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If Stone Martin made X Factor viewers squeal in delight last night, Ashly Williams made them cry in sympathy.

The 24-year old California native took to the stage and delivered a powerful rendition of Whitney Houston’s "I Will Always Love You," one made even more moving by the fact that she dedicated it to the memory of her mother, who was murdered in 2003.

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“Oh my god, I was just captivated by your talent," said Paulina Rubio in response. "That was an amazing performance."

Demi Lovato was left "speechless" by the cover and Simon Cowell said he brought The X Factor to America specifically to find "somebody like you."


Worthy praise of an impressive contestant, that’s for sure. Watch Ashly’s full audition below, but be warned: you may need a box of tissues.