Credit: Fox

Way to spread those wings and fly, Ellona Santiago! This petite powerhouse packed a punch during her X Factor audition and left us all wondering where she’s been hiding!

After quietly introducing herself as a 16-year-old from San Lorenzo, California, Ellona launched into pop ballad “Wings” by fellow X Factor alum Little Mix. The student practically growled as she strutted around the stage, working the room and totally mesmerizing the judges. By the end of her audition, you almost had to pick Simon Cowell’s jaw off the floor.

“Whoever that girl was, she came out and she meant business,” judge Kelly Rowland said after a string of “wows.”

“Ellona. I’ll have to remember this name. Ellona Santiago,” chimed in Simon, which was ironic seeing as Ellona had actually auditioned for X Factor before.

“Do you remember me?” she politely asked Simon. Clearly confused, the British judge — who called Ellona the girl he most wants to work with so far — didn’t recall her previous X Factor appearance until Ellona explained she auditioned back in Season 1. Barely a teenager, she was added to the 10-woman girl group, inTENsity, which got booted out of the competition in the Top 12.

Not that that matters now. This time around Ellona’s doing thing her way and so far it seems to be working. Do you think she’ll make it to the Top 16?

If you want to find out for sure — check out our Top 16 spoilers here!


Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!