Fil-Am singer: From shy guy to Kelly’s 'Duets' partner

By Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Jun 04 2012 07:18 PM | Updated as of Jun 05 2012 03:18 AM

Jason Farol
CERRITOS, California -- Before being chosen by Kelly Clarkson to be her partner in “Duets,” Jason Farol's only performing experience was as a wedding singer for a few relatives.

In the show, the newest singing competition on US TV, superstars sing with newcomers and the best duo will win after two months of competition.

"It's pretty surreal, kinda feel like a dream still. It's hard to believe that I'm up there singing with Kelly Clarkson. Feels like I'm just gonna wake up soon and I'll be back to normal life," said Farol.

In "Duets," eight non-professional singers were chosen by music superstars Clarkson, John Legend, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, among thousands who have auditioned.

The 23-year-old Farol grew up in California but he is proud of his roots and enjoys Filipino food.

He is also familiar with some TFC shows that his family enjoys and even danced the tinikling in high school.

"To all the Kapamilyas, I'm looking forward to meeting you guys. I hope I make you guys proud," he said.

Farol is also related to Filipina singer Claire dela Fuente, although he said he got his singing talent from his dad.

Though singing has been his childhood dream, Farol studied physical therapy in college since his family wanted him to have a stable job.

But he never forgot his dream.

Over the years, he tried out for "Glee," "American Idol," "America's Got Talent" and other shows.

In the first two episodes of "Duets," the supertars who rank the contestants criticized his seeming lack of confidence.

But Farol said he has improved in this area.

"I was pretty shy about singing. Only my close friends and family know I sing. Performing is really new to me. I haven't performed much before. Pretty much, 'Duets' is the only time I've performed," he said.

Whatever happens this week where a contestant is scheduled to be eliminated, Farol said he is in cloud nine because his dream finally came true.

Clarkson said she believes in Farol and even had him sing with her at one of her concerts.

"My first performance, I was just scared out of my mind. I didn't really get to enjoy. But now, I'm starting to be more comfortable and starting to have fun. And if I get cut, I'll just keep trying to pursue this because this is what I want to do the rest of my life," he said.

At last week's episode of “Duets,” a contestant bowed out unexpectedly and a last-minute replacement was brought in, Meleana Brown, who is also part-Filipino.

For three more weeks, the superstar-judges will decide the contestants' fate. But during the Top 5, Americans will get a chance to vote for their favorite in "Duets."

This week, the contestants will sing inspirational songs together with their superstar-duet partners.