A Filipina professional singer won Vietnam Idol 2016 on Friday, taking home the grand prize of VND 600 million (US $26,7000) and the honor of being the first foreigner to win the singing competition.
A report on Vietnamnet said Janice Phuong, whose real name is Janice Aranjuez Buco, earned 54.25 percent of the votes against her competition, Viet Thang, a 22-year-old from Hai Duong province.
A separate report on VN Express said Phuong impressed the audience with a medley of Vietnamese and English songs throughout the competition and took it home in the finale with a mixed-language rendition of "Hello Vietnam."
The Filipina began singing at bars and clubs in Vietnam after she moved to the country seven years ago.
She auditioned for the show earlier this year after it opened its doors to expats for the first time in its seven-year run.
Phuong moved to Vietnam at the age of 21 to find "a way out of poverty" through singing. She would find her husband while building her career and studying the local language and culture, Tuoi Tre News reported.
When asked what she would do with the money, Phuong said in Vietnamese, "It’s too much I don’t even know what to with it. My monthly income of VND10-12 million was more than enough for me to live by." —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News