If you know Willis Earl Beal‘s story, the last place you’d expect to see him is on a reality TV show. He’s a withdrawn, wonderfully odd character, from what we can gather from reading about him, listening to the music, and talking to him on the phone. But here he is on The X Factor. Willis didn’t make it past the “bootcamp” round of the show, but he did manage to catch the attention of the right people, because he’s now on XL Recordings and planning to release his album on April 3rd.

At one point Willis basically—in a lot of words—says that he’d like to win to prove that someone with substance can prevail in what’s perceived as a shallow competition full of “fluff.”

Willis: 1
X-Factor: 0 

Related: The Time I Called Willis Earl Beal

(Disco Naivete)