From almost the moment X Factor 2013 contestant Carlito Olivero walked onto the audition stage and performed "Stay" by Rihanna, he had the judges singing his praises. "I actually like everything about you," Simon Cowell said of the 24-year-old. "I like your voice. I like your charisma. I think you're really good."
Born and raised in Chicago, Carlito packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to chase his dreams of stardom. When not working the early shift at a coffee shop, where he's known for singing to the customers, Carlito records his own music. He's even shot a few videos; see for yourself at his personal website.
Despite a growing presence in the Los Angeles music scene, Carlito auditioned for The X Factor hoping for an extra push to take his professional dreams to the next level. After receiving four yeses for his audition, Carlito continued to wow during the Four Chair Challenge round with Selena classic "Dreaming of You" and so claimed a spot in the Top 16.
Now under the tutelage of new judge and fellow Spanish-speaking performer Paulina Rubio, Carlito hopes to follow in the footsteps of bilingual performers like Marc Anthony (he's a HUGE fan). He'd like to perform in both Spanish and English — a promise he made good on during his Top 16 performance of Santana's "Maria Maria."
He decided to take the tone down a notch, however, for his Top 13 performance of Motown classic "Stop In the Name of Love" by The Supremes. And when he had to whip something up in less than 24 hours after that glitch with the November 6 voting, a slightly sick Carlito gave Daniel Bedingfield's "If You're Not the One" a try.
It was enough to get him through to the next round and Carlito performed Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm Is Going to Get You" on the November 13 Live Show. But was it enough to get him through? Barely and so for his Top 10 number Carlito decided to take on a music legend: The Rolling Stones and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."
It was yet another tough week for Carlito but he made it to the Top 6 and took on diva Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud" for his first act of the night. Next came Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" with Carlito showing off his sexy Latin side. But did it get the votes he needed to qualify for the semis?
The answer is yes! Carlito claimed the final spot in the Top 4 after winning the judges's votes with his "Save Me Song" on December 5. Sadly, this meant we had to say goodbye to Rion Paige but way to give it your all, Carlito.
Now to the semifinals. First up, the song America hand-picked for Carlito: Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend." Next came his duet with Alex & Sierra of "Falling Slowly" and, for his third number, Marc Anthony's "I Need to Know." It was enough to get him through to the Top 3 where he performed three songs: "Impossible" by Shontelle, Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" with special guest Prince Royce, and finally he returned to favorite tune, Santana's "Maria Maria."
Whatever happens next on X Factor, Carlito aims to start his own label to help fellow artists get their hopes off the ground. As he told Wetpaint Entertainment in an exclusive interview, "where I'm from, dreams like this don't really ever happen."
Keep that dream alive, Carlito! You may not have won Season 3 but you sure looked to have a great time all the same.
Watch Carlito Olivero’s audition — Rihanna's "Stay"
Four Chair Challenge: Carlito Olivero Sings Selena's "Dreaming of You"
Top 16: Carlito Olivero Sings Santana's "Maria Maria"
Top 13: Carlito Olivero Sings The Supremes's "Stop In the Name of Love"
Save Me Song: Carlito Olivero Sings Daniel Bedingfield's "If You're Not the One"
Top 12: Carlito Olivero Sings Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm Is Going to Get You"
Top 10: Carlito Olivero Sings The Rolling Stones's "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
Top 8: Carlito Olivero Sings Ricky Martin's "The Cup of Life"
Top 6 Diva Song: Carlito Olivero Sings Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud"
Top 6 Unplugged Song: Carlito Olivero Sings Ben E. King's "Stand By Me"
Top 4 First Song: Carlito Olivero Sings Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend"
Top 4 Second Song: Carlito Olivero and Alex & Sierra Sing Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's "Falling Slowly"
Top 4 Third Song: Carlito Olivero Sings Marc Anthony's "I Need to Know"
Top 3 First Song: Carlito Olivero Sings Shontelle's "Impossible"
Top 3 Second Song: Carlito Olivero and Prince Royce Sing Ben E. King "Stand By Me"
Top 3 Third Song: Carlito Olivero Sings Santana's "Maria Maria"