The all-Filipina girl group who recently made a splash on talent show "X-Factor UK" may find themselves at the center of controversy following claims that they are seasoned professionals who have TV appearances and record releases in the Philippines and other Asian countries.
4th Power, a group of four sisters hailing from Isabela province, dazzled the 'X-Factor UK' audience on the first week of the talent show's 12th season by belting out the hit song 'Bang Bang' by Jessie J., Ariana Grande, and Nikki Minaj, complete with an energetic dance number.
Their performance not only impressed the audience but also won a standing ovation from judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora, and Nick Grimshaw.
Prior to their performance, a home video that showed their trip from the Philippines to the United Kingdom to audition was played, capturing how anxious and excited the sisters — Mylene, Celina, Irene and Almira — were to perform in front of the judges.
Citing an unnamed source, an article on Mirror, a UK tabloid, said show producers drafted the girl group with full knowledge of their professional background, and have had several meetings and deliberations before inviting them to be a part of the show's latest season.
“Executives looked at everything they had done before and discussed them at length before making the decision to invite them back and make them a big part of the launch show. Obviously they were exactly what had been expected. But the judges had not been told what was coming, to ensure their reaction was as strong and completely natural as it could be,” the article quoted the source as saying.
The group has competed in several talent shows in the Philippines, including “Pinoy Idol,” “It’s Showtime” and “Talentadong Pinoy.”
The Pinay sister act has been known by names such as The Gollayan Sisters and The Cercados and have also joined the biggest talent show in South Korea, “Superstar K6," as M.I.C.A., where they reached the competition's final round.
They reportedly debuted as 4th Power in the "X-Factor UK" auditions this week, and got four 'Yes' after they have won the hearts of the judges.
Simon Cowell showed full support for the Pinay girl group, despite being foreigners.
“It felt their time was right and if they have been on something before we could do a better job with them, make a better record than anyone else. They got a bigger reaction than any British act. They could give Little Mix a run for their money,” he said.
Cowell added, “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 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 issue of whether professional should be allowed on the show has yet to be settled.
However, this is not the first time that the show was attacked for “scouting” talents, like former finalists Jahmene Douglas and Stevi Ritchie, who admitted to being drafted by the show's bosses.
According to the rules of the show, “Acts may be invited to audition for the programme by researchers acting on behalf of the producer. Such acts will be required to go through the audition process.” —Bianca Rose Dabu/KBK, GMA News