Paige, 18, Hayley, 17, Cari, 17, and
Dani, 22, didn't make it into The X Factor's
Top 32 on their own, the judges decided to put them in a
group, Lakoda Rayne, and have them perform together
for the win. They may not have made it to the top spot and
earned the $4 million recording contract, but they were
the last group standing in the competition and they worked
their way into the hearts of thousands.
PCM recently had the opportunity to participate on a conference
call with these talented ladies where they reflected on
their time on the show and much much more! Read below to
learn everything they had to share with us.
When they put you together, I'm sure that the four of
you all had sort of an expectation of how this would work
out and sort of what the results would be. How did the actual
experience compare to your initial expectations?
Hayley Orrantia: A lot of people expected a manufactured
group to not be as successful because we were thrown together
and had such little amount of time working together. But
we actually came together really well.
We became best friends and like sisters and I know people
are like well that would be the safe thing to say, but it's
true because we laugh like sisters. We play like sisters.
We argue like sisters. I think it worked out so well, too,
where that we don't want to be apart from each other. A
lot of people expected it to be completely opposite.
Obviously the four of you live in different parts of
the country. Is the plan to sort of find a new sort of home
base, stay together, and continue to make music? Or what
is the future of Lakoda Rayne?
Dani Knights: Actually Paige is staying with me
right now but she actually found a place close by here in
Los Angeles County. So we are actually planning on as Hayley
and Cari finish school, which we don't really know at this
point, as soon as they finish with school, all of us finding
a place together here in Los Angeles County and of course,
working on our music, writing songs.
There definitely is a future for us together. It's not
something that we're just going to let fade out. We were
put together for a reason and we feel like it was fate.
We wouldn't want it any other way but to be in a group and
make music together.
Do you feel that being in the group category was a bit
more difficult that being in the individuals? How do you
think that affected your chances?
Paige Ogle: I think that one advantage for us being
in the group category was that we had each other and I think
it was a lot more fun than being a solo artist because like
in the group members we had somebody to goof around with.
I think a disadvantage to that was that America never really
got to know us and couldn't connect with us.
Do you feel as though you guys didn't connect with American
viewers due to the fact that you never shared any emotional
Dani Knights: I think part of why the groups weren't
exploited as much this season, it was just-I don't really
know how to put this. Hayley you want to say something before
I try to say it?
Hayley Orrantia: I don't really know.
Paige Ogle: All right. I'll take the reins on this
one. All the other contestants really did have deep, deep,
deep emotional background stories and our story was just
kind of us coming together as a group and we gave thanks
to the people who were really important in our lives.
But I feel like that's just as important as somebody who
had overcome something really in their lives. Just because
we didn't have a story like that, I don't think that was
a reason that America didn't connect with us.
I just think it was because in our packages that were
put on the show before we performed, we had to split up
like two minutes between four people, trying to get to know
four people as opposed to solo artists who that whole two
minutes was designated to them and everything about their
lives. I just feel like people weren't able to get to know
us enough because of that.
This actually builds on that last question. What do
you wish that America did get to know about you if you had
had sort of two minutes each?
Hayley Orrantia: Something that we all discussed
about wanting to be in the video packages was showing how
silly we are because we are four girls who are completely
different from different places, but one giant common ground
we have is how goofy we are. We make silly videos and put
them on YouTube all the time and we laugh together.
That's the biggest part of us as a group is that we enjoy
having fun together. That's something we really wish they
were able to put in the packages and they never really did.
So we decided to kind of take the reins and make our YouTube
videos and promote them online so our supporters have an
opportunity to get to know us and see that real side of
us. Yes, just being silly with each other.
Cari Fletcher: We really just wanted to have America
get to know us individually and sort of like, yes, we have
a good time together, but we all have completely different
personalities. Like the Spice Girls, for example, they were
four completely different individuals and we are the same
way. We just wish America was able to get to know that better
because then maybe somebody has a favorite.
Like, oh, I love this about Paige. I love this about Cari.
I love this about Dani. I love this about Hayley, kind of
thing. And that was something that didn't happen. We just
kind of seemed like four individuals that were just thrown
together, but that's not the case at all. We're four different
people with different qualities about ourselves.
Looking back, what do you think you should or could
have done differently in the competition?
Dani Knights: I think we started to get a voice
maybe a little bit too late in the competition. We didn't
want to step on any toes. This was an incredible opportunity.
We were working with absolutely the best of the best in
the industry and it wasn't until later that we came to realize
that if we don't start speaking up, we will not be heard.
And we started to kind of, this competition kind of made
us realize what kind of personality we have as a group and
what kind of style we have and that was something we all
had to figure out along the process of this competition.
Closer to the end, we started to get a voice. We started
to really speak up for what we want; we knew exactly what
we wanted; what we wanted to wear. And I feel like that
may have happened a little too late. That was one thing;
if anybody would like to add on.
Hayley Orrantia: I think that was mainly the only
thing because there's not a lot you can regret in an opportunity
like that because it is so incredible but that is definitely
one thing that we struggled with during the competition.
What did you take away from the judges' feedback and
Simon, in particular?
Paige Ogle: Sometimes Simon goes a little overboard
with what he says and sometimes the criticism was not exactly
our vocals. It was about wardrobe and backup dancers. So
you kind of have to take everything Simon says with a grain
of salt, but he gives great constructive criticism and we
take in everything that anybody tells us. Simon takes it
a little far sometimes.
Just to build on the last question; what's the best
piece of advice you received either from Paula or any of
Dani Knights: I think one of the greatest pieces
of advice that Paula could have given us was to, once we
hit the stage, just let everything go and have as much fun
as possible because if you're having fun, your audience
will have fun.
