WATCH: Filipino student Francisco Martin wows ‘American Idol’ judges despite nerves, makes it to Hollywood

/ 05:14 PM February 19, 2020
Francisco Martin American Idol

Image: Screengrab via YouTube/American Idol

After proving that he is a real contender in the popular singing contest “American Idol”, an aspiring Filipino musician is going to Hollywood for the next level of the competition.

The 18-year-old Francisco Martin overcame his nerves to serenade the show’s high-caliber judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan with a cover of Maggie Rogers’s track “Alaska”.


The college student from San Francisco, California, shared that he has a problem with self-confidence during his personal interview for the show, uploaded on American Idol’s official YouTube channel last Sunday, Feb. 16.

The young musician was accompanied by his parents, Fatima and Jon.


During his audition, Martin initially appeared to be drenched in sweat and was struggling to talk to the judges. To calm his nerves, Richie came to Martin’s side to give him a hug. Bryan also stood beside the contestant to check his pulse.

“148 is his heartrate,” Bryan announced after counting his heartbeat.

Bryan compared Martin’s pulse to his own heart rate when doing cardio. “When I’m cycling, I’m 148,” Bryan commented.

Martin said he was excited to be in the audition then thanked the judges for calming him down.

After introducing himself, Martin began playing his guitar while belting a portion of Maggie Rogers’ song. Katy Perry immediately raised her thumb up when she heard Martin’s voice. Bryan gestured that he was getting “chills” from the performance.

After his song, the judges immediately teased Martin for his “sneaky” nervous “act” as they were blown away by his voice.

“I just checked the pulse of a future superstar,” Bryan announced.


Richie said, “I love the way you set us up. I’m a little afraid, I’m a little timid. I’m not quite sure [then] — POW!”

Meanwhile, Perry complimented Martin for his “incredible voice” and then requested if he could sing an original composition.

The Filipino musician played a song that he said was inspired by an Australian friend. While performing his second song, Perry joked, “She doesn’t sound like a friend.” It caught Martin off guard and he began laughing, promising that the girl was just a friend.

“I’m so happy to see you, sweat, hypertension and everything. I don’t know what you got,” Richie declared after Martin’s audition pieces.

The judges also convinced Martin that he had a real shot at pursuing a career in music. Bryan asked: “Are you in college?”

When Martin confirmed that he was, Bryan advised, “Drop out.”

Perry told Martin that he could make it to the Top 10 of the competition, while Richie and Bryan were more optimistic, stating that he had a shot at the Top 5. Bryan also showed a paper where he wrote the word “WINNER”.

When the judges were deciding whether they should vote on passing Martin through the next round, Perry declared, “No vote.” They unanimously shouted, “You’re going to Hollywood!”

They handed Martin the golden ticket and wished him luck. The female popstar then advised Martin to work on calming his nerves for what is about to happen in the competition. NVG


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TAGS: American Idol, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Singer, singing contests
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