Filipino-American Malaya Watson entered American Idol’s top 10, as announced on the show on Thursday (Friday, March 14, in Manila).
With the theme “Songs from the Cinemas,” Watson sang “I am Changing,” from the movie Dreamgirls during Wednesday’s (Thursday, Manila) performance. Her powerful performance earned positive praise from Judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez who stood up and applauded.
“Good girl Malaya!” Lopez said. “That’s the perfect song for you. Perfect way to end the show. That was killer. You have an amazing voice! Oh my God”
Urban commended her for her strength which is “a really good understanding of the songs.”
“That song was perfect to play your strengths. The only thing is that there’s bits of places where you could reign it in a little bit but it’s just the adrenaline and the rush of the crowd,” Urban said.
“But what you have inside that’s going to blossom, it is magnificent,” he added.
Fellow judge Harry Connick Jr. commented on Malaya’s vocal power, particularly as a belter.
“I’ve heard people on the street come up to me and say ‘Oh this year, there’s no belter among the group.’ I’ve heard that. People say that. Again, this is the most diverse group I think Idol has ever seen. You just showed everybody that there is a big belter,” Connick Jr. said.
With Watson now in the top 10, she will also join the upcoming summer tour of the show.
Meanwhile, Ben Briley bid farewell to the show after he got the lowest number of votes from the viewers. Briley was among the bottom three along with Sam Woolf and Majesty Rose.
In a bid to stay in the competition, Briley sang for the judges, but the judges decided not to use their save card.