Vino Alan had the deck stacked against him when he took the 'X Factor' stage at the Kansas City auditions on tonight’s (Sept. 19) episode of the show. He was covered in tattoos, including ink in places you can't hide, like his face and head. He looked like he had done hard time, but when he spoke about his 15-year-old kid, there was a renewed sense of warmth. When he opened his mouth to sing Ray LaMontagne's ‘Trouble,’ we were moved. So were the judges.

Alan, 39, sang the song with muscular and soulful twang. He quickly won the judges over and got them on his side in unanimous fashion. They felt he had something that they’ve not yet experienced during the auditions.

He reminded us of a hybrid of last season’s semi-finalists Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene. He had the rasp of Krajcik and the tough, urban edge and tender soul of Rene. It's a strange combo, but it absolutely worked.

Something tells us that as the show progresses and we get to know Alan, he’ll become the underdog that we root for.

Oh, and a totally irrelevant aside: We love his name, since it translate to "wine" in Italian.