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W.Va. singer shoots for the top on 'X Factor'

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Could West Virginia have another Landau in its midst? Danese's Colton Pack and his fans certainly hope so. As of Tuesday night, the 18-year-old singer from Fayette County is in the Top 12 on Fox's "The X Factor" as part of the country trio Restless Road.

Pack and his band mates, 18-year-old Zach Beeken of Indiana, Pa., and 19-year-old Andrew Scholz of Summerville, S.C., all auditioned for the show separately and were assembled into the pop-country group by mentor Simon Cowell -- who did the same thing on the U.K. edition of "The X Factor" in 2010 with current boy-band superstars, One Direction.

Several pop-culture blogs have Restless Road pegged as a potential contender to go all the way, and the guys have several things going for them, not the least of which are their strong voices and great harmonies. They also have the looks that will launch a thousand crushes, the ability to appeal to the pop and the country markets and the fact that they're from smaller communities, which could lead to passionate state and regional campaigns to support them (as happened with Landau) amidst the other votes they'll attract.

On Tuesday's show, the Top 16 were narrowed to 12, with one act in each of the four categories -- girls, boys, over 25 and group -- eliminated by their mentor on the judges' panel.

Restless Road competed against folk/pop couple Alex & Sierra, sister R&B trio RoXxy Montana and teen girl group Sweet Supreme (also comprised of solo auditioners), but there really was no competition. While Simon, the group mentor, had positive things to say about all four acts, Restless Road was clearly his favorite, and the band, which sang a countrified version of Katy Perry's "Roar," easily earned his first pick into the Top 12.

The boys were also popular among home viewers, placing second behind Sweet Supreme in the viewer poll with 30-some percent of the vote. The group's official hashtag, #xfRestless, was also one that was trending worldwide on Twitter during the show.

The next step comes at 8 p.m. Wednesday, when Restless Road and the other 11 acts (including Alex & Sierra and Sweet Suspense in the group category) will give their first performances open to audience voting. West Virginia rallied once to make a Mountaineer's music dreams come true on national TV; let's do it again.

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Series premieres: "Meltdown," 10 p.m. Thursday, National Geographic (urban treasure hunters seek precious metals); "Wait 'Til Next Year," 8 p.m. Friday, MTV (a Michigan high school football team with a five-year losing streak); "The Thundermans," 9 p.m. Saturday, Nickelodeon (superhero family sitcom); "I'd Kill for You," 9 p.m. Saturday, ID (crimes in the name of love); "It Takes a Choir," 11 p.m. Saturday, USA (uniting communities through the power of music); "America Declassified," 10 p.m. Sunday, Travel (mysteries and conspiracy theories examined).

Network season premiere: "Mike & Molly," 9 p.m. Monday, CBS.

Season premieres: "The Dead Files," 10 p.m. Friday, Travel (Q&A special at 11); "Storage Wars New York," 10 p.m. Friday, A&E; "Iyanla: Fix My Life," 9 p.m. Saturday, OWN; "Pit Bulls and Parolees," 10 p.m. Saturday, Animal Planet; "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and "Vanderpump Rules," 8 p.m. Sunday, Bravo (combined, two-hour opener); "Bizarre Foods America," 9 p.m. Monday, Travel (100 episodes special at 8); "Moonshiners," 9 p.m. Tuesday, Discovery (preview special at 8); "Shahs of Sunset," 10 p.m. Tuesday, Bravo; "Extreme Yachts," 9 p.m. Wednesday, Travel.

Returning: "Animation Domination High-Def" ("Axe Cop" and "High School USA!"), 11 p.m. Saturday, Fox.

Season finales: "MasterChef Junior," 8 p.m. Friday, Fox (part one of two); "Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team," 9 p.m. Friday, CMT; "Drop Dead Diva," 9 p.m. Friday, Lifetime; "Eric & Jessie: Game On," 10 p.m. Sunday, E!; "Hotel Impossible," 10 p.m. Monday, Travel; "Face Off," 9 p.m. Tuesday, Syfy.

Halloween specials Thursday: "SNL Halloween," 8 p.m., NBC; "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," 8 p.m., ABC; "Ghost Adventures: Halloween Special - Transylvania," 9 p.m., Travel (a marathon begins at 3 p.m.).

Specials: "Black Girls Rock 2013," 7 p.m. Sunday, BET (performances by Patti LaBelle, Mariah Carey and Janelle Monae; honoring Queen Latifah and Venus Williams); "Ax Men: The Road to Season 7," 9 p.m. Sunday, History; "In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Countdown to the CMA Awards," 10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC (with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and more); "American Masters: Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Train a Comin'," 9 p.m. Tuesday, PBS; "The CMA Awards," 8 p.m. Wednesday, ABC (hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley).

Of note: "The Simpons" kills off a character (not Mrs. Krabappel, despite Marcia Wallace's death Saturday), 8 p.m. Sunday, Fox; Coach returns on " New Girl," 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox (Damon Wayans Jr. appeared in the pilot but had to drop out of the show when "Happy Endings" was renewed).

W.Va. alerts: "Mountain Monsters" hunts the Wampus Beast in Pleasants County, 10 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet; an enhanced episode of "Finding Bigfoot" investigates an alleged sighting in Green Bank, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Animal Planet.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com.


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