Fil-Am Amy Vachal: ‘The Voice’ is not just a karaoke contest | Inquirer Entertainment

Fil-Am Amy Vachal: ‘The Voice’ is not just a karaoke contest

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 10:48 PM December 08, 2015

“THE VOICE, Season 9” Fil-Am contestant Amy Vachal

“THE VOICE, Season 9” Fil-Am contestant Amy Vachal

WHEN Amy Vachal finished singing “Dream a Little Dream” during her Blind Audition last Oct. 5 for “The Voice, Season 9,” it was hard not to get distracted by the swoon-worthy flirtatious exchange between judges Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, whom the lead vocalist of No Doubt described as “handsome.”

But the performance of the lovely 26-year-old Filipino-American contestant, who’s among the nine semifinalists vying for the top four this week, was just as hard to ignore—because she was as good at “selling” the eye-candy sizzle as much as the musical steak!


Her American father was a member of a Grateful Dead covers band, but it was her Cebuana mother who discovered her talent as a singer-performer— at age 3!


As a performer, Amy isn’t the type who’d win you over with her show-stopping birit notes, but her sultry soulfulness, especially in her renditions of “To Love Somebody” during the Battles and “The Way You Look Tonight” during the Live Playoffs, will convince you that there’s more to her than a pretty face and a slithery and sassy alto.

(“The Voice, Season 9,” is aired every Tuesday and Wednesday, at 7:50 p.m. on AXN).

Vachal initially chose Pharrell Williams as her mentor, but ended up on Team Adam (Levine) after a timely “steal.” “Adam has given me those out-of-left-field song choices that were as much a challenge as they were a blessing—because they allowed me to put my own spin on unexpected songs,” Amy told us during our phone interview with her last Friday. “I’m grateful for those difficult tasks, because I learn something new every time there’s something hard to do.”

“THE VOICE, Season 9” Fil-Am contestant Amy Vachal

“THE VOICE, Season 9” Fil-Am contestant Amy Vachal

Excerpts from our interview:

The competition is getting tougher. How has your musicality grown in the past months since you began competing, and what’s your game plan to continue to do well?

This week, they’ll choose the top four from the remaining nine contestants. I have to be the most “me” I’ve ever been. I just want to sing from the heart—and that’s my main focus. At the end of the day, I’m just grateful for, and excited about, the chance to sing another song!


The best thing about music is the fact that it can grow, shift and expand—and through its changes and exciting permutations, you’re allowed to grow with it.

I’m a songwriter, and there are certain artists whose music just hits close to home. The “old” songs have always been an inspiration for me, because the prospect of putting my own spin on them excites me!

Who do you think is your biggest competitor on Team Adam and in the show in general?

Honestly, my biggest competitor is myself—and that’s true for all of us. An environment like this can be stressful, because we all want this so much. I’m just thankful to have made it this far.

I can speak for everyone who’s still here: It isn’t like a swimming competition or a marathon, where someone’s faster than the other. I believe that we’re all so different, which is thrilling for viewers—it’s like seeing different colors from a crayon box. So, it’s going to come down to personal preferences.

Moreover, competing with good friends isn’t easy—and that’s what makes it more difficult. I dread every single Tuesday, because I know that something’s going to change—either I’m going home, or my friend will! Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like any of that is a win at all.

What stage of the competition did you find most challenging?

That’s a good question. We’ve been through so many rounds at this point, from the Blind Auditions and the Battle Rounds, to the Knockouts and the Live Playoffs— and I can honestly tell you that it’s gotten harder every single round.

Last week was the hardest for me, because the stakes got higher—and the presence of a live audience amplified the level of excitement!

“The Voice” is a true performer’s competition, but while “American Idol” creates stars who chart on the Billboard 100, people are saying that “The Voice” is helpful to the careers of its judges more than its contestants. Any reaction?

“The Voice” isn’t about any one judge or contestant. Every one of us benefits from this. That’s why it’s such a popular show that’s now on its ninth season.

What do you think are the advantages of “The Voice” over other singing contests, like “American Idol,” “The X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent”?

I never said that I’ll never join any one of those other competitions, but what I will say is that it (“The Voice”) really nurtures the artist—it isn’t just a karaoke contest!

Yes, we sing covers, but it’s more about an artist’s development. You see so much growth in its contestants as they go through the different stages of the competition.

Talk about your Filipino roots.

I’m half-Filipino. I’ve visited the Philippines three or four times, mostly when I was a little girl—the last time was a couple of years ago. It’s such a beautiful place, and I hope to visit it again soon.

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My mom often goes “home.” In fact, she has visited the Philippines about 10 times in the past year or so, and she remains very connected with her friends and family in Cebu. I feel a wave of support from Filipinos everywhere—and I’m truly grateful for that!

TAGS: America, Amy Vachal, Competition, Contest, contestant, Singing, The Voice, US

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