When inTENsity got the boot from The X Factor,
it was a tough night all around. Their mentor Paula Abdul
was forced to vote against them after their performance
in the bottom two against Stereo Hogzz and the teen supergroup
had to leave the competition and their chance at a $4 million
The group was an interesting one considering the ten members
didn't start as a group, but were rather brought together
by the judges. The ten young talents range in age from 12
to 17 and were determined to be a force to be reckoned with
in the competition.
After their elimination, PCM's Kristyn had the opportunity
to sit on a conference call with the entire group (Ma'at
Bingham Shango, Nick Dean, Francesca Duncan, John Lindahl,
Emily Michalak, Austin Percario, Arin Ray, Ellona Santiago,
Emily Wilson and Lauren Ashley) where they talked about
their time in the competition, the judges and much more!
Check out all they had to share below!
You guys really did a bang up job. I was sorry to see
you leave, but I'm wondering, are you guys looking to stay
together? Are you looking to continue on as a group?
Austin Percario: Hopefully we can continue as a
group. We just want to try and be positive. And even though
right now it might seem like the world is kind of ending,
we're just going to try and wait to see what kind of opportunities
we get from this.
What did you guys think about working with Paula? What
did you think that she brought to you that maybe some of
the other judges wouldn't have?
Ma'at Bingham Shango: I think Paula is one of the
most amazing mentors because she was one of the only judges
who was there every day, after rehearsals, studio, and she
would always help us. She would actually be our choreographer.
We didn't' have anybody else. She would always make it up,
and it was just so amazing having her as a mentor.
Do you think that the groups were at a disadvantage
over the solo performers?
John Lindahl: It's definitely a lot easier to connect
with a solo artist on screen because if you're only focusing
on them with their talent and music you're basically learning
things about them. But with a group, let alone a ten-person
group, you can't really focus on every single person in
the group, as you only get a limited amount of time with
them. So I feel like America didn't really get to connect
with us a lot. And we hope that eventually they will.
Can you talk about how it was different for you guys
in rehearsals since you had so many more singers than the
Nick Dean: Rehearsals were really fun but also extremely
intense. We would spend long hours tightening up on choreography,
because working with ten people, the look and feel of our
performance is supposed to be like extremely tight and everything.
So we really focused on choreography, and like the voices,
we would always spend hours in one of our rooms and like
spend hours perfecting the blend since that's what we were
Now how much do you think song choice played a part
Francesca Duncan: Song choice definitely played
a big role this week. We were really kind of nervous with
our first two song choices. We were originally going to
sing "Kids in America" and "We Got the Beat,"
and we just didn't really want to put off like a kind of
childish or teenybopper kind of vibe. We wanted to be more
pop and edgy so we actually chose the other song, "Party
Rock Anthem," ourselves. I think it mixed really well,
and I think we performed really well.
Simon is notorious for being kind of ruthless on the
show, but he voted for you guys last night. What was your
experience working with him and the rest of the judges?
Emily Wilson: I think it was really great to have
Simon on our side, because he's really big in the recording
industry and everything like that, and to know that he really
believed in us after making us was really special. And we
know that even though Paula chose The Stereo Hogzz over
us, we know she still had a lot of faith inus. And we understand
how difficult it was to have to choose one from her own
Did you guys notice if there was a lot of drama between
John Lindahl: I don't think we really saw. We couldn't
think of anything. We just listened to what they had to
say. We weren't really processing any-I couldn't see or
hear anything except for their answer. It was really kind
of like a blur for me. I still can't really remember the
The Stereo Hogzz had gotten some pretty incredible praise
from the judges on Tuesday night. So what was your reaction
when you found out you were in the bottom two with them?
Did you think you were pretty much done at that point or
did you think the judges were more likely to send The Stereo
Hogzz home instead of you guys?
Arin Ray: I really felt we had a chance. Everybody
is equal in this competition so everybody has an equal chance
of getting through to the next round. It's just on how you
perform and whoever's better. So I thought that we could,
and we thought that we could get through, but I guess the
judges felt differently.
John Lindahl: Just the fact that not even going
up against them-the fact that we had to be in the bottom
two with them, I think for us, the last thing we wanted
was to be in the bottom two with another group, one that
we worked really closely with and have hung out with a lot.
It was just really sad that one of us was going to leave.
Emily Wilson: I think it was really tough because
both us and The Stereo Hogzz on Wednesday night, we didn't
get any negative feedback at all from the judges, while
some other people, whether it was on their wardrobe or their
style, most people got at least a little something. And
so we knew it was a fair game then and that it was all about
the "Save Me Song," about background and experience
with us in the past. So we were all trying to think positive
and really hope that we could just nail the "Save Me
Song" and stay in, but we didn't.
I actually want to bring up something you mentioned
earlier. Get back to that GLEE comparison. You mentioned
that you definitely didn't want to be like a corny teenybopper
group, but what did you actually think of Simon's comment
that you kind of could be another GLEE, like a GLEE 2.0
in the market? Was that something you were okay channeling?
And do you think it actually might've backfired given that
GLEE itself has kind of lost some momentum over the last
Francesca Duncan: Honestly, we were so honored to
get that compliment from Simon and the other judges that
we could be like GLEE Like we're different from GLEE. We're
not exactly like them, but they're so successful and we
just want to be as successful, if not even like better than
them. I take that as a really big compliment. So hopefully
one day, we could be as successful as them, if we stay as
a group and if we get noticed, because we really became
And you know similar to to people in GLEE, like we do have,
you know, we do have some negative things about us. We got
kicked out of the competition and brought back and we know
what it feels like. We're the underdogs, and we definitely
know what it feels like. I feel like that's really similar
to the people on GLEE because there are a lot of underdogs
there. And I feel like in the beginning a lot of people
didn't believe in us because we had ten people. They didn't
think we'd work out, and we actually ended up really working
Now both groups that were in the bottom two were from
Paula's group. Do you think you would've had a better chance
if you'd worked with a different mentor?
