From contestant to judge: KZ Tandingan comes full circle
Ten years after she burst onto the music scene, KZ Tandingan has come full circle.
In 2012, the pop-soul singer won the first season of the reality talent search “X Factor PH.” This year, she sits as one of the coach-judges of the fifth season of “The Voice Kids PH.”
“I‘m just grateful and humbled. I went through what these kids are going through now, so I know how they feel. I know about the sacrifices they have to make to even have the opportunity to audition,” she told the Inquirer in a virtual conference for her ongoing North American concert tour with Bamboo Mañalac.
Making this new and exciting chapter in her career feel even more surreal, she said, is the fact that she is joined in the judging panel by OPM icon Martin Nievera—one of the judges she stood in front of during her “X Factor PH” days.
“I’m happy to have a seat in the panel and sit beside the person who was also there when I was starting,” the 31-year-old music artist said. “The support Sir Martin gave me… I hope to pay that forward. I hope to become the kind of coach Sir Martin was to me.”
“Sometimes, when I’m alone and think about it, I’m just in awe that something like this happened. Who would have thought the kid who auditioned 10 years ago would get the opportunity to sit on a judging panel?”
But more than a judge, KZ sees herself as a mentor. “These kids already know what they want to become. We’re just here to facilitate and guide them toward their goals. We hope to show them which roads will be most effective for them.”
One of the lessons she hopes to impart on her mentees in “The Voice Kids PH” is that, while winning is the goal, the journey doesn’t end there.
“You might not win the competition, but you can still achieve your dreams,” she pointed out. “You also have to manage your expectations. That was my mindset when I was competing. So when I won, it came as a big surprise.”
KZ turned emotional upon realizing she has been in the industry for 10 years now.
“Show biz is unstable. Today, you’re the favorite flavor. Tomorrow, it’s goodbye,” she said. “So I’m just grateful that I still get to do what makes me happy and get paid doing it. And I’m happy I get to inspire people along the way.” INQ