WILL PINOY PRIDE REIGN ON ‘X FACTOR UK’ ?
Pinoys are still buzzing over Cyrus Villanueva emerging champion on “X Factor Australia,” Tuesday. It was, after all, the second time a Fil-Aussie won the show’s top plum after Marlisa Punzalan lorded it over last year.
Now, many are hoping that homegrown act, 4th Impact, will echo both Villanueva’s and Punzalan’s success, this time on “X Factor UK.”
The group, originally from Santiago City, Isabela, crashed into the show’s Top Five over the weekend, along with Ché Chesterman, Louisa Johnson, Lauren Murray and Reggie ‘n Bollie.
Based on the show judges’ comments about the group after past performances, it is almost as if the sisters are already sure winners.
Even the usually unflappable Simon Cowell was impressed, describing the group “one of the best” he has ever seen.
Their show mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, on the other hand, simply deem them “phenomenal.”
Rita Ora, meanwhile, considers them “inspiring.”
The accolades proved a doubleedged sword for the group, with the UK media going on to pounce on the girls early on in the season. Some claimed they were scouted by show producers to ensure ratings success.
An article by Simon Boyle on The Daily Mirror UK said, “All contestants are supposed be wannabe beginners but these girls are seasoned performers who have been on TV and even released records available to buy on Amazon.”
The girls have indeed been performing for sometime together prior to joining the show. They formed in 2006 as the Cercado Sisters and began joining local amateur singing contests. Among their more notable appearances were at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) 2013, where, as The Gollayan Sisters, they won Best Vocal Group (Senior Category). As the group MICA, they were also finalists on the Korean show “Superstar K6” in 2014.
Around these parts, the sisters were known as grand champs of the Bida Kapamilya segment of noontime show “It’s Showtime.” Host Anne Curtis described the girls on “TV Patrol” as “really solid as family.”
Among other local gigs, the group also played back-up for Sarah Geronimo on her show “Sarah G. Live.” The sisters maintained, however, they auditioned for “X Factor UK” on their own volition.
A spokesperson for “The X Factor UK” denied they contracted the girls for the show, saying in a statement published on tellymix.co.uk: “‘X Factor’ producers did not approach Fourth Power to audition – they flew to the UK to audition of their own accord and went through exactly the same audition process as other acts. Their interview in the programme clearly said that they had been performing together since 2001 and had competed in various places. There are no rules preventing anyone who has appeared on other shows from applying for ‘The X Factor.’”
Cowell, who is also producer of the show, defended the girls. Speaking to the Mirror UK, he said, “Part of me welcomes foreign talent in case we may not find enough at home. Another part of me thinks it is a badge of honour if you do well on the UK show. We sell it (the show) all around the world. That’s the one they all want to audition for and I’m competitive against the other versions of the show. So I like it if foreign talent comes to the UK and not to their home country.”
The furor died down soon after with 4th Impact proving themselves worthy of the praises, jumping through every hurdle on the show. But it seems that controversy always catches up with them.
Only a few days ago, the sisters made headlines again after Murray was caught on camera pushing one of them away as they celebrated after surviving another elimination round.
Netizens were quick to lash out at Murray but the group calmed their fans down via Twitter, saying they love their co-competitor and that they consider her a friend.
With all that settled, we could only wait for the finals on Dec. 12.