed, in support of Alex & Sierra as a couple. Despite this controversy, the duo made it through to the live shows. For the first live show, Alex and Sierra earned a spot in the top 12 after performing a stripped-down version of the Robin Thicke hit "Blurred Lines". Kelly Rowland wished it had been a bit sexier and thought it got corny at times, something Simon Cowell disagreed with, praising Alex & Sierra's performance, calling it "original" and "unique". For Motown Night, they took on "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye. Paulina felt it was "natural," while Demi said it felt "organic" as well as very "hot" and "sexy". On the re-vote show, which happened due to a graphics error that nullified the votes, Alex & Sierra sang "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran. Simon said, "That was immaculate, it was ragged and raw."
For '80s Night, the couple took on the Robert Palmer classic "Addicted to Love". The performance earned them negative reviews; Kelly wanted them together more, Paulina called them "Bohemian" and "vintage", Demi felt that Sierra looked uncomfortable in her shoes and wanted the performance more organic, and their mentor Simon expressed disappointment over how the performance went by saying that they lost the melody in the beginning and "it wasn't as good as it should have been." For British Invasion night, Alex & Sierra took on the One Direction hit "Best Song Ever". Demi Lovato called it their best performance and said she planned to download the song on iTunes. However, Sierra's vocals were criticized for not being as strong as Alex's. Their version charted on the top 40 of the US iTunes, the first act to do so that season. For Big Band night, Alex & Sierra performed Taylor Swift's hit "I Knew You Were Trouble". Demi said that she didn't like the arrangement at first, but Alex & Sierra made her like it by the end. Simon said that their arrangement was clever and cool and not obvious, and also praised Sierra: "You just shut up the witches of Eastwick here because that was a great, great vocal performance." They later faced off against the others in a group performance 'Cry Me A River', in which they received praise from Kelly, who said they "soared". For Divas/Unplugged night, the couple sang two songs. Their "Diva" song was "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child. The song earned them praise from Kelly, who said she adored the new sassy side of Sierra. Their "Unplugged" song, "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera (thought by many as their best X Factor performance) earned them praise by the judges; Kelly said she felt like she was watching an awards show, Demi felt that the performance was "magical", Paulina was impressed with Sierra's talent with the piano, and Simon stated that this was not only their best performance of the night but of the season. Their version of the song hit number one on the US iTunes charts, which was the first time that a song from the US X Factor reached the top position.
For the semi finals, the public chose "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men, which pleased the judges; Kelly said they nailed it, Demi felt she was looking at the winners, Paulina said that they kept coming back stronger and suggested that there was a huge gap in the industry for them, and Simon said they were not just performing - they were making records each week. They faced Carlito Olivero in The Duet Duels singing "Falling Slowly" with the judges feeling that while Carlito and Alex did well, Sierra stole the song. but it was their performance of "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles that earned high remarks. The judges felt that Sierra had blossomed during the competition, Alex's vocals were "fricking crazy" and their performance was "perfect", bringing judges Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato to tears and securing their place in the finals. Like "Say Something" before it, the couple's version of "Gravity" hit number 1 on iTunes. For the finals, Alex & Sierra sang three songs. They did their "save me" song from the re-vote show as their "song to win", "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran. They also sang "Bleeding Love" with Leona Lewis, and their "song of the season" was "Say Something". The "Bleeding Love" performance received a bit of a mixed response mainly from Demi Lovato, who said that it wasn't their best performance, but the other two songs received praise. In the finale result show, Alex & Sierra performed "All I Want For Christmas Is You". Later that night, they were announced the winners of the season on December 19, 2013. They are the first group to win the American version of the show. In an interview after the winner was announced, Simon Cowell revealed that Alex and Sierra received the most number of public votes every week of the competition. He said that the margin for the number of votes narrowed closer to the end of the season.
