Exclusive: THE X FACTOR Standout Carly Rose Sonenclar Talks Broadway Beginnings, WONDERLAND and More
In 2010, Sonenclar landed a starring part in Frank Wildhorn’s new venture, Wonderland, a musical based on the world of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The show, which featured Sonenclar in a lead role as Chloe – daughter to Janet Dacal's Alice – received a lukewarm reception but still made its Broadway debut in 2011. "Things were changing constantly, right up until opening, so it seemed like maybe they weren’t that confident in it," she admits, "But I don’t think any of us thought that it would close so soon." Though Wonderland did close after just 33 regular performances, its cast recording was released that May.
Following Wonderland, Sonenclar spent her time in New York volunteering for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which offers outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings to brighten the lives of young patients. "I’m an ambassador for the foundation," Sonenclar says. "I’d go and I’d talk with the kids and sing for them." Carly and Friends ran on KidZone closed circuit television in Mt. Sanai and featured Carly singing, sometimes with guests (Spider-Man's Rebecca Faulkenberry and Archie Comics' Nancy Silberkleit have joined Carly in past shows). "What’s great about the Starlight Foundation is that they offer support for the families, too," Sonenclar says. "So you get to help the families and the kids."
Then, of course, came The X Factor. This fall, Carly Rose took the show by storm, easily making the top ten and placing an impressive second in overall votes not once, but twice. Of her most recent performance, "My Heart Will Go On," X Factor judge Simon Cowell joked that he didn't believe she could be human. "I don't believe you are a human being," he said. "You can't do that at 13. You can't." The top 10 perform tonight, singing songs to people they're thankful for (Carly chose "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for her brother, Russell). Tune in at 8/7c to see the performance!
The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.