Carlito Olivero just wants to make everyone who loves him proud. In all of his confessionals in the pre-taped packages that introduce his “X Factor” performances, he’s mentioned that he’s trying to make it so he can help his family. He mentions it in his interviews, too, and his backstage chat with Zap2it following Season 3’s final performance show was no exception.
“I love my mom and my parents and god willing we get that contract, the first thing I am doing is paying off the house — that was a promise I made for them,” he tells us. It’s something Olivero’s mom mentioned in one of Carlito’s packages during the show — right before she broke down crying about everything he wants to do for his family. “My parents are amazing, strong people, but the minute I heard my mom crying, I was covering my ears because I didn’t want to cry in the middle of my song. That would have been bad.”
He did, cry, however, when he saw all of his supporters gathered at his old school in Chicago. It was overwhelming, but he was extremely grateful they were all there. “It was so amazing,” he says. “You can never really put a face to the support, so when they showed that and the auditorium was full with people I have never seen before, to think that they put in the time to come see me perform — it melted my heart and it was so amazing. I just wanted to make everyone proud.”
The big smile on his face during his performance was a message to all the people who haven’t believed him along the way. “You know the struggle that I have gone through, so tonight it was like my smile was a big finger to those people who [didn’t want me there]. It was like, ‘You mad, bro? Wait till you see me in the finals!’ It has definitely been an amazing experience and I felt that I could give back to my supporters and say thank you and thank you to the judges,” Olivero says. “Even though America has gotten me here, I was also in the Bottom 2 a couple times and the judges saved me. So it was for them to give my best performance — I never wanted the judges to be disappointed and I think I achieved that and everyone saw that I put my heart into it.”
He didn’t really have a choice other than to give it his all, considering he doesn’t really have a backup plan at this point. “The coffee shop let me go! You would think they would have held on to it, but they were like ‘It’s either Starbucks or music,'” Olivero says. “I was like, ‘Are you crazy?'”
The finale of “The X Factor” airs at 8 p.m. ET Thursday (Dec. 19) on FOX.