So that was one of our biggest things right before we would
all hit the stage, we would just tell each other that we
love each other right before we hit the stage and we would
also crack jokes and try and just laugh it off and be super
goofy like right before and I think that helped us every
what would you guys like to say to everybody who was a fan
and supporter of you guys for you on the show?
Paige Ogle: We're so thankful for everyone that
voted, even if it was just once. There were people that
were like we're sorry we let you down. They didn't let us
down and at least they voted. We have a pretty good supporter
base and we take time to talk to them. We actually started
on Twitter; we're doing phone calls now. We do trivia for
phone calls. We just like to stay connected with them because
we like to get to know them on a different level because
we really are thankful for having them.
Of all the performances you gave on stage, which do
you think best represents the Lakoda Rayne brand? In other
words, what song do you want to say this is a great indication
of what can come from our album?
Cari Fletcher: I think the song that best represents
us as a group and what we want to bring to the industry
was actually our last performance, "You Belong with
Me," by Taylor Swift. Honestly, after we got off the
stage that night the girls and I said is this: If we go
out it would be on this performance that we want to go out
after. I mean, we had such a good time performing it.
It was for the first time we were just like, yes, this
is it. This is what we should be doing. This is the direction
where we should head. I think it was a good performance
to go out on because that's they'll remember us by and something
that they'll be looking forward to in the future.
I'm really curious to hear from you all going into kind
of when we had to do this group thing, when you notice on
the charts there's not really a lot of groups right now.
Did you kind of take that moment to say this could really
be a smart strategic move that could really help us in the
Hayley Orrantia: Oh, yes. There aren't many groups
out there right now and I think that's one reason why the
judges put us together was because of the gap in the market.
It's something that we definitely want to take advantage
of because we love being in this group together and we want
to see Lakoda Rayne go farther than just X FACTOR.
I wanted to address a little bit of minor controversy
coming out of the results show when Steve mentioned that
your dream is over. And I know that throughout the season
we've seen he's kind of been struggling to I think get,
kind of, into his groove. There has been an awkward comment
here or there or he's had to yell at the judges to kind
of stay on schedule. But you guys really seemed to take
his comment personally and looking back, do you still stand
by that reaction?
Paige Ogle: We know that Steve has like a difficult
job and it's his first year being a host. I think it was
just like reaction to like what he said. He said your dream
is over and I kind of corrected him, but we don't take it
to heart really anymore because looking back, he said his
words wrong. Everybody does it. People need to give him
You just kind of identified "You Belong with Me"
as kind of your target song; what you would want to represent
and I know that throughout this Paula, too, was really adamant
about that country pop is the right avenue for you guys.
But at the same time, the two songs that you kind of got
in the bottom groups for were first the Keith Urban song
and then the Taylor Swift song. So I'm wondering why you
feel like your country songs might have been the ones that
failed to click with viewers or failed to keep you in the
Hayley Orrantia: That's actually interesting because
when we performed our Keith Urban song, one of the things
that we considered to be a possibility of why we were in
the bottom few, but we have absolutely no idea if it was
true, was that the CMAs were on the exact same night. So
we assumed that maybe our country audience was a little
busy looking at their other country artists that they love
instead of voting.
But then we decided to perform the Taylor Swift song and
I don't know, it is something that we're comfortable with
as a group and I think people enjoyed seeing that from us.
We got the best comments from the judges on those and the
best reactions from our supporters. I'm not really sure
why we did get in the bottom for those songs, but I think
that that's something that we need to go for because there
is a gap in the market for that and it is something that
we all four love doing together.
Can you talk about song selection and how much of a
challenge that was from week to week?
Dani Knights: We literally spent like 14 hours a
day trying to pick a song and trying to find the correct
song; like 14 hours on one day, like a few days before the
show. It would be an extremely long day for us trying to
find a perfect song.
You know what was really ironic is eventually we ended
up with the first song we wanted to sing by the end of the
day. We ended up with the same song so it ended up being
super ironic. But, yes, it was difficult.
I wanted to ask you in terms of you mentioned earlier,
that each of you have very distinct personalities. Can you
describe each of your personalities and also if you could
talk a little bit about behind the scenes, like which of
the finalists are hanging out with each other and things
like that that you've observed?
Cari Fletcher: I'll describe each of the girls.
Dani is the oldest one of the group, so she's definitely
the most nurturing and the most caring, and the one you
always go to when you need somebody to talk about a problem
with. She is very motherly but at the same time, she's such
a goof ball and that's what we love about her. Dani is very
nurturing and very, very caring.
Paige is extremely rebellious. She is like the one that
just has no filter. Whatever comes to mind, Paige says it.
We've all kind of learned something from Paige that if you
don't speak up and say what you want, you'll never get it.
She is definitely that kind of girl.
Hayley is your sneakers, jeans, and t-shirt kind of girl;
really down to earth, really funny, and has a really chilled
personality. She is hilarious, too. She can make you laugh
Dani Knights: And Cari, I wouldn't let you answer
for yourself, Cari. That would just be awkward. Cari, we
like to call her our all American girl. But, honestly, Cari
is just very, very, very sociable. She can be everybody's
best friend. And she's a really old 17-year-old in a way.
She's extremely wise. I can literally sit down and have
coffee with Cari and have these incredible in depth conversations
and these wise conversations because she is far wiser beyond
her years. You could put her in any situation and she'll
make it comfortable and she enjoys a good laugh. She is
definitely a little goofy, too.
I think that's one thing that all of us do have in common
in Lakoda Rayne is the fact that we are all goofy and we
all love to have a good time and love to hang out and meet
new people. I think that's one thing we do have in common.