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The Amazing Rion Paige

Updated on February 20, 2019

Meet Rion Paige!

Published November 28, 2013 by Mary McShane

She is a 13 year old contestant on The X Factor, a singing competition which airs Wednesday and Thursday on the FOX Network in the United States. She is from Jacksonville, Florida and she was born with a disability called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, but this strong young lady does not let it stand in her way.

Please watch the following audition video through to the end - it's about 7 minutes long. I can assure you that it will be seven minutes well spent.

With an audition like this, it left me looking forward to hearing more from her each week and Rion has yet to disappoint. On the video, she tells the judges about her disability, sort of laughs it off, but once she sings a song, I don't think too many are paying attention to her disability.

"SPOILER ALERT!" - Tonight is Thanksgiving night, as of this writing, on tonight's show, she was saved from elimination and will return to perform again next week. YAY! lol

Rion Paige's Audition on The X Factor

Needless to say, I thought she was amazing!

My goodness! They didn't grow 13 year old's like that when I was a kid in the 1940s and 1950s!

What Do You Think?

Did you like her performance?

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Rion Paige singing on The X Factor
Rion Paige singing on The X Factor | Source
Rion and her mother after a performance
Rion and her mother after a performance | Source

Pity or Praise?

I've been reading some of the comments under a few of the You Tube videos and various news station sites featuring Rion Paige's story. For the most part they are supportive and people are just as in awe of her talent as I am.

But there are some people who believe Rion Paige is being voted through on the show each week because of her disability, i.e. the pity factor.

Of course, I do not agree. In my view, she is an outstanding talent, full of confidence, a wonderful voice, and I think she will have a great career. I do see her disability, but i do not think I let that play a factor in my opinion of her talent.

If she had no disability and could still sing like that, she would be voted through.

If she was a terrible singer and she was voted off, people would still turn it around and say it was because of her disability that she was voted off. Judging talent should be soley on the talent, not the package it came in. Do you agree or disagree?

Simon Cowell, one of the creators and judges on the show said, "“I remember the first day I met Carrie Underwood (former winner) and I remember predicting this girl was going to go on and do special things with her life and I’m going to say the same about you, Rion. I’m going to remember this audition for a long, long time.”

When he says things like that, it usually means he is going to set the contestant up with a record contract, whether they win or lose on the show. He is very influential in the career making of many contestants from the X Factor and from American Idol, here and in England.

Rion Paige absolutely moves me to tears every time I watch her perform. I think it is because she puts so much emotion into each song. I don't think I'm alone; I noticed many audience members have similar reactions each week when she performs.

In this hub, I will share a few more of her performances with you and one very special person at the end of this article. While one of my reasons for writing this was to introduce you to Rion Page, my other reason is to tell you a little bit about her rare disorder.

She Nailed This Song

What Do You Think?

Do you think the judges are approved Rion Paige because of her talent or because of her disability?

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Rion Paige puts her heart and soul into every performance
Rion Paige puts her heart and soul into every performance | Source
Rion Paige's parents react to her performance
Rion Paige's parents react to her performance | Source
Demi Lovato is Rion's mentor on the show. The reaction on her face says it all.
Demi Lovato is Rion's mentor on the show. The reaction on her face says it all. | Source

She Is Not Defined By Her Disability

Rion Paige's disorder is called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita or AMC for short. It is not a disease, it is considered a disorder. It is a congenital (inherited) disorder affecting the arm and leg joints, causing them to become permanently fixed in a bent or straight position and the joint is restricted in movement to varying degrees. Usually one is born with it.

The most common form of this disorder is clubfoot. However, it affects Rion Paige in her arms and hand joints and caused her to be near blind in one eye. Although one is born with this disorder, the symptoms vary from person to person. This disorder is random and research has found more than 125 genes are involved in the types of arthrogryposis.

Amyoplasia (multiple contractures of the joints) is the most common trait of AMC. Often the shoulders will be drawn inward, the fingers will be stiff and patients will be affected by contractures in two or more parts of the body.

The cause is thought to be the result of reduced fetal movement in the womb resulting in neurological and muscle problems, as if laying in one place too long. Other research speculates that the cause has to do with connective tissue disorders and maternal illness. The risk of a diagnosed mother passing this on to their unborn child is fifty percent.

Rion's version of Lee Ann Rimes song "Swingin'"

Arthrogryposis affects both arms and both legs, each to a different degree.
Arthrogryposis affects both arms and both legs, each to a different degree. | Source

Diagnosis And Treatment

Diagnosis is confirmed by observing the presence of contractures, taking a patient history and ideally of both parents as well, nerve conduction tests, and perhaps a muscle biopsy to determine type of AMC. There are at least 21 different types of Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. This disorder does not worsen with age. Once a joint has been repaired through surgery, it usually will not revert back to abnormal positioning.

Treatment should address each person's individual symptoms and in newborns, should involve physical therapy to improve joint mobility and gentle joint manipulation with stretching exercises. It is recommended that children wear removable splints for the legs and feet, especially at night while in bed that will not hinder their exercise or movement.

Sometimes surgery is necessary to get better positioning and help increase range of motion especially in the ankles, knees hips, elbows and wrists.

The physician should always recommend genetic counselling for the diagnosed patient and their families. This disorder occurs one in every 3,000 live births.

Most cases are due to a lack of normal joint movement in the womb and are seen often with multiple births, due to the womb's "cramped quarters." Sometimes a prenatal virus or reduced amniotic fluid will be the cause. You can view more possible causes here.

Simon Cowell's Stamp Of Approval

Conclusion - Imagine This

Before I close up shop here, I wanted to share one last video from England about a young man named Emmanuel. He has no forearms, no hands, no known birth name, and no birth certificate. He also has a brother with no forearms or hands, missing one leg, no birth certificate. Both were adopted from a war zone by a beautiful lady, who you will see in the video.

While his appearance may inspire pity to some, his voice is what I want to bring to your attention. Just like Rion Paige, he has a talent and I don't think his disability should play a factor into the judging for a singing contest.

This young man's performance of "Imagine" by John Lennon brought the house down.

Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments.

X Factor Britain

What Do You Think?

Did you think the judges were influenced by Emmanuel's disability when judging his performance?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Mary McShane


Submit a Comment
  • Mary McShane profile imageAUTHOR

    Mary McShane 

    5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @mylindaelliott - I'm glad you agree. I hope the judges think so each week too. She sure packs a lot of power into her 13 year old voice. Thank you for your comment and the follow.

  • mylindaelliott profile image


    5 years ago from Louisiana

    Wow, she is wonderful.

  • Mary McShane profile imageAUTHOR

    Mary McShane 

    5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @loveofnight - I agree, they would have to judge her as aweseome! Thank you for your comment and visit. :)

  • loveofnight profile image


    5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

    i watched her when she first performed and she is awesome. i do think that it is hard to judge without taking into account her disability because it is that that gives her strength. but with or without her disability they would have to judge her as awesome.

  • Mary McShane profile imageAUTHOR

    Mary McShane 

    5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @billybuc, Thank you Bill for checking out my hub and viewing this amazing young girl. I am fairly selective when I do watch television - I stick to crime dramas and news format type shows usually. I never watched the singing competition shows until this year when I saw this local girl from Jacksonville featured in our newspaper. I watched her sing one song and bam! I was watching the X Factor in place of my Criminal Minds and CSI shows. LOL Thank you for your visit and comment. :)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    We don't watch television but I happened to catch this kid online and she is pretty spectacular. Amazing how some people act like a handicap is nothing at all. I enjoyed your article, Mary, and I'm sure others will as well. Who doesn't like a feel good story?


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