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Malaya Watson praised by judges, sails into ‘Idol’ top 8

Alexa Villano

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She's getting closer to the top spot! Now in the top 8, Malaya's one step closer to the 'American Idol' title

FOCUS. Judge Harry Connick Jr reminded Malaya to focus on her craft, not on stardom, saying that Malaya had great potential to go far. Screengrab from YouTube

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American Malaya Watson continues her impressive performance this week in American Idol as the competition narrows down to its final 8 finalists.

On Wednesday (Thursday, March 27 in Manila) Watson performed “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles as part of the “With the Band” theme, adding a jazzy element to the song and earning the approval of the judges.

Keith Urban praised Watson because she chose a song that showed off her voice.

“…When you hit the ‘lead me to your door,’ your vibratos are beautiful. When you hit that right place that’s where your personality comes through. There’s nothing in the way right out and we feel it, that’s you and we get a sense of your spirit. That performance showed your spirit,” Urban said.

Jennifer Lopez could not help but compare the Michigan native’s voice to a young Michael Jackson’s.

“To me, you stole that number. And when you come out here with that type of control, because we know you can be some kind of off the rails in the best way, your voice really stands out above everybody’s else’s to me. It sounds like the sweetness of the young Michael Jackson, I hear hints of it. It’s so beautiful, you’re so blessed. You’re 16 and you blow me away,” Lopez said.

Harry Connick Jr. meanwhile advised Watson to work on her craft.

“I give you the award for the most consistently improving. I think you really listen to what we say. It was strong. One thing, this is non-performance related, I heard you say in the pre-performance package before how you’re on the road to stardom…Forget stardom, Malaya. Put it out of your mind. Work on harmonies,” he said.

“Hang around with the piano, bass and guitar players and your tuba instructor and learn every note of every chord because with a voice like your, and ears like yours and attitude like you have, you really can become something great,” Connick Jr added.

Meanwhile, Majesty Rose was eliminated from the show on Thursday evening (Friday, March 28 in Manila) after she landed in the bottom 3 once again along with Sam Woolf and CJ Harris.

Majesty sang  “Happy” in a bid to get the judges to use their save card, to no avail. – 

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.