Malaya Watson brings J. Lo to tears in ‘Idol’ performance

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MANILA, Philippines – After dodging elimination last week, Filipino-American Malaya Watson bounced back when she brought judge Jennifer Lopez to tears with her latest performance on “American Idol.”

The sixteen-year-old Filipino-American from Southfield, Michigan sang the gospel song “Take me to the King” on Wednesday evening in Hollywood (Thursday morning in Manila).

Donned with a new hair style, Watson whose name means “freedom” in Filipino played the piano at the first part of her song.

Pop star and “Idol” judge Lopez said she had “goosies (goosebumps) from head to toe and tears in my eyes because I was so proud of you.”

Musician Keith Urban said Watson chose a “beautiful song” choice and that he liked that Watson started with the piano.

However, singer-actor Harry Connick Jr. said he saw “a few problems.” He did not elaborate.

Connick added that Watson seemed “very focus” compared to her previous performances which were “running out of track.”

Watson landed at the bottom three last week but managed to dodge elimination.

Originally posted at 12:28 pm | Thursday, March 6, 2014


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  • denzel22

    Malaya = Free and Kalayaan = Freedom. Kindly correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Noel

      Correct. Malay then means “sense” like walang malay. Malay could also mean Malay race which Watson doesn’t look like she even have a drop of Malay or Filipino race. She looks everything Black.

  • Twister12

    “Malaya” means free not freedom. Goodness..

    • Noel

      Right. Kalayaan is freedom.

  • Marc

    it means SALIVA…

  • Platypus09

    I like her performance this time, on top of her new outlook where she got rid of her bulky hair with nice outfit.

    Hopefully, this time more American viewers are rooting for her.

    Though she needs to improve her vocals and overall performance as the contest goes by, I hope she gets more support and votes from Filipinos and Fil-Ams in the US well till the end.

    She could win this season with her hardwork, nice performances and everyone’s support or votes. God willing.

    • Noel

      She now looks more decent with her new hair unlike before when she looked like a black drug addict girl in the street.

  • JustJam

    During Hollywood week, Malaya actually said that her name meant freedom. Perhaps what she really meant was that it was a derivative of freedom?

  • Noel

    Not even a slight feature of Filipino blood.

    • Platypus09

      Her mother is a Filipina nurse who works in Michigan.

      • Noel

        I saw her mother at American Idol who looks more like a nig than Filipina.

      • Platypus09

        No, she is not.

      • Noel

        She is. I even thought the mother is Black.

  • Vertumnus

    Her braces is getting in the way of a more soulful sound coming from her. I bet once she gets rid of those, she will definitely should better. She still can sing but her competition is no slouch. She needs votes to keep coming back every week.
    So when did “malaya” become freedom? I always thought it meant free?

  • enteng

    Proud to be pinoy!

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