2013 Summerville grad in Top 16 on ‘X Factor’
TV mogul Simon Cowell put five teenage boys together in 2010 to form One Direction.
Watching and voting
“The X Factor” airs at 8 p.m. this week, but which day depends on the World Series.
Starting Nov. 6, live performance shows will air on 8 p.m. Wednesdays and results shows on Thursdays.
Voting begins at 10 p.m. Nov. 6.
Viewers will be able to SuperVote — cast multiple votes at one time — via TheXFactorUSA.com, The X Factor USA app (data and message rates may apply), the Shazam App and at Facebook.com/TheXFactorUSA.
To SuperVote, fans can allocate any number of votes for one contestant or multiple contestants, for a total of 50 votes across all online voting and cast all their votes at once.
In addition to online voting, fans will continue to be able to vote via toll-free calling and text messaging (standard text-messaging rates may apply). Each act is assigned its own number.
Visit www.TheXFactorUSA.com for voting information.
The group finished third on the British version of the music competition show “The X Factor,” but went on to become a $50 million business empire and the object of affection for squealing tweens around the globe.
Summerville’s Andrew Scholz hopes Cowell’s magic touch continues during the third season of Fox Television’s American version of the show.
Last month, Cowell paired Scholz, 19 and a 2013 graduate of Summerville High School, with 18-year-olds Colton Peck of Danese, W.Va., and Zach Beeken of Indiana, Pa., to form Restless Road.
The trio, who call themselves a “country man band,” have made it to the Top 16 on this season of show, which begins airing again this week after a break for the baseball playoffs.
After making it through several early rounds of local auditions in March, Andrew was invited to audition in May at the North Charleston Coliseum for Cowell and the three female judges, Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child, former Disney star Demi Lovato and Latin pop star Paulina Rubio.
As Andrew walked onto the stage that night, Rowland labeled him “a nice little corn-fed country boy,” but his all-American good looks weren’t enough to win them over. All three women said “no” after hearing him sing Alex Clare’s “Too Close.”
But Cowell said Andrew was “somebody that it’d be crazy to let go at this point,” and talked the other judges into giving him a second chance. They unanimously advanced him to the Los Angeles auditions after his rendition of Little Big Town’s “A Little More You.”
“The funny thing was, Simon was really late to the auditions that day, and I said to Andrew, ‘Maybe he won’t show,’” said his mother, Amy Scholz. “And Andrew said, “Well, I hope he does because that’s who I want to see. I think we’d get along great.’”
Once in L.A., though, Andrew thought his luck may have run out. He was cut from the solo competition when the field was narrowed to 40.
“Boy, that was a tough night,” said his dad, John Scholz. “He called and obviously he was bummed, but he was holding it together pretty good.”
The Scholzes were awakened a couple hours later by another phone call from their second-born: Cowell asked Andrew to form a group with Colton and Zach, who had also been eliminated.
“We think there’s a gap in the market for three male country artists,” Cowell said that night.
“It just amazes me that these three boys were so far apart and Simon saw that they’d be good together,” Amy said. “Each one of them has such a strong personality but yet they’re not fighting for who’s going to be out front. They blend very well together.”
As solo singers, they had already formed a friendship behind the scenes.
“You can see on that episode, right after they found out they had ‘no’s,’ Andrew and Colton are patting each other on the back as they are walking out,” John said.
Since forming the group, they have been inseparable.
During the break in filming, the families gathered for a weekend at Colton’s home in West Virginia.
“By the end of two days, we felt like we’d known them for years,” John said.
The teens stayed there longer, then spent 10 days in Summerville and another week in Pennsylvania before returning to California.
“They get along beautifully, like they’ve been friends for their whole entire lives,” Amy said. “They come from great families. They’re just kind of normal people. They’re all so grounded. It’s like it was meant to be.”
Andrew drives a pick-up and enjoys the outdoors. He grew up playing sports and was a pole vaulter on the Green Wave track team. A self-taught musician, he has played weekly at a local restaurant for the last year or so.
Colton and Zach had similar upbringings.
“It’s really weird how it worked out,” Andrew said by phone Wednesday. “I like having other people to mess around with. We like to hang out together. We all just love to live the simple way of life.”
They came up with the name Restless Road together, Amy said. “They are at a restless age and on a road that could change at any given moment,” she said.
The only all-male group of the four remaining groups, they are being mentored by Cowell. In addition to two female groups and a male/female duo, the remaining competition also includes 12 solo acts — four girls, four boys and four “over 25s.”
In their first performance as a group, the teens received a standing ovation for their version of Keith Urban’s “Someone Like You.”
Afterward, Cowell said, “One of the most nervous things I ever did in this competition was waiting for you three to agree to be in a group. I was so sure this was going to work, but for it to work, you’ve got to have two things. You’ve got to have talent and you’ve got to have friendship, and I saw both things tonight.”
Rowland praised Cowell’s idea as “brilliant” and called the teens “such an incredible country trio.” Lovato said Cowell was a genius for putting them together.
The last couple of weeks, they’ve lived in a Beverly Hills hotel, rehearsing, going to photo shoots, doing Insanity workouts and getting to know the other contestants. They’ve had tea at Cowell’s house and played with his puppy.
They have almost 40,000 fans on social media, many who ask questions like “Batman or Superman?” and “Jeans or sweats?”
Watching her son leave the nest was initially difficult, Amy said, “But I told him, when you need your feet placed firmly on the ground, you just call Mama.”
His dad notes that Andrew would have been heading off to TriCounty Technical College this fall, with plans to transfer to Clemson.
“They’re keeping him a lot busier out there than he would be if he had gone off to college,” he said.
This week, each judge will send home one of their four remaining acts to narrow the field to 12.
Live shows start next week, with performances each Wednesday and results on Thursdays.
“They said they are looking for more than a voice or a pretty face,” Amy said. “I’ll tell you, I really think these boys have the X Factor. I really do.”
The Scholzes went to California on Thursday to support their son.
“I have no idea where this is going to go, but hopefully we’ll have a good reason to be out there a few weeks,” John said. “I’m one to plan ahead and speculate, and now I’m thinking this is one of those rare times when I’m just going to go with the flow because I have no idea where the flow is going.”
Regardless of the outcome, Restless Road will stick together, Amy said.
“You do not have to win the show to make it big,” she said. “Even if they do not end up with a contract out of this, one way or another, they’re going on. They’re definitely going to stick together.”
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.