Weeks after his initial appearance on “The X Factor” in late September, Indiana-raised Zach Beeken, 17, has made it to the top 12 finalists on the popular singing-competition show — even earning praise from hard-to-please show creator Simon Cowell.
Beeken, in his band Restless Road, performed Katy Perry’s “Roar” on the first live screening of the show on Tuesday night. “The X Factor’s” website said that Cowell, “who notoriously hates country music gave his group a rare standing ovation.”
The band was put together in a twist of events after initial auditions, when it seemed as though Beeken had not made it to the live edition of the show. Cowell brought back him and the two other members of Restless Road, Andrew Scholz and Colton Pack, for a chance to perform.
See Restless Road's Tuesday performance here.
“That was amazing,” Demi Lovato, one of the judges on the show, said after Restless Road’s performance.
Cowell, who is the mentor for the groups performing on the show, said the group could have what it takes to make it to the finals.
“I always say this, if you’ve got talent and you work hard, great things can happen, and that’s what happened. You’ve got tremendous talent, great chemistry … it worked,” Cowell said.
Normally expressive about his performances on Twitter, Beeken, who now has almost 33,000 followers, told his fans the news of Restless Road’s advancement with one simple hashtag: #tellmomwemadeit.
His signature musical feature being his deep, low voice, Beeken started voice lessons at age 16. He also sang in the choir at Indiana Area High School, where he graduated in May. He told The Indiana Gazette in a previous interview that his first-ever performance was at an event at the high school, where he performed a Randy Travis song. Previously, he said, he had never “considered himself being a singer professionally.”
See a full story on Beeken’s performance in Thursday’s edition of The Indiana Gazette, following an interview with him.