Panda Ross had a night to remember when she appeared on the X Factor stage — for good and bad reasons.
The night started well enough for Panda on X Factor. After taking to the stage, the 42-year-old Dallas native immediately dazzled the judges and audience with her larger-than-life personality. After confirming that, yes, Panda is her real name (and telling the entertaining story behind its origins) and confessing her love for Simon Cowell, Panda proceeded to own the X Factor stage with a soulful rendition of “Bring It On Home” that had the audience standing and clapping along.
The verdict from the judges was unanimous. L.A. Reid was first to pass comment, simply stating:
“Aw man. I can’t deny how good that was. That was really good and I love that song. It was the perfect song choice.”
Demi Lovato (“You’re such a character”) and Britney Spears (“You’re charming”) were both as impressed with Panda’s personality as with her voice, but it was the most cynical of the judges who gave the most glowing praise, with Simon Cowell stating:
“You sound like a legend. I absolutely love you. I’ve always wanted a panda.”
After earning her four “yes” votes from the judges, the bubbly Panda departed the stage to celebrate with her family backstage. Alas, it wasn’t to last long; the new star began to develop breathing problems due to a bout of pneumonia she had been hospitalized for the day before the audition.
She was eventually taken away from the studio by ambulance, casting doubt over whether she would make it to the X Factor boot camp. Here’s hoping she can because the lady can sing; see for yourself: