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Former football player a finalist on X Factor

Defensive lineman and UTEP student Isaac Tauaefa wows the judges of the X-Factor
Special To The Prospector
Defensive lineman and UTEP student Isaac Tauaefa wows the judges of the X-Factor

UTEP senior media advertising major Isaac Tauaefa is making his mark on this season of Fox’s hit talent competition The X Factor. Tauaefa also played football for the Miners for two seasons before suffering a knee injury.

“Playing football in front of a lot of people and being in front of a crowd and an audience that big sort of helped me prepare for this,” Tauaefa said.

Tauaefa auditioned in Colorado on May 14 and ever since then has been progressing in the competition. He is now among the top 40 contestants and is in the top 10 of his category.

The singing competition features four groups for which each judge is responsible: over 25s, girls, boys— which Tauaefa is in— and groups of more than three.

This week, the public will find out who made it into the final four in each category. These contestants will then be a part of the live shows.

Although the fate of these contestants has already been determined, the viewing audience at home doesn’t know who will make the cut to the top 16.

Tauaefa will be on the show Oct. 9. If he does make it, Latin superstar Paulina Rubio would be his mentor.

“Everyone has been really nice and just being able to travel and to meet all of these great people and to meet the celebrities it is a dream to me,” Tauaefa said.

He explained how his experiences at UTEP helped him prepare for the big competition.

Tauaefa played defensive line for the Miners for two seasons before suffering a knee injury.

“I believe more in my abilities and I also wanted to believe that I was a person who took advantage of opportunities and didn’t just let them pass by,” Tauaefa said. “Now it is a real thing, now I can actually say that I pursued something that I believed in doing and I am finally on the road to being successful.”

Tauaefa said that he wants to continue to pursue music and hopes that his participation in the competition will help him succeed in the industry.

“Now that I did this and made the top 10 of the boys category when there have been thousands of people that auditioned, to be able to do this kind of on a whim and then to be able to see that it was a real thing and that I can do it really inspired me to pursue this 100 percent,” Tauaefa said. “I think I am going to be able to capitalize on this and put stuff out and hopefully use some of this exposure to bring music to people.”

Tauaefa began to find an interest in music in the 6th grade when he heard the song “Flake” by Jack Johnson; he remembered how he loved the song and how it made him feel. From then on he wanted to be a musician. He began to teach himself how to play the guitar which led him to write his own music.

“I wanted to be able to bring music to other people and make them happy and to inspire something in them and make them think of something when they hear the music,” Tauaefa said.

Tauaefa wanted to thank the UTEP community for their support throughout his X Factor experience.

“I really am representing the university and I don’t know if it is going to show a whole lot but I did talk about UTEP and UTEP football,” he said. “I am honored to be a part of this university, to have gotten a scholarship to play football here and since I am grateful for that I want to represent them, I am just proud to be getting the chance to represent for the other students.”

X Factor airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

For more information on the competition visit

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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Former football player a finalist on X Factor