TAMIU Student Heads to ‘X-Factor’ Competition
Posted: 5/19/11

‘X Factor:’ TAMIU Student
Heads Competition Thursday

Marissa Mata
Marissa Mata, TAMIU CJ major, won a chance to audition for the "X Factor" in Dallas.

Marissa Mata, a junior criminal justice major at Texas A&M International University, has been named one of the four winners of “The X Factor” Laredo Competition, recently organized by FOX 39 and hosted by TAMIU.

The X Factor is an award-winning, international singing competition on FOX Network created and produced by Simon Cowell, former judge on “American Idol.”

As a winner, Mata will travel to Dallas May 26 and audition before FOX Network producers for a chance to be heard by Cowell and other X Factor judges during the actual network show taping in June. If she is chosen as the finalist, she could win a $5 million recording contract and work with Cowell. More than 120 registered contestants participated in the Laredo competition.

“I’m extremely excited and feel honored to have been selected as a winner because not a lot of people get this opportunity,” Mata said, “I hope that I get to represent Laredo well and that I do my best in the auditions.”

At the competition, Mata sang Beyoncé’s song, “Listen.” A part-time employee at Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q, she said all of her co-workers congratulated her as soon as they heard news of her winning the Laredo competition.

“It would be awesome if I get selected to be a part of the show,” Mata said, “I would be extremely ecstatic and while I will have fun, I will concentrate and take this seriously because being part of the show is not only a goal but also a dream.”

Mata, who was raised in Laredo, said she started singing as a little girl after hearing her older sister sing beautifully one day.

At TAMIU, Mata is also a member of the University’s Glee Club and said she is trying to focus and prepare for the Dallas audition.

“I will be asking for advice from Glee Club members and watching X Factor audition videos on YouTube to try to make the song I will sing my own,” Mata said.

Mata said the challenging part is developing a voice that is distinctly hers.

“It’s a big compliment being told by people, ‘You sound like Carrie Underwood or Christina Aguilera, ‘but it would also be nice if they were to some day say, ‘I’ve never heard anybody with your kind of voice,’” Mata said.

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2184, email prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu