Malaya Watson, the remaining contestant with Filipino roots on “American Idol,” bounced back on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila), earning praise from the judges as she performed the first gospel song she ever learned.
Watson, who found herself in the Bottom 3 the previous week, proved she’s still worthy of a spot in the competition by singing a heartfelt rendition of Tamela Mann’s “Take Me to the King.”
Earning a standing ovation from judge Keith Urban, Watson started the song on the piano before hitting the high notes towards the end.
“Beautiful! Good Lord, that was beautiful. Did you get goosies, Jen? I don’t know the song but it’s beautiful. I like that you started with the piano. It’s crazy beautiful,” he told the 16-year-old singer.
Judge Jennifer Lopez, on the other hand, admitted Watson’s performance brought tears to her eyes.
“I was with you from the very first moment you opened your mouth. I felt like you were telling us a story. I got goosies all over. I had tears in my eyes because I’m so proud of you,” she said.
Judge Harry Connick Jr., meanwhile, lauded Watson for being in control throughout her performance.
“I felt like you were in danger in your previous performances. This one, you’re very focused. I’m proud that you stayed in control. That takes a lot of guts to do that. The message was there and you didn’t go up the rails right away. You saw it all the way through,” he said.
Along with 11 other contestants, Watson sang to win America’s votes.
On Thursday night (Friday morning in Manila), one contestant among “American Idol’s” Top 12 will be booted off the competition.