Along with the standing ovation, the “X Factor” judges had plenty to say about Ashly Williams’ audition. Demi Lovato – “Ashly, I’m like, speechless. I had chills all over my arms and legs. And, I can feel it in you. I can feel that heart and guess what? There’s a place in the market for you.” Paulina Rubio – “OMG, I was just captivated by your talent. That was an amazing performance.” Kelly Rowland – “It’s so funny…you’re saying thank you to everybody, and it’s beautiful and it’s humbling. But…thank you baby girl for spilling your heart out in that vocal.” Simon Cowell – “You know what Ashly? This is why we brought the show (“X Factor”), to America to find somebody like you. Seriously, I think we’ve just scratched the surface with you Ashly because I think that you’re seriously, seriously good.” Ashly dedicated her “X Factor” audition to her mother, in honor of her mother’s birthday. Ashly’s mother was murdered 10 years ago shortly before Ashly turned 15-years-old.

‘X Factor’ USA 2013 auditions: A standing ovation for Ashly Williams

In other words, tough luck. Schaub (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), who meets Matt Mitrione (6-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC 165 on Saturday (pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET), has a confidence that guarantees he’ll get an online drubbing from time to time. But the 30- year-old fighter and former Arena Football League player says that’s what he signed up for. “To put yourself out there, you’ve got to deal with the negative criticism,” Schaub tells USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com. “I get way more positive than I do negative.” His upcoming fight isn’t exactly kosher with the man whom he’ll stand opposite at UFC 165, which takes place at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Mitrione, his former teammate on “The Ultimate Fighter 10” reality show, apparently is itching to punch him in the face after he reportedly asked the UFC to pair them. In a lively sparring match several months ago on Twitter, Mitrione, a former NFL lineman, said Schaub looked like a cross between Adam Sandler and Corky from “Life Goes On.” Schaub retorted that Mitrione’s wife liked his appearance just fine. They might not be friends anymore, but as Schaub puts it, “I don’t care if you put my brother in UFC gloves. For a title shot, I’m going to fight him to get there.” In the heavyweight division, that journey might not be long. While both fighters recently got back into the win column, a few impressive victories could put either within reach of champ Cain Velasquez . Schaub, whose win against Johnson ended a two-fight skid, was on his way to a title shot after beating one-time challenger Gabriel Gonzaga and former Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Schaub is unwavering about his motivation for fighting Mitrione, even if it rued a few feathers. “The only reason I do it is to be the best to be a world champion,” he says.

USA presidential candidate answers wide-ranging questions in public forum (photos)

At 4 p.m., he took part in a public forum at USAs Mitchell Center. Before a crowd of about 200, he gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining his goals and ideas for the university, then took questions from the audience. Gilberts goals included improving the universitys retention rate of 68 percent and its graduation rate of 37 percent; creating more of an international focus for the universitys research programs; and attracting more businesses to the universitys Technology & Research Park. Doug Marshall, president of USAs Faculty Senate and a member of the presidential search committee, started the question-and-answer session by asking Gilbert if it was important, given the size of USAs health care division, to encourage the health care and university divisions to become more collaborative. The more we can get them working together, the better, Gilbert responded. I would do all that I could try to do bring the two divisions together as often as possible. Marshall also asked how Gilbert envisioned a typical faculty members workday in the future. Across the country, things are changing for faculty members, Gilbert said. Theyre more focused on research as we go forward. There is going to be more demand on faculty to be involved in knowledge creation and research. An audience member asked for Gilberts opinion on the universitys reliance on faculty adjunct professors. I think there is a place for a variety of different faculty types, Gilbert said, but relying too heavily on adjuncts is not a good idea. Other questions focused on ideas for expanding campus activities, enhancing the universitys role in the community and improving campus communication. Gilbert was also asked about his favorite charities (Habitat for Humanity, a foundation to assist public schools, the Starkville arts council); which professional journals he reads (The Chronicle of Higher Education); and his favorite book (1776 by David McCullough). It was great to field all the questions, Gilbert said after the session. He emphasized his goal to expand the universitys partnerships with Mobiles businesses and industry. I think theres a great opportunity for Mobile to do integrated research projects, and advance the university and businesses in the area, he said.

Spithill, Oracle Team USA stay alive against New Zealand as America’s Cup plods along

Owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp., it needs seven victories to keep the oldest trophy in international sports at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Asked if hes enjoying watching the Kiwis squirm, Spithill, an Australian, said: Im loving every minute of it. Spithill even thinks the American-backed boat which has only one American on the 11-man crew can retain the Auld Mug. Yes, we can win seven more races, said Spithill, whos been almost defiant since Oracle was hit with the harshest penalties in Americas Cup history for illegally modifying its prototype catamarans in warmup regattas called the Americas Cup World Series. Barker is aware of the enormous support the Kiwis are getting back home. Too many more losses and that can turn into pressure. We just continue to do what weve been doing, and were preparing as well as we can for every day, Barker said. Today I just made a meal of the start. It was on the back foot, and these guys are sailing well enough that youre not going to get a chance to get past them. Were certainly very pleased with the way the boats going and everything else, and we know that if we sail properly, well give them a decent run. Oracle Team USA won the start after Barker got too close to the line too early. The Kiwis had to bear away a bit, and the 34-year-old Spithill hooked behind them and into controlling position. Spithill said Oracle felt the Kiwis had a significant edge upwind at the start of the regatta.