The three brothers that make up AKNU could not have been more nervous to perform on X Factor in front of Simon Cowell. Mark Scott, Hassan Scott, and Marcus Scott, all from Los Angeles, were worried that the infamously picky and harsh judge would think that their group is old fashioned. “Right now the goal is for him to look at us and say that was bloody good.” But just as they had feared, as the trio was about to perform their rendition of “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, Simon said he hated their song choice.
Their group was is called AKNU, which stands for A Kind Never Understood, and is made up of the three brothers that had lived a difficult life in shelters and ghettos growing up. Their dream was to come onto the show hoping that this would be their big break. It’s clear in their interviews and stage presence they were excited to be there. “You guys have got to stop weaving around, it’s like being on a boat, you’re making me sick,” said Simon Cowell of their nervous movement before performing.
Once AKNU started performing, though, they removed any doubt that this was going to be a tired performance. The middle brother acted as the frontman to his brothers, doing a majority of the vocals and less of the moves. The other two did an incredible job at harmonizing and syncing their moves. This group looked like something straight out of Motown with their dance moves, song choice, and overall appearance. The energy that they exuded made more than the just the audience want to get up and dance, it made people watching at home and online want to move, helping the video generate more than 25 million views.
Before the performance, AKNU dedicated the performance to their mother, Valerie, part of the reason they chose the song. She can be seen backstage supporting the boys and bopping to the song along with her daughter.
They couldn’t have asked for a better reaction from the judges and crowd. Kelly Rowland had trouble getting out what she wanted to say the crowd was cheering so loud and for so long. The first word that she used to describe the singers was refreshing, which the other judges unanimously agreed with (yes even Simon). The judges appreciated that AKNU seemed like an old fashioned Motown group, like the Temptations, rather thought that they were old fashioned and out of style. Simon admitted to enjoying the whole performance and even went so far as to say he could watch them again. They were entertaining and talented, making them a perfect contestant for the X Factor.
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