Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

2012 flashback: did 'X Factor' paint too harsh a brush on Tara Simon?

This was posted on October 10, 2012 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

"The X Factor" is all about personality and drama and on occasion, actual singing.

One personality who stood out during the auditions is Smyrna''s Tara Simon, a 28-year-old music coach. But the editing was not flattering. The snippets we saw made her seem condescending and overconfident relative to the singing clips we heard. She seemed to be oversinging.

Yet she has survived to date, landing into the top 24 on Wednesday as part of L.A. Reid's "Over 25 group."

On Thursday's episode, she gave one more audition before the live shows in front of Reid, Justin Bieber and his manager, Atlanta's Scooter Braun.

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"I feel like I can win the whole thing," she said Thursday on the show. "I've always been a star." (She seems to annoy the other contestants.)

Tara sang a dramatic version of Hoobastank's "The Reason" and hit a monster last note. "That was super fun," she emoted after it was over.

"She's got a big voice but she needs to show more sweet moments with her voice," Bieber said.

In an interview last week, Tara made no bones about it. She felt the editors have painted her in a light that is unfair and honestly, far worse than she could ever have imagined.

"They made me out to be the bratty, know-it-all girl," Tara says. "It's not true to who I am. There's a disconnect between what people see on the show and how I really am in a regular situation."

"It's really difficult to watch it based on how they're portraying me," she adds. "I can't really enjoy it. It's devastating. I'm heartbroken. I am a confident person. I need to learn to come across on TV better. I'm a rookie."

She says they also cut down her singing moments to make her sound singularly over the top. And she didn't pick "Landslide" when she did duets, though the show made it sound like she did. She would have preferred Sugarland's "Stay" or Elton John's "Your Song." She dueted with teen Jennelle Garcia. "She was very scared to be paired with me. I was trying to comfort her," she said.

When Simon sang Queen's "Somebody to Love" while the rest of the contestants sat on stage, "they put all my riffs together. It looks like a hot mess. I'm not ever seen singing a note and holding it." In the future, she said, "I'm going to simplify things."

If she makes it to the live rounds, she's going to have to amp up her likability factor and turn around the negative perceptions of her floating around social media.

"It's been a great learning experience, I have to say," she said. "I'm always the type of person pushing myself to be better. I'm making myself better."

Her husband Terrence, she added, "is the only reason I'm still sane right now. I have to keep away from the hate mail and mean things people have said on Twitter. Reading it messes with your spirit."

Tara said she was encouraged by an investor in one of her projects to try out for all the singing reality shows. Timing wise, she couldn't do "The Voice," she said. She has auditioned for "Idol" a couple of times but didn't get to the live judges. But "The X Factor' bit.

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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