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The X Factor: The story behind Lyric Da Queen's eye patch William E. Ketchum III | firstname.lastname@example.org 10/16/2012 5:30 PM
FLINT, MI --Viewers of FOX's "The X Factor" have taken to Twitter with a question about Flint native Lyric Da Queen.
What's with the eye patch?
"A lot of people think it's a fashion statement, but nobody knows what to think," Lyric said on a phone call with Flint Journal. "There isn't a story behind it on the show. Not yet, anyway."
In 2008, Lyric's right eye suddenly turned gray and she couldn't see.
Doctors diagnosed her with keratoconus, an eye disease that thins the cornea and changes it to the shape of an inflated cone. Weeks later, her left eye suffered the same fate, and she was completely blind. Later, her vision was no longer pitch black, but as she wrote in a blog, "It was so bad that I could only see figures. No faces, no words, no details, no nothing."
In 2010, she was finally eligible to receive cornea transplants in both of her eyes, and the operation was successful. Though her vision wasn't 20/20 yet, she said, her vision was much better than the previous years.
That changed two months ago, when Lyric was in Los Angeles for a concert with rapper Twista. The show went well, but as she was walking to her cab outside, someone bumped into her and knocked her iPad out of her hand. When she bent over to pick it up, an elbow hit her left eye.
She had to go into emergency surgery to get her cornea stitched back into place, but she suffered more damages.
"Because of that incident, my iris is gone, and my lens, which is behind the iris, is gone as well," she explained. "So I can't see out of that eye again. Now, it's just a healing process."
She had already planned to travel to Greensboro, North Carolina to audition for "The X Factor," and she decided to follow through with those plans -- despite surgeon's advice to stay in the hospital another week to fully recover.
"I had just came from an extreme by losing my vision (the first time), and that already deterred a lot of plans and goals I had. When I made it past that and I'm back in motion with making my dreams come true, I wasn't going to let anything come between that," she said. "...Sometimes, you have to take that chance. When you go through something for so long, you think, 'What more could have happened?'"
"...I couldn't see myself sitting in a hospital with this passing me by."
Her initial audition wasn't aired on the show, but Lyric arrived in Greensboro with IV marks in her arms and with her eye still taped up from the hospital. She was nervous about what the four judges -- pop stars Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, and music execs Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid -- would think, but they gave her four "yeses" to advance to the next round.
From there, Lyric's mother, Tamara Barnes, stepped in.
The pair were looking for patches for Lyric to wear when Barnes thought, "maybe I can add something to it."
She customizes the patches herself, adding stones and various designs to make them match outfits that Lyric plans to wear on the show. She then mails them to her from Miami, where she lives. Lyric trusts her judgment, she says.
"To women, our appearance means a lot to us. It can kind of bring you down, and make you feel not as attractive," Barnes explained. "We said, 'We're going to make the best of it, make them match these outfits, and she looks good in them anyway.'"
Barnes is especially excited about two patches she made: an "X Factor" one, and a camouflage-styled one.
In the a blog post, Lyric wrote that the eye patches are no longer a source of sadness for her.
"Now I wear them with pride!!!" she wrote. "It's so symbolic for what I've made it through these past few years!"
The next air dates of "The X Factor" are Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. on FOX.
hi Rickey. I had the same curiosity over lyrica da queen and her patch. seams like the girl has tha girl has a greatstory behind it. I don't know how they are not using it as a sob story. the girl developed a eye problem couple years ago, got a cornea transplant and was seeing again and got kicked in the eye days before the audition. that's why she performed with the patch in the audition. you can find the article about it online. I think was a newspaper from. Flynt
@elledemello See I knew it. I knew I was going to get into trouble wondering if she was "blind". Sigh. :(