Filipino-American singer Malaya Watson
MANILA – Filipino-American singer Malaya Watson wowed the “American Idol” judges anew as she performed a jazzy rendition of The Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road” on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila).
Showing beautiful voice control, judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban agreed Watson is the most consistent among the nine remaining finalists of the talent show.
“Oh Malaya, gosh that was beautiful baby. Wow. You really chose a performance that showed us your voice and I could feel your voice,” said Urban.
“When you hit the first notes to the end of the phrase, when you hit the ‘lead me to your door,’ your vibratos are beautiful. That’s where your personality comes through. We feel it, that’s you and we get a sense of your spirit.”
Lopez, on the other hand, said Watson’s voice stands out among everybody else’s, adding that the 16-year-old singer reminds her of a young Michael Jackson.
“I think of you during the opening number with the head banging and the whole thing, I love that stuff. To me, you stole that number. And when you come out here with that type of control, because we know you can be some kind of off the rails in the best way, your voice really stands out above everybody’s else’s to me. It sounds like the sweetness of the young Michael Jackson, I hear hints of it. It’s so beautiful, you’re so blessed. You’re 16 and you blow me away,” she said.
Connick, meantime, advised Watson to forget stardom and work on her craft.
“I give you the award for the most consistently improving. I think you really listen to what we say. It was strong. One thing, this is non-performance related, I heard you say in the pre-performance package before how you’re on the road to stardom, we were always taught to work on our craft. Forget stardom Malaya. Put it out of your mind. Work on harmonies,” he said.
“Hang around with the piano, bass and guitar players and your tuba instructor and learn every note of every chord because with a voice, ears and attitude like you have, you really can become something great,” he continued.
On Thursday (Friday morning in Manila), the contestant with the lowest votes will be booted off the competition.