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"The X Factor" Recap: Contestant Wows Panel with "I Will Always Love You"

Image courtesy of Nino Munoz/FOX (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Nino Munoz/FOX (via ABC News Radio)

The X Factor staged more auditions in Los Angeles and Charleston, South Carolina, on Thursday night.

As was the case on Wednesday night's episode, Paulina Rubio was absent from the L.A. auditions. The full crew, including Simon Cowell , Demi Lovato and Kelly Rowland , was together in Charleston.

Here are the highlights from Thursday's show:

The handsome Andrew Scholz , 18, didn't make a good first impression by singing the Alex Clare hit "Too Close." Kelly and Demi both felt he appeared uncomfortable on stage. Paulina didn't understand the song choice. Simon had a more positive viewpoint, saying Andrew showed potential. He gave Andrew a second chance, asking him to try something "old school." Andrew then performed Little Big Town 's "A Little More You," which won over Demi. Simon encouraged Andrew to pursue a country sound. Andrew advanced to the next round.

Sixteen-year-old Ellona Santiago pranced around on stage as she belted out "Wings," by the British girl group Little Mix . Kelly was amazed by Ellona's energy. Simon declared that he wants to work with Ellona more than any other female he'd seen up to that point. It was then that Ellona revealed that she competed on the first season of The X Factor and was mentored by then-judge Paula Abdul as part of a boy/girl group. Ellona will get another opportunity to prove herself on the show.

Stone Martin , 14, sang One Direction 's "Little Things," to the delight of the girls in the crowd. Kelly said he's only scratched the surface of his ability. Simon remarked that Stone has a "star glow" to him. Stone is moving on in the competition.

Ashly Williams , a 24-year-old sales associate, was motivated by the memory of her late mother. She did a more-than-capable job with Whitney Houston 's "I Will Always Love You." Kelly thanked her for delivering such a powerful performance. Paulina said she was captivated by Ashly. Simon told Ashly the reason he brought his U.K. music competition to America was to discover contestants like her. Needless to say, Ashly will be one to watch going forward.

The X Factor continues next Wednesday on Fox.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio