Attention, Fandas: Panda Ross Returns to ‘The X Factor’!
Last year on "The X Factor," a lovable lady by the marquee-worthy name of Panda Ross captured America's hearts — and seemingly the heart of her longtime crush, Simon Cowell — with her huge personality and huge voice. "You sound like a legend," Simon told Panda, before he and his fellow judges unanimously voted to advance her to the Boot Camp rounds.
And then...Panda was never heard or seen on TV again. But an inside source has tipped off Yahoo!'s Reality Rocks that Panda will likely be back for Season 3, as she tried out for the show again in New Orleans this week.
"Panda came onstage and said she had driven 600 miles to see Simon again," an audience member reveals. "A few people recognized her, but it was only when she said her name that even the audience remembered who she was. She looked great and must have lost at least 80 pounds. [Editor's note: Panda underwent gastric-bypass surgery last year.] She was still telling Simon how much she loved him, and she told the judges she had been working hard and wanted a second chance."
Clearly Panda doesn't harbor any hard feelings against her crush. Speaking to Reality Rocks after her Boot Camp elimination last season, she assured, "I will always love Simon. Right now, he's bruised me a little bit, but he's still my boo! Every time I look at that video of my [first] audition, I still think, 'Simon wanted me!' You know he likes black women. Don't play!"
And according to the New Orleans audience member who witnessed Panda's "X Factor" return this week, both Simon and returning judge Demi Lovato were thrilled to see Panda back on "The X Factor" looking healthy (especially since the last time she tried out, she was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia immediately afterwards):
When Panda appeared on the New Orleans stage this week, she apparently cried out: "I'm back to see you, Simon! Demi, I am officially a Lovatic, and Kelly [Rowland], my son loves you as much as I love Simon! Paulina [Rubio], welcome to 'The X Factor' family, where you never know what's going to happen!"
We really don't know what's going to happen, as it's unclear if Panda's second-chance audition was successful and if she actually made it to Boot Camp again. Also, interestingly and amusingly, Panda has been tweeting that she's been hanging out in New Orleans this week with wild "American Idol" Season 12 contestant Zoanette Johnson, and it's unclear if Zoanette was auditioning for "The X Factor" as well. (Can you imagine a Panda/Zoanette duet? The mind boggles! In the words of Panda, "Y'all ain't ready.")