Arin Ray's face should be familiar to 'X Factor' diehards. He auditioned last season, and while he didn't make it as a solo act, he was placed in Intensity, a 10-member group the producers assembled from castoffs who weren't strong enough on their own. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, right? Intensity made it to the live shows, but they were eventually sent packing.

He returned during tonight's (Sept. 26) audition episode, which took place in Providence, Rhode Island. Ray is 16 and from Cincinnati, Ohio, and this was his third chance at 'X Factor' glory.

Looking like a charming gentleman in a bow tie and suspenders, he informed the judges that he'd be singing 'Count on Me,' an original song. That's always a "Whoa" moment on reality singing competitions. Performing your own song is akin to taking a major, major risk. Who'd a thunk it, right? Do something original and you're digging you're own grave!

Well, big risk, big reward. L.A. Reid liked him last year, and likes him more this year, as he demonstrated a refined R&B croon.

Britney Spears called him a "true star" while Demi Lovato referred to him as "hot." We heard Brit Brit use that term "true star" a few times tonight, BTW.

The judges noted that Ray exuded more confidence this time out. Well, yeah, after making it to the live rounds with Intensity last season, he had experience and time to hone his craft.