MANILA - Filipino-American contestant Malaya Watson wowed the judges of the hit singing competition "American Idol" once again on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) with her rendition of a Bruno Mars song.
The "American Idol" top 10 finalists were asked to pick songs that were Billboard hits from 2010 to now for this week's performance stage. Watson sang Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man," which received praise from the judges.
Jennifer Lopez admitted she was skeptical at first about the song choice.
The female judge said that she was glad that Watson decided to sing the song with its original lyrics, and commended her for hitting good notes during the performance.
"It's funny, I'm not gonna lie. I was ready to kinda hate on you in the beginning. I was, because I said to Keith, 'she's to sing 'When I Was Your Man,' is she gonna change it, what's she gonna do with it', and you decided to just leave it the same, and it didn't affect me at all."
"I had goosies. When you hit the middle of that song, it was sung so beautifully, so tenderly, with so much feeling and love. It was awesome. Beautiful."
Harry Connick Jr. agreed, saying that Watson sang the song very sincerely. He said that the young singer should hone her skill by working with other musicians and trying out different chords.
"The thing I like about it the most was how sincere you were in interpreting the lyrics. I could really feel that you were completely present in every single word, and that's really hard to do.
"I'm gonna make a very quick suggestion. Work with the music people and ask them to show you different chords and how you can sing runs over the different chords because sometimes they will play one chord and the notes that you're singing in your runs won't match all of the notes in the chord. It's a quick fix. It's something that you could learn very, very quickly, and I think it will enhance your experience as a singer," he said.
Wrapping up the judges' comments was Keith Urban, who said that Watson pulled him back to her for singing the song in its original form.