After Jessica Sanchez, another young girl with Filipino roots has impressed judges on American Idol.
Malaya Watson from Southfield, Michigan is one of the contestants who received the coveted “golden ticket” to Hollywood.
The 16-year old with Filipino roots wowed the American Idol judges with her performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.”
“I loved it,” Keith Urban said. “Absolutely beautiful.”
“Thank you for doing such a great job,” Harry Connick, Jr. said.
Jennifer Lopez gushed about Watson’s performance.
“You’re blessed. God gave you something so pure and real and special. I can’t wait to see how you go through the transformation you’re about to go through,” Lopez said.
After the audition, Lopez described Watson as “amazing” and compared her to a young Michael Jackson.
In her “Road to Hollywood American Idol” video, Watson recalled how nervous she was during the audition.
“At first I was nervous, singing the song but then I kinda got comfortable. But they loved it. I got all three yeses. I must have done something,” Watson said.
Watson, who also plays the tuba for her high school marching band, mentioned her Lolo as a musical influence.
“My musical inspiration comes from three people: my Dad, who was a guitar player. My grandfather who died when I was seven months, he’s a musical genius. And my other grandfather, who I called Lolo which means grandfather. He was also a guitar player. That’s where I came from,” she said.
Asked what makes her unique, Watson said, “I’m 16 but I have all this soul. I have this soul and it touches people, gives people quivers and all that. Since I’m young and I have such an old style, that soul, I feel that makes me way unique.” — with report from Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America Bureau