Terry Morrow: Farragut teenager enters boot camp on 'X-Factor'

Jacob Whitesides has progressed to the boot-camp round on "X-Factor," which airs Wednesday on WTNZ, Channel 43. Whitesides is 14 and lives in Farragut.

Jacob Whitesides has progressed to the boot-camp round on "X-Factor," which airs Wednesday on WTNZ, Channel 43. Whitesides is 14 and lives in Farragut.

Farragut resident Jacob Whitesides is entering into the boot-camp round of "X-Factor," which begins Wednesday night.

The latest round of the hit competition series is where singers who made it through the open auditions end up. The boot camp was pre-taped and airs 8 p.m. Wednesday on WTNZ, Channel 43.

Whitesides is currently in Farragut as his fate — whether he progresses to the next round or not — is decided.

The home schooled teen covered "One Thing" by the boy band One Direction when his open audition aired a week ago. His open audition was in Greenville, N.C., Whitesides said.

"X Factor" producers invited Whitesides to audition after seeing him perform in a clip on YouTube.

"I almost didn't do the audition," he said. "I didn't feel like it was going to benefit me."

But judges Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovito and L.A. Reid were supportive. "You don't really learn anything unless someone gives you an honest opinion," he said.

Ratings. A larger-than-normal piece of the Knoxville market watched when the "Today" show featuring Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb brought its hour to the University of Tennessee Monday at 10 a.m. on WBIR, Channel 10.

Devoting its hour to many aspects of UT and with cameos from Derek Dooley and Pat Summitt, "Today" locally garnered an 11.1 rating, 5 times the ratings of "Let's Make A Deal" on WVLT, Channel 8, and more than 10 times the audience watching "The Jeff Probst Show" on WATE, Channel 6.

It was, by far, the most-watched TV daytime offering on Monday. For the entire day, it ranked as the sixth most watched offering (being bested by ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," among others).

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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