Your vote counts

Tiah Tolliver, an East Bremerton Safeway clerk is from the San Diego area, but I guess we can claim her as our own as she enters the final phase of “The X Factor,” a real time singing competition hosted by Simon Cowell of “American Idol” fame.

Tolliver, who is said to sing while making sandwiches, bested thousands of other “X” hopefuls to make to the top 17 finalists.

Notoriously snarky Simon Cowell, host of the show, is Tolliver’s unlikely champion. He likes the “steel” in her eyes.

“I’ve got a real feeling about this girl,” Cowell said, during her February audition in Seattle. “I’m telling you this girl has got something in her.”

Alright, so there were some rough spots in that first song, but Tolliver took the judges’ advice to heart and returned to Bremerton for voice lessons at Washington Academy of Music. Here’s how she sounded shortly before Simon told her she’d made the cut to the live audience round.

At this stage of the competition, online audience voting will determine Tolliver’s fate and that of the other finalists. Her pals at Safeway have a full tilt campaign going on Facebook, on Twitter and in the store to stack the odds in Tolliver’s favor.

I have to attend a city council meeting when the show airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Fox, so alas I’ll have to find out after the fact whether she survives the first live audience gauntlet.

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