MANILA – A 24-year-old Filipina has made her first steps to stardom after making it to the blind auditions of The Voice Australia.
Sydney-based Jhoanna Aguila performed a Florence & The Machine song "You've Got The Love" for the blind audition.
Three of the four judges-Will.I.Am, Kylie Minogue and Joel Madden--turned their chairs just before Aguila ended her song.
"Are you Filipino," Will.I.Am asked Aguila who replied "yes".
"My best friend is Filipino. My best friend from my group Black Eyed Peas is Filipino," he said, referring to Apl.de.ap. "You were sent here and I'm supposed to work with you for the Filipino people".
On a serious note, Will.I.Am said he knows how to work with singers and "my track record proves it".
The lone female judge, Minogue, explained why Aguila should pick her as her mentor on the show.
"What I would bring is being the singer on that stage and I wished I had someone who could have held my hand going through the stages of my career. I didn't. I figured it all out by myself and I have stuff I'm waiting to give to someone," Minogue said.
For his part, Madden said he is a lot more diverse.
"I think you really have a great spot on my team. I have no one on my team like you. You will have a really great chance to shine on my team," he said.
But in the end, Aguila decided to pick the seven-time Grammy Award winner, Will.I.Am.
"I have to choose Will.I.Am," she said.
In her profile on the show, Aguila was said to have quit her full-time job to concentrate on her music career. Aguila is said to be a natural fit for R&B, citing Alicia Keys Norah Jones and Lauren Hill as influences.
The Filipina began her singing career has a back-up vocalist at her local parish where she continues to sing as a 'worship leader". She also performs at weddings, community functions and fundraisers.
Aguila's parents Sylvette and Marc were with her during the auditions.
Will.I.Am, made another reference to his friend, Apl.de.ap while accompanying Aguila down the stage after the audition.
"And if you ever want to talk to Apl, you know, he knows the president of your country," he said.