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Winona singer advances to top 12 on 'X-Factor'

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A native Minnesotan is still in the hunt for "X-Factor" greatness, the Star Tribune reports.

Tim Olstad advanced to the top 12 on "The X-Factor" Tuesday night as his mentor, Paulina Rubio, picked the Winona native over his fellow competitor, Josh Levi.

Ironically, Rubio gave Olstad the boot from the Fox TV reality competition earlier this month. Following a round of boos from the audience, however, the judge decided to bring him back.

Olstad, 23, performed the Bon Jovi power ballad, "Always," on Tuesday night's show.

"You know, Tim, I've said it from the moment I heard your voice. You've got a killer voice, boy," Kelly Rowland exclaimed. "I absolutely love your voice and love your spirit."

Rubio's choice clearly was not based on the observations of the toughest judge on the panel, the notoriously blunt Simon Cowell.

"Tim, I felt in a way that I just went from a party to a funeral, and then the funeral director started singing," said Cowell, whose critique was jeered by the audience. "So, there's no doubt about it. You have a good voice. I'm not sure that was the right song, but I'm not sure when I look at you I can get excited for some reason."

Demi Lovato agreed with Cowell to an extent, saying "the energy went down a lot" during the song.

"In this competition you have to have everyone's attention," Lovato said, also soliciting a round of boos in the auditorium.

Olstad's hometown is definitely behind the singer. The Winona Daily News reports a crowd wearing "Team Tim" T-shirts gathered at the local Ground Round to watch the show this week.

The paper says when Olstad made the cut for the top 12, some viewers flew from their chairs, while others cheered and screamed. One fan left the room speechless, fanning herself with a photo of Olstad taped to a stick, the News said.

The next elimination round on "The X-Factor" is set for Wednesday. The show airs in the Twin Cities area on Fox 9.

Oldstad's victory comes on the heels of disappointment for two other Minnesota singers this week on the reality TV circuit.

Both Holly Henry, 19, of Minneapolis, and Ashley DuBose, 23, of St. Paul, were eliminated from NBC's "The Voice" Monday night.

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