Pinoys get standing ovations on 'X Factor' Australia


Posted at Jul 16 2014 09:48 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2014 08:21 PM

MANILA - A new batch of talented Filipinos are again making waves in an international singing competition, wowing the judges with their respective auditions on Australia's "X Factor."

Fourteen-year-old Marlisa Punzalan, the first Filipino to enter the contest, took to the stage her rendition of The Beatles classic "Yesterday."

After her performance, the shy teen drew a standing ovation and almost brought singer Ronan Keating -- one of the judges of the competition -- to tears.

"I've been lucky enough to be in this panel for five years now and I've seen some amazing talent," the Irish singer said.

"You moved me with that performance beyond anything I've seen in that stage in five years. It was incredible," he added.

Two more Filipinos then joined Punzalan in the next stage of the competition.

With his high-pitched voice, 15-year-old Justin Vasquez from Melbourne earned a spot at the next round after winning the approval of all four judges with his cover of Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning."

He also drew a standing ovation from the four, with one of the other judges exclaiming: "That's how you do an audition!"

The third Pinoy contestant is Mary Ann Van Der Horst, a 28-year-old health care worker who is currently living in Victoria, Australia.

The Philippine-born singer made it three-out-three for the Filipino contingent, earning another standing ovation from the four judges.

"When you came out, I thought you weren't serious," said Keating, referring to how the Pinay introduced herself through several jokes and quips about her younger husband.

"I was so wrong," he added. "Everything about you, Mary Ann. The way that you moved onstage, the way that you were singing that song like it was your own, it was incredible to watch. That was amazing."