MANILA - Marlisa Punzalan, the 15-year-old Filipina making waves in Australia's edition of "The X Factor," wowed the judges of the singing competition on Sunday as she performed two powerful songs, which were picked for her by her mentor, Ronan Keating.
Punzalan’s first song was Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” where she was able to showcase her controlled vocal chops, as noted by Keating and his fellow judges.
“Marlisa, great vocal. I loved the way you delivered that. The only thing is that I wished you got into a little more with your body language and communicate just a little more to give it that extra ‘oomph’ but that vocal was spot on,” said Redfoo.
Natalie Bassingthwaighte, on the other hand, disagreed with Redfoo in saying Punzalan was not able to communicate to the audience.
“What I’ve loved about you from the last few weeks is how much confidence in your performances. I think your body is telling way a bit of story that it has been than at the beginning. You’re so much more in it and connected,” she said.
Bassingthwaighte, however, said she was “completely sold on the song choice for you even though you sang it like wow.”
As for Dannii Minogue, she said Punzalan was in deed “on fire.”
“Not only have you stepped into your voice and your confidence and you’re mastering those runs and you’re singing the biggest songs around so congratulations to you and to Ronan,” she said.
Keating, who gave Punzalan a standing ovation, said the 15-year-old singer’s rendition of the song was “one of the best vocal performances we’ve seen on the show this year.”
Meanwhile, the judges were all praises for Punzalan in her second performance, noting how incredible that someone as young as her could be on the show like “The X Factor.”
For her second song, Keating picked “Impossible” for Punzalan. It was originally sang by “The X Factor UK” winner James Arthur.
“You found this one a little tricky during rehearsals. You struggled a few times. You nailed it this time. I was really nervous. This is your last shot. This is the last song Australia could ever see you sing on the show. I hope they pick up the phone and vote. You deserve a slot in the Grand Finals. You are incredible and that performance was impossible so congratulations,” he said.
“A lot of people do question whether a 15-year-old, can they be on the show like X Factor. One thing I can say is you getting up here, getting constructive criticism like Dannii said, which we all do and you all get each and every week, you handle yourself so incredibly well. I am super proud of that even though I am not your mentor. I think that’s something to be recognized. And you looked awesome. Well done,” said Bassingthwaighte.
Minogue, meanwhile, commended Punzalan for working on her runs in her second performance.
“I hope that all of the constructive criticisms are pushing you towards that end goal. I love what you do and I do not want to sit up here and say ‘For a 15-year-old that was good.’ Forget it. That was fantastic,” she said.
Redfoo also said: “For a 15-year-old, what you’re doing up there is impossible. I could tell you that. That was spectacular. You looked great.”
Immediately after her performances, Punzalan took to her Facebook account to ask her supporters to vote and keep her in the competition.
She said, unedited: “What a night!!! So loved every moment of both my performances!!! Thank you so much for giving me such wonderful and overflowing support! Please don't forget to VOTE for me for a spot in the Grand Finals (Top 3)!!! You have changed my life from the moment I stepped onto that audition stage. I will never forget the support you have given me from the start, today and now and for whatever lies ahead for my future in music! Thank you so much, God bless and much Love, Marlisa.”
The contestants who will make it to “The X Factor” grand finals will be revealed on Monday.