Alisah Bonaobra, a 22-year-old wedding singer best known for her runner-up finish in the second season of “The Voice of the Philippines” in 2014, believes she has “world class talent” and went on to prove it with a stunning audition piece in this week’s episode of “The X Factor UK.”
Prior to her performance, the show presented a little background on Alisah as viewers and judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger discovered that she is one of eight siblings and has been singing since the age of five.
Alisah said that life for her and her family in the Philippines is tough. Her family earns a living from selling packed meals in the sidewalks of Manila which is occasionally augmented with her earnings when she is invited to sing at weddings.
Taking on Beyonce’s soaring ballad, “Listen,” Alisah proceeded to wow judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger, who was moved to tears with her performance.
“I am crying because I come from very humble beginnings as well. You’re just gorgeous, you’re just this tiny little thing with a voice given from God, this unbelievable gift blowing everybody away. I connect with you and everybody and it’s a yes for you and all the Filipinos out there,” exclaimed the former Pussycat Dolls lead singer, who is of Filipino descent.
Sharon Osbourne was also near tears when she said, “I just want to cry. Oh, it’s a yes from me.”
Louis Walsh, who found Alisah “adorable,” likewise gave her the thumbs up. “I think she’s adorable! You’re a great singer, you’re a great person. It was a great audition, but there’s something about you that we really like.”
And the hard-to-please Cowell frankly told Alisah that her rendition of “Listen” is not the best he heard but gave her a yes as well.
“But there’s something about you I really, really like. Great, great, great energy! That was good; I really enjoyed that,” he added.
Alisah, who was accompanied to her audition by about 20 cheering friends and her mother, was visibly thrilled to advance to the next round of the competition as she was only able to fly to London through the generosity of her mother’s friend who had paid for her air fare.
Alisah will be the fourth Filipino contestant to advance to the bootcamp phase of the competition after Gaga Lord, JBK and Elysa V, who also got four yes votes from the judges.
“I always think a lot of people from where you’re from [are] amazing singers,” Simon earlier told Alisah after learning she was from the Philippines.
“The X Factor UK” airs first and exclusive on RTL CBS Entertainment same day as the UK on Sundays and Mondays at 10:30am with primetime encores Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays at 9:00pm.
RTL CBS Entertainment is available on SKYcable channels 53(SD) and 196(HD), SKYdirect channel 35, Destiny Cable channel 53, and Cablelink channels 37(SD) and 313(HD).
Watch Alisah Bonaobra’s audition performance of Beyonce’s “Listen” here: