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EIU 360

Hard Work Gets a Seat

X-Factor contestant and former EIU student Lorie Moore sings her way onto national TV

What’s it like to stand on a stage in front of one of your biggest idols -- Kelly Rowland -- and Simon Cowell, TV’s toughest critic?

Just ask Lorie Moore, a former Eastern student, professional women’s football player and participant in season three of the U.S. version of The X-Factor.

As she entered the stage in her navy blue and gray San Diego Surge jersey, Moore smoothly belted out a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Simon Cowell (who Moore jokingly said is “The King of Mean”) then told her that wasn’t just an audition -- it was a performance.

Even if she didn’t show it, Moore said performing in front of some of the biggest names in music was a nerve-wracking experience.

“I am usually the coolest cookie ever, but when you’re at where the (USC) Trojans play and every seat is filled and Simon Cowell is front of you, it changes the whole game,” she said.

Her microphone may have been shaking in her hands throughout her audition, but she knew she had to let the nerves turn into energy and not ruin her opportunity.

After every rejection and all the hurt Moore has received along the way trying to get to something as advanced as X-Factor, Moore was beside herself.

“I’m not a crybaby, but it was very emotional to get that validation you've been seeking for 30 years,” she said.

Moore, who had previously auditioned for “The Voice,” “American Idol” and “Making the Band,” said she had become “very jaded” by being rejected, but she never stopped trying.

She sent in an online application for the X-Factor after her boss encouraged her to, and when she eventually received a call, she was in disbelief.

“I was so used to the rejection I thought, ‘They’re not gonna call me, and I’m not gonna think about it,’” she said.

Moore, 34, advanced to the competition’s fifth place in the “over 25” group. She almost did not make it that far; in one challenge with only four seats available for her category, Moore had to fight for her spot and tell Rowland, the category’s mentor, why she deserved to continue in the competition over everyone else.

Moore then gave her “hard work gets a seat” speech, which was so influential it even was trending on Twitter for a few days.

She’s now working to take that hard-working attitude to whatever comes her way.

Moore may have a shot for redemption as a wild card pick to come back to the show, but regardless, she is taking advantage of her moment now. She is considering a return to play with the San Diego Surge again, but after achieving the highest level in football -- the 2012 season championship -- she now wants to do the same in music.

“I got the (championship) ring in 2012, so I figure in 2013, I’d focus on my music,” she said.

She’s “so in work mode,” she said; she’s working on a record that’s going to be mixture of eclectic pop, R&B and soul. She’s also booked shows for motivational speaking solely on the “hard work gets a seat” speech, as well as musical performances in Houston and Atlanta.

Her hard work speech was directly reflective on her time at Eastern, too.

Moore left Eastern in 2000 during her junior year to pursue a record contract, but she was always involved in something here, especially as a member of the women’s basketball team and Delta Sigma Theta. When she came to Eastern, she took any opportunity she had to sing through her sorority, whether it was at Greek Sing or for anytime anyone would listen.

“It’s always been in me to entertain,” she said.

And even though she’s at the highest peak she’s ever been in her music career, she said she never forgets her time at Eastern.

“Those were the best years of my life.”

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