The X Factor USA Wiki
Ellona Santiago
Names Ellona Rano Santiago
Age(s) 19
Hometown San Lorenzo, California
Category Girls
Mentor Demi Lovato
Elimination Information
Place 6th Place

Ellona Rano Santiago (born August 1, 1996) is a Filipino-born American singer from San Lorenzo, California who finished in 6th place on season 3 of the X Factor USA. She was a part of the Girls catagory, mentored by Demi Lovato.


Ellona was born in the Philippines and came to the United States, settling in San Lorenzo, California, when she was just 11 months old. She has three older sisters - Julierose, Olien, and Shalimar - as well as parents Jose and Veronica. Ellona also speaks four languages - English, French, Spanish, and Tagalog (Filipino).

Ellona first gained notice in the first season when she was a member of the all-teen pop group InTENsity, who were mentored by Paula Abdul. Despite her being considered one of the group's strongest vocalists, InTENsity finished in 12th place that season and later disbanded.

While fellow InTENsity member Arin Ray tried again as a solo artist in season 2 and finished in 10th place with Britney Spears as his mentor, Ellona focused on both school and getting better as a singer.

The X Factor

Ellona tried out for the show in Los Angeles on a whim and impressed the judges with her rendition of the Little Mix hit "Wings" despite Simon Cowell not remembering her at first. Demi Lovato said that if she was a judge on the first season, in the second week, she would have voted to save InTENsity and eliminate The Stereo Hogzz. Despite that, Ellona made it to the next round where she made the top 40 and got Demi Lovato as her mentor, something she had been hoping for.

Four Chair Challenge

In this phase of the competition, Ellona took on the Zedd song "Clarity", wowing both the crowd and the judges despite some concerns expressed by her mentor, Demi Lovato, over whether she had star quality or not. After consulting with her fellow judges and with the crowd screaming for Ellona to stay, Demi picked her to go through to the live shows.

Live shows

In the first live show, Ellona took on the Britney Spears song "Till The World Ends". Wowing the judges and the crowd with both her voice and her dance moves, Ellona, considered the "one to watch" by Kelly Rowland, made it to the top 12.

In the middle of studying for and taking her SATs, Ellona was able to sing the Supremes' classic "Baby Love" for Motown Night. Both Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell were wowed by her performance as was her mentor Demi Lovato, who told her how proud she was of Ellona. However, due to a graphics error that nullified the votes, she had to sing another song for the re-vote show. Tha song was "Titanium" by David Guetta and Sia.

For '80s Night, Ellona, sporting red streaks in her hair, sang "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by the great Whitney Houston. At one point during the performance, however, she slipped but managed to get back up and keep going. The judges did like the performance, but Simon Cowell did suggest to Ellona that for her next song, she sing something that doesn't involve a lot of dancing.

For British Invasion night, Ellona sang "Burn" by Ellie Goulding. The performance, which didn't have a lot of dancing in it, earned her mostly praise from the judges even though Simon Cowell admitted that he felt that with her, he was looking at an actress.

For Big Band night, Ellona dedicated the Jessie J song "Mamma Knows Best" to her older sister Julierose, who has been battling cancer. Ellona gave it her all and put everything into her performance, which earned her major praise from the judges including Simon Cowell, who called it "a game changer" and admitted that he thought she could win after that. She then went up against the other 7 acts in a face-off. The judges called her the stand out in the face-off.

For Divas/Unplugged night, Ellona took on two songs. Her "diva" song was "Applause" by Lady Gaga. Her performance earned her praise with Simon Cowell saying that he liked her version of the song better then the original. Her "unplugged" performance was Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy", which allowed Ellona to truly showcase her beautiful voice. At the elimination show Ellona received the lowest number of votes and was sent home. She finished in 6th place. Her elimination caused shock and anger on Twitter.

Post X Factor

Ellona recently collaborated with Josh Levi on a cover of the Katy Perry hit "Unconditionally", which is on his YouTube channel. She also posted a music video of her verison of the Beyonce song "Pretty Hurts" on her YouTube channel on January 28, 2014. She posted a video of her cover of The Calling's "Wherever You Will Go" on February 14, 2014 as a Valentine's Day gift to her fans. She also had her debut concert on March 22, 2014 at the Brava Theatre with Josh Levi as her special guest. She also got the chance to collborate wih singer Ian Maxino on a cover of "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, which is posted on his SoundCloud account.

In the middle of all of her musical activities, Ellona graduated from high school in June 2014.


  • Ellona's fans are called "Ellonatics".
  • Ellona speaks four languages: English, Tagalog (Filipino), French, Spanish
  • She is the youngest of four sisters
  • Known as "the girl in the red jacket" by Simon Cowell during the first live show with InTENsity on the first season.
  • Her celebrity crush is Harry Styles of One Direction
  • She admits that she likes to dance in her room.
  • The super power that Ellona would want is the ability to teleport herself anywhere.
  • InTENsity advanced to the second week of the live shows and finished in twelfth place after competing against The Stereo Hogzz in the sing-off and a majority

of the judges voted to keep The Stereo Hogzz. However, InTENsity received more votes than The Stereo Hogzz which meant that if the result went to deadlock, The Stereo Hogzz would have been eliminated.