A new R Factor champion arises

Alina Bardaji performed her original song “The Less I Want to Go” for the last round of the R Factor finals.

by Christian McCarville

It is no secret that there is an abundance of talented individuals on Rider’s campus. The R Factor is one of those events that allow students to bring their talents to light in front of the entire university. 

The R Factor auditions pit many extremely gifted singers against one another that resulted in seven acts moving on to the finals. 

It was extremely difficult to pick which performers got to move on, therefore making it even more difficult to pick a final winner. 

The performers took to the stage one final time to sing their hearts out and prove to the judges that they have what it takes to be an R Factor champion.

For the finals, the four judges split the remaining contestants into multiple teams. In the past, it was customary to have four final acts coming into the last round, but this year there were seven. Within these seven acts were nine contestants, each with uniquely incredible voices eager to be projected to the audience. The judges also put together two solo performers, making them a duo.

The finals were split up into two rounds, beginning with each act performing one by one. Every performance was spectacular, making the final decision from the judges seem nearly impossible.

The contestants had to be narrowed down, however, and the audience was able to vote for their favorite act from their phone. The audience’s vote picked two acts to move on, while the judges picked a third.

Therefore, the last round of the finals was narrowed down to only three performers. These three were to perform once again, and then the final verdict would be decided.

Senior environmental science major Alina Bardaji delivered a stunning performance to the judges. “For the final round, I performed an original song that I wrote, called “The Less I Want to Go,” said Bardaji.

“My favorite performance was Alina’s final performance as it was original and very well done. It felt like it was a recording,” said political science major Matt Schantin.

After much consideration, the audience ultimately voted for Bardaji to become this year’s R Factor champion. 

“When I first discovered I was this year’s R Factor champion, I don’t think it registered in my brain right away. I guess I was in shock because everyone was so incredibly talented and it could’ve gone to any one of us. To say I had not expected it would be an understatement,” said Bardaji.

Bardaji explained, “there have been so many artists that have influenced my style. I try to put all of myself into my performances like Robert Plant (frontman of Led Zeppelin), or John Mayer, but vocally, James Bay is by far one of my favorites. He has a raspiness in his tone that is similar to mine, and you can hear in his voice how much he loves what he does”.

R Factor is always an incredible event that creates students into stars.

However, Bardaji explains that she doesn’t perform for the attention or publicity. “The best part of performing for me is being able to play for my friends and family. Although, when I’m on a stage, I’m not doing it for anyone else. It’s not about the crowd or the applause for me. It’s about laying my heart and soul out on the stage and doing something that brings me an indescribable amount of joy,” said Bardaji. 

The crowd certainly enjoyed the show and were largely entertained throughout. “I came out to the finals mostly because I saw the auditions and was excited to see it through. I also saw all three shows last year and absolutely loved it so I had to do it again this year,” said Schantin.

With another successful year of R Factor in the books, fans are sure to return next year with a fresh set of competitors and possibly a few returning faces.

Published in the 10/02/19 edition.

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