Austin Percario: Absolutely not. We couldn't have
gotten a better mentor. She always put in extra effort and
she was always making sure that we performed our best. And
when it came down to it, Paula had to say bye to one of
her groups, which must have been really emotional for her.
So I mean we're not mad at Paula or anything. We respect
her decision. So yes, that's just how it had to be. It is
what it is.
Yes, and I mean obviously there were a lot of tears
and shock last night. So how hard was it to have Paula vote
against you? Were you guys really shocked?
Emily Wilson: It was really tough. We had all gone
through an elimination before, and it was just heartbreaking
to have to go through what we went through at boot camp
again. Just waiting for your name to be called and it's
not and you're in the bottom two. I felt like, "No,
there has to be some other chance, like I can't leave this
competition for real. We can't like possibly be out."
But it was just devastating because the difference between
us going home and Stereo Hogzz going home is that when we
go home we're all over the country and we have to hope that
there'll be someone who will notice us and want to sign
us or something so that we can still be together. But if
Stereo Hogzz went home they would all be from the same town
and all in the same place. It wouldn't be hard for them
to stay as a group. But for us it's a little more of a challenge.
So I know that you talked a lot about how there was
a challenge with the groups where you didn't have the chance
to get the individual personalities across, especially when
you had other younger contestants like Astro and Rachel
Crow, who probably appealed to the same people. Not to be
difficult, did you guys have any plans in place? Did you
have a strategy to try and make a better connection or to
stand out as individuals as well as group? I know different
people sang, but was there anything else you guys thought
about maybe helping that group challenge?
Austin Percario: I think that what was important
about our group is that we brought a lot of energy and fun
to the show. That's all we ever really wanted to do is just
have a good time, make sure the audience is having a good
time alongside of us, and hopefully America saw that. Yes
we're disappointed now, but hopefully this will be a bunch
of opportunities in the future for us.
I just wondered if you think Stereo Hogzz still has
a chance to go on and win the competition after being in
the bottom two yesterday. Do you feel they can still go
Ma'at Bingham Shango: Definitely. Stereo Hogzz,
they're a great group. They put on a great performance every
week. So yes, most definitely they have the potential to
win this competition. It's just a matter if America will
continue to vote and keep them through these rounds. They're
a very great group. They're fantastic. I wouldn't have wanted
to go from anyone else, but Stereo Hogzz, they're our great
friends and they're amazing. I would love to watch them
and I'm going to root them on.
Emily Wilson: I think, if anything, they have a
better chance now because once they were in the bottom two
all of their fans are going to want to vote for them this
week so that they're not in the bottom two again. So that
really gives them a big advantage. And Paula's an amazing
mentor. So all of us were just so lucky to have her, and
with Paula still on their side, they're set. They're fine.
Ma'at Bingham Shango: They're going to come back
hard next week. I know they are.
Emily Watson: Yes.
I'm just interested in how difficult it was for you,
as ten people who were very diverse in form, how difficult
was it for you to "gel?" Is there any possibility,
and you're probably not going to give me too much information,
that some of you might go off on like a sub group?
Francesca Duncan: Honestly, I'm surprised at how
easily and quickly this group gelled together. The ten of
us are from different places, and it's crazy how close we've
become over such a short period of time. It's going to be
so hard separating, going to our little homes in different
parts of the country and not being able to see each other
And we honestly don't know what's in store for us in the
future. We really want to stick together as a group, all
ten of us. And we really have high hopes for our group.
Our name is inTENsity. There are ten of us. If one of us
leaves it's not the same anymore. We really hope to stick
together and you know, do things in the future hopefully
to get like signed or you know just be successful.
We're talking a lot about your challenges about being
in the show, but what was the most fun part for you guys
about being on the show? What did you guys enjoy the most?
Nick Dean: My personal favorite is probably the
judges' houses. It was extremely fun getting to know, having
the time to get to know everyone in the group and everyone's
personalities. It was just extremely fun, and just teaching
ourselves how to blend with each other. It was just extremely
fun going to Paula's house.
Austin Percario: I think the coolest part of being
on the show which is different from other shows is that
this show literally makes you feel like a star and it really
turns you into one as well, like the makeup, and wardrobe
and hair, and it's incredibly cool. And it's a big performance.
It's not like any other show where it's just stand on the
stage and they sing. We have lighting and all of these cool
sets, and it was just an amazing experience overall.
Emily Wilson: I think my favorite part about this
was when they put us into our group, because this is like
my family now and it's really sad that we have to all go
home. But it's just a break. We're just on pause. We're
not done. But this has just been like spending every day
with these guys; I can't imagine nine better people to spend
this with. And it's just been an amazing journey, and I
think we're all ready for what's going to come next for
us and what's in store for us.
Ellona Santiago: For me personally, the best part
of being in this competition is getting to share the stage
and to be able to perform in front of millions of people
with people who you love, with nine other people in this
inTENsity group, and it's just been really amazing. It's
sad that it ends now. But hopefully someone out there could
see our potential and actually take us in and sign us and
work it out.
Well I thought you guys gave an amazing performance.
And Paula, obviously you said was fun to have you mentor
you and she did a good job. What advice did she give you
when she was mentoring you guys?
Emily Michalak: Paula gave us a really great phrase
to say every time before we go on stage or whenever we get
nervous. And quoted by Paula Abdul, "Break the rules.
Stand apart. ... your head and follow your heart."
And that's something that we always keep in mind when we're
about to go on stage or if anyone's nervous or upset about