Performances on The X Factor
denotes having reached within the top ten of the iTunes chart.
|Audition||Free choice||"Toxic"||Britney Spears||Advanced to four-chair challenge|
|4-Chair Challenge||"You're the One That I Want"||John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John||Advanced to Live Shows|
|Top 16||Mentor's choice||"Blurred Lines"||Robin Thicke||Saved by Simon Cowell|
|Top 13||Motown||"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"||Marvin Gaye||Safe|
|Save Me Songs||"Give Me Love"||Ed Sheeran||Safe (1st)|
|Top 12||80's night||"Addicted to Love"||Robert Palmer||Safe (1st)|
|Top 10||British invasion night||"Best Song Ever"||One Direction||Safe (1st)|
|Top 8||Big band night||"I Knew You Were Trouble"||Taylor Swift||Safe (1st)|
|Top 6||Divas||"Say My Name"||Destiny's Child||Safe (1st)|
|Unplugged songs||"Say Something"||A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera||Safe (1st)|
|Top 4||Viewers' choice||"Little Talks"||Of Monsters and Men||Safe (1st)|
|Duet (with Carlito Olivero)||"Falling Slowly"||Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová||Safe (1st)|
|Songs to get you to the final||"Gravity"||Sara Bareilles||Safe (1st)|
|Finale||Song to win||"Give Me Love"||Ed Sheeran||Safe (1st)|
|Duet (with Leona Lewis)||"Bleeding Love"||Leona Lewis||Safe (1st)|
|Song of the season||"Say Something"||A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera||Safe (1st)|
|Christmas song||"All I Want for Christmas Is You"||Mariah Carey||Winners (1st)|
2013–2015: It's About Us
Following their win on The X Factor, Alex & Sierra announced they would be making their debut album 'quick' and 'right'. They have been working with Julian Bunetta, Sam Watters, John Shanks, Toby Gad, Jason Mraz, and Grammy award winning singer/songwriter John Legend on their album. On May 3, 2014, Alex & Sierra revealed their debut single, "Scarecrow". The lyrical video featuring puppets instead of the singers themselves, was released on May 27, 2014. The song was released to iTunes on June 23, 2014. 'Scarecrow' was promoted with a performance on the Today Show on the day of the iTunes release. It sold 30,000 copies in its first week of release. The music video for Scarecrow was released on July 11, 2014. The next day, Alex & Sierra announced the title and artwork of their debut album, "It's About Us." Along with the pre-order of the album on July 15, "Little Do You Know" was made available as a promotional single. "Just Kids" is the second promotional single, and was premiered on August 4, 2014. On August 24, "Bumper Cars" was released as the third promotional single.Two weeks later, on September 17, "Here We Go" was released as the fourth promotional single and peaked at #4 on the iTunes singles charts.
2016–present: Upcoming EP
On March 6, 2016, Alex & Sierra announced on their Instagram that they were in the works of releasing an extended play. They stated that the EP will feature songs they've covered on TV (The X Factor USA) along with some new original songs. They recently have been featured on Gareth Emery's new album, 100 Reasons to Live, with a new song, "We Were Young", released March 31, 2016.
Alex Kinsey (born September 8, 1991) is from New Smyrna Beach, Florida and is an only child. Alex cites Jason Mraz as one of his biggest musical influences, and has seen him live in concert eight times. He has been playing guitar since middle school. Alex attended New Smyrna Beach High School and The University of Central Florida.
Sierra Deaton (born February 11, 1991) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Orlando, Florida, was born to a British father, Englishman Dr. John Deaton, and Vietnamese mother Vu Deaton. She has an older sister named Lara Deaton. She attended Lake Howell High School and The University of Central Florida. Sierra has been dancing since the age of two and studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, and more. She competed for eleven years and won three international titles in Irish dancing. She plays piano.
- The Good Guys & A Girl Tour (2015, with Andy Grammer and Paradise Fears) - the tour began in Seattle, WA at The Showbox on February 24, 2015 with the final concert of the tour set for April 3 in West Hollywood, CA at the House Of Blues, Sunset Strip.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|It's About Us||8||97||11||9|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Scarecrow"||2014||117||40||89||It's About Us|
|"Little Do You Know"||-||-||-|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Just Kids"||2014||—||—||It's About Us|
|"Here We Go"||—||100|
|2014||"Little Do You Know"||Jay Martin|