Fil-Aussie singer makes it to X Factor Australia finals
Besting competitors with a cover of Ed Sheeran's "Don't" and Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight," Filipino-Australian singer Cyrus Villanueva made the grand finals of X Factor Australia on Monday night.
Judge Guy Sebastian, Australian Idol's first winner, praised Villanueva's performance, saying his cover of Collins' classic may make him the show's winner, The Daily Mail reported.
Fellow judge James Blunt agreed with this, saying the 19-year-old has a "high chance" of winning.
In an interview with The National, Villanueva said his Filipino father encouraged him to perform and personally taught him everything he knew about music.
The Wollongong, New South Wales native said his musician father raised him on jazz and soul musicians such as Nat King Cole and Ray Charles.
He also expressed amazement at his growing fanbase in the Philippines, saying it helped him in his performance and made him want to improve more.
“I can’t believe the response from the Filipino community. I know how popular music culture is in the Philippines, and to know I’m making them proud is a huge confidence boost and makes me want to go on to achieve better things," Villanueva told The National.
Villanueva will compete with close friends and folk duo Jess & Matt in next week's finals. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News