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Alex & Sierra

Alex & Sierra

Alex & Sierra was 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 US. They were mentored by Simon Cowell and became the first and only group to win the American version of the show. Their debut album It's About Us was released on October 7, 2014, on Columbia Records.[3] Their EP As Seen on TV was released on September 30, 2016.

On September 1, 2017, Alex & Sierra announced to the media that they had broken up more than a year earlier, and would no longer continue to make music together, but would branch out into their own solo careers.[4]

Alex & Sierra
Background information
OriginDaytona Beach, Florida, US (Alex Kinsey)
Orlando, Florida, US (Sierra Deaton)
GenresFolk-pop,[1] indie pop[2]
Years active2013–2017
LabelsSyco/Columbia (past)
Past membersAlex Kinsey
Sierra Deaton


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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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".[8] Kelly Rowland wished it had been a bit sexier and thought it got corny at times, something Simon Cowell disagreed with,[8] praising Alex & Sierra's performance, calling it "original" and "unique".[8][8][9] 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".[10] 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; Cowell afterward said that the performance was "immaculate... ragged and raw."[11]

For '80s Night, the couple took on the Robert Palmer classic "Addicted to Love".[12] 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."[12] 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.[13] 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.[13]

For Big Band night, Alex & Sierra performed Taylor Swift's hit "I Knew You Were Trouble".[14] 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 of "Cry Me A River", in which they received praise from Kelly, who said they "soared".[14]

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.[15] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[17] 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.[17] 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.[18] They also sang "Bleeding Love" with Leona Lewis, and their "song of the season" was "Say Something".[19] 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.[20] They were the only group to win the American version of the show,[21] and the fourth in the worldwide franchise (after Random on the first series of the Australian version,[22] Little Mix on the eighth series of the United Kingdom version and Rak-Su on the fourteenth series of the United Kingdom version). 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.[23] He said that the margin for the number of votes narrowed closer to the end of the season.[24]

Performances on The X Factor

denotes having reached within the top ten of the iTunes chart.

ShowThemeSongOriginal artistResult
AuditionFree choice"Toxic"Britney SpearsAdvanced 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 16Mentor's choice"Blurred Lines"Robin ThickeSaved by Simon Cowell
Top 13Motown"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"Gladys Knight & The PipsSafe
Save Me Songs"Give Me Love"Ed SheeranSafe (1st)
Top 1280's night"Addicted to Love"Robert PalmerSafe (1st)
Top 10British invasion night"Best Song Ever"One DirectionSafe (1st)
Top 8Big band night"I Knew You Were Trouble"Taylor SwiftSafe (1st)
Top 6Divas"Say My Name"Destiny's ChildSafe (1st)
Unplugged songs"Say Something"A Great Big World and Christina AguileraSafe (1st)
Top 4Viewers' choice"Little Talks"Of Monsters and MenSafe (1st)
Duet (with Carlito Olivero)"Falling Slowly"Glen Hansard and Markéta IrglováSafe (1st)
Songs to get you to the final"Gravity"Sara BareillesSafe (1st)
FinaleSong to win"Give Me Love"Ed SheeranSafe (1st)
Duet (with Leona Lewis)"Bleeding Love"Leona LewisSafe (1st)
Song of the season"Say Something"A Great Big World and Christina AguileraSafe (1st)
Christmas song"All I Want for Christmas Is You"Mariah CareyWinners (1st)

2013–2015: It's About Us and being dropped

Following their win on The X Factor, Alex & Sierra announced they would be making their debut album 'quick' and 'right'.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29] "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.

Somewhere around July 2015, Alex and Sierra were dropped by their record label without any formal communication. According to sources Alex and Sierra only heard the news through a friend after 3 months. They have gone independent since. Alex and Sierra haven't commented on the issue.

2016–2017: As Seen on TV and their break up

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.[30] On August 1, 2016 they announced on their Twitter that their EP As Seen on TV would be available for pre-order on August 5, 2016 and be officially released on September 30, 2016. On August 3, 2016 they released a music video for their cover of Toxic exclusively on Yahoo Music.

On September 1, 2017, Alex & Sierra announced on their Twitter that though they had broken up over a year before they had attempted to continue as friends. However, they realized that it was time for them to no longer continue making music together, and instead decided to focus on their own careers.[4]


Alex Kinsey

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.[31] He has been playing guitar since middle school. Alex attended New Smyrna Beach High School and The University of Central Florida. He is currently making music in the band BoTalks. This is a musical duo made up of Alex and Swedish singer-songwriter & producer Johan Lindbrandt.

Sierra Deaton

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.[17] She has an older sister named Lara Deaton.[17] 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.[17] She plays the 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 on April 3 in West Hollywood, California at the House of Blues, Sunset Strip.[32]

  • The Take Me Tour (2017, with JOHN.k) - the tour began in San Francisco, CA at Slim's on February 16, 2017 and spanned 8 more shows, ending in Los Angeles, CA at The Roxy on March 2, 2017.


Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSales
It's About Us[34]
  • Released: October 7, 2014
  • Label: Syco, Columbia
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Extended plays

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
As Seen on TV
  • Release date: September 30, 2016
  • Label: The A&S Partnership
  • Formats: CD, digital download


TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
[[LINK|lang_en|Billboard_Hot_100|US Bub.]]US Adult
"Scarecrow"2014174089It's About Us
"Little Do You Know"[40]33

Promotional singles

List of promotional singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
"Just Kids"2014It's About Us
"Bumper Cars"[41]
"Here We Go"100


Music videos

2014"Scarecrow"Alex Purifoy
(Lyric Video)
Philip Andelman
(Music Video)
2014"Little Do You Know"Jay Martin
2016"Animals"Bruce Bohman


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Sep 26, 2019, 12:06 AM
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Sep 26, 2019, 12:06 AM
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Sep 26, 2019, 12:06 AM
Citation Linkwww.thexfactorusa.com"Alex and Sierra with their cover of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines". thexfactorusa. Oct 29, 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
Sep 26, 2019, 12:06 AM
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Sep 26, 2019, 12:06 AM
Citation Linkwww.hitfix.comFienberg, Daniel. "Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 13 Performances Deja View - Thursday edition: After Wednesday's SNAFU, the Top 13 perform again for your votes". HitFix. Retrieved Nov 7, 2013.
Sep 26, 2019, 12:06 AM
Citation Linkwww.hitfix.comFienberg, Daniel. "Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - First Elimination and '80s Night Performances". Hitfix. Retrieved Nov 13, 2013.
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Citation Linkwww.buddytv.comKubicek, John. "'The X Factor' Recap: The Top 10's British Invasion". BuddyTV. Archived from the original on 2013-11-22. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
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Citation Linkwww.digitalspy.co.ukStill, Jennifer. "The X Factor USA: Grand finale". DigitalSpy. Retrieved Dec 19, 2013.
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