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The X Factor

X Factor Finalist Carly Rose Sonenclar Recalls Her Mother’s Frightening Medical Emergency

Compared to some of her fellow contestants, Carly Rose Sonenclar may seem to lead a pretty charmed existence, but her life has not been without its brushes with the darker side of life. In fact, when she was just 10 years old, she found herself the only person in the room when her mother suffered a “severe” stroke.

“Her speech started to slur and she kind of, like, fell down to the floor, and I didn’t know what was happening.” The only person in the room, Carly Rose had to call 911 in order to alert paramedics before tracking down her brother, who calmed her down. “It made me realize how lucky I am to have him,” Carly said of the incident.

Russell, Carly’s brother, has been away at college since the live performances began, and his absence has clearly weighed heavily on her. “It’s kind of hard not to have him here. Especially at such a big time in my life.” During her November 21, 2012 performance, Carly became very emotional that her brother could not be there for her, but through the magic of Fox producers, big bro Russell snuck up behind her and asked for her autograph. Aww!

Carly dedicated “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to Russell. The performance moved L.A. Reid to declare her “a force of nature.” Demi Lovato asked to see her school ID to prove she’s really 13, and Simon Cowell said it was “one of the best versions” of the song he’s ever heard. And that’s saying a lot. We imagine Simon has heard that song at least a thousand times after all the auditions he’s been audience to!

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11.22.2012 / 09:23 AM EDT by Amber Garrett
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