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The X Factor's Chris Rene Gains YouTube Star Status

USMagazine, Sunday, September 25, 2011, 5:28pm (PDT)

While it's still to be determined if contestant Chris Rene has the winning X Factor, he's already acquired quite the fan following on YouTube.

Rene, 28, and his touching audition video for the new FOX competition series The X Factor have been making the rounds on the website, reaching over 2 million views in just a few days.

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The recovering addict and father of two revealed during Wednesday's premiere that he had just gotten out of rehab and has been clean for 70 days and counting. Then, he tugged on viewers' heartstrings when he performed his original song called "Young Homey."

When judge Nicole Scherzinger asked what winning the competition's $5 million prize would mean to Rene, he answered, "It would mean the world, but specifically it would mean stability to me and my family."

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After winning over the audience with his self-written song about his struggle with drugs and alcohol, it seemed as if the Santa Cruz, Calif.-native nabbed the favor of The X Factor judges L.A. Reid, Scherzinger, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, too.

"It's always my favorite feeling in the world when I sit in this chair and meet a star for the first time," Cowell said. "Maybe you need the show, but maybe we need you."

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Tune into The X Factor on Wednesdays at 8/7 C on FOX.

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