The moment 14-year-old Drew Ryniewicz of Chino Valley, AZ, stepped onto The X Factor stage and did her own take on Justin Bieber's "Baby," she won over the judges -- especially the notoriously tough Simon Cowell.
As she's flown through the early weeks of the competition, Drew (who will now just be known by her first name) has emerged as an early favorite... especially of Simon's!
But even with so much pressure on her, Drew is just a regular 14-year-old who's gone through her share of school drama, but also hangs Justin Bieber posters on her wall... and can't help but giggle whenever we bring up his name. Get to know Drew in her exclusive J-14 Magazine interview.
J-14: Why did you choose Justin Bieber's "Baby" as your audition song for The X Factor?
Drew: I actually was having trouble choosing a song. I was thinking I can't pick a popular song because everybody's going to know it and I'll be totally compared to them. But then I thought, "What if I take one of the most popular songs to every teenage girl and change it up and make it different?" I came up with that in like 25 minutes -- maybe 40.
J-14: And Justin Bieber Tweeted you after your performance! Did you expect that?
Drew: Oh, I know, I was so excited! (Giggles) I was actually sitting in my car and my mom was in the front seat and she was like, "Oh yeah, Drew, I forgot to tell you Justin Bieber tweeted about you." And I was like you forgot to tell me?! He's obviously watching the show because he and L.A Reid are so tight -- and I wanted him to see somebody changing up his song, not stealing it from him. And the way he performs is totally inspirational to me.
J-14: You're inevitably going to meet him any day now -- are you ready? What are you going to say to him?
Drew: I am so ready! I have been thinking about it so much. I'm like, "Oh my gosh I am so going to be meeting Justin Bieber here soon!" I don't even know [what I'll say]! I can't even predict that!
J-14: What do you think of Justin Bieber's new song, "Mistletoe" from Under the Mistletoe?
Drew: I totally love it. It's not too Christmasy and jolly, but it's still a Christmas song. I totally dig it -- the video is cool too.
J-14: It's no secret that you're one of Simon Cowell's favorites to win The X Factor -- how does that make you feel?
Drew: It's scary to think about sometimes, but honestly I feel like I have a great advantage being younger and being able to grow. Also, Simon seems to really like me and be on my side, so it's a comfort for me because I've been watching him for so long that he's like my home right there. I feel comfortable around him.
J-14: Speaking of which, you literally went to Simon's home in France -- what was that like?
Drew: That was crazy! When I found out I was going to France, I almost died! I had never been anywhere out of the country and I was like, "Yes!" His house was around Paris. The pool was the best part for me. It was like glowing, it was so blue and it had a little fountain drop off on the end of it -- it was so cool!
J-14: The group InTENsity in this competition are all about the same age as you -- but there's 10 of them together, while you're on your own. What's that like?
Drew: You know what's funny? I am close with every single person in InTENsity. I hang out with them in my spare time. I love them. We love each other. And obviously I think about competing against them just because they're an army of people my age. But they're great. Everybody in this competition is just great. There's not a single person that I would want not in this competition.
Photo: Courtesy of Nino Munoz/FOX