Pinay 'Idol' hopeful survives Las Vegas round

By Shiela Reyes,

Posted at Feb 21 2013 12:13 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2013 09:27 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American hopeful Adriana Latonio has survived the Las Vegas round of the hit talent show “American Idol.”

On Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila), Latonio sang Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” for her solo performance, which brought the judges and the audience to their feet.

Saying she brought so much soul and emotion to her own rendition of the song, judge Keith Urban noted that “now the night has started.”

“I felt like you were channeling all the soul that song requires. It’s a big song. The thing is, sometimes I want to be careful when you are performing this close and I’m glad you did. I don’t want to emote too much and have you become aware of people’s reactions that may unhinge your performance. But it was really hard to not react because it was so damn good,” Urban said.

Judge Nicki Minaj, who asked if Latonio is a Filipino, for her part, thought that she is “poised and ready” to be on stage throughout the competition.

“Within the two seconds of you walking out, this is what I wrote down – ‘Little tiny thing but commands the stage from the second she walks out.’ There is no fear, and being so close to you guys, we can see you trembling and shaking and everything. I did not see one ounce of fear in you,” she said.

“Apart from the vocal being great, I think that you’re poised and ready. You almost feel that you’ve already been doing this. Congratulations my little lady bug,” Minaj added.

Judge Randy Jackson also had the same sentiment about Latonio’s performance.

“Nicki you know why she walked out like that? This girl is born to do it. That kind of confidence at 17 and to come that close to us, it’s ‘Yo! I’m getting this!’ And at the end, that last note, it was almost there. Keith and I, I was looking at him, and you hit it in the end with the vibrato, it worked right in the tune like that. This girl is a pro. I loved it. I loved loved it,” he said.

Filipino-American Adriana Latonio during the Las Vegas round of "American Idol". Photo from

Meanwhile, judge Mariah Carey said she is very proud and happy for Latonio because she braved an Aretha Franklin song.

Giving Latonio an A+ grade, Carey said: “It can be a really rough thing to do that and have it not turn out the way you want it to turn out. She’s amazing and she can basically do anything. I really loved how you came through with your version of the song. I think you worked it out and I enjoyed the first part where you took your time. Really nice.”

After the judges’ comments, the 17-year old Alaskan teenager said she is glad that her performance worked out better than she thought it would.

“I rehearsed and I was not so sure about it but now that I came out here, I’m just glad that I did my best and it all worked out,” she said.

Along with “Idol” hopefuls Teena Torres, Kree Harrison, Angela Miller and Amber Holcomb, Latonio will advance to the “Sing For Your Votes” round of the competition.

The performances of the rest of the top 10 girls will be shown on Friday in Manila.