Alisah Bonaobra, a talented singer from the Philippines, wowed the judges and moved Nicole Scherzinger to tears with an emotional cover of Beyonce’s “Listen” during her audition this week for “The X Factor UK,” which aired in the U.S. on Sept. 24 on AXS TV. The opportunity to stand and sing in front of “The X Factor” judges meant everything to Alisah, who was only able to travel to the UK via help from a friend. Like many other hopefuls, Alisah wants to change her life and her family’s by winning the season 14 title and pursuing her dream of a music career.
“Listen” is a very emotional song, which speaks of finally finding your own voice and pursuing your dreams, despite someone who may try to squash your spirit or bring you down. It’s nearly impossible not to get teared up when someone who really conveys its bold message connects with it in such a genuine way as Alisah did. Nicole became emotional almost right from the start, and all the judges were captivated by her.
Simon Cowell was right when he told Alisah a lot of talented singers come from the Philippines. Consider 2015’s pint-sized powerhouse group, 4th Impact (who originally called themselves 4th Power), and the huge impression they made on the judges and an entire stadium with their “Bang Bang” audition. There arguably may not have been a more powerful group audition since then. Even though she's a solo artist, Alisah packs the same kind of stunning vocal power as her four-piece girl band predecessors.
Scherzy related to the 22-year-old songstress on a deeper level and told her, ““I am crying because I come from very humble beginnings as well. You’re just gorgeous. You have an unbelievable gift blowing everybody away. I connect with you and everybody. It’s a yes for you.”
Alisah earned praise and four yeses across the entire judging panel. She’s off to join other hopefuls at boot camp, and those episodes will air here in the U.S. beginning on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on AXS TV. She’ll be joining several other female standout contenders there including Grace Davies, Rebecca Grace, Shanaya Atkinson Jones, Deanna, and more.
Other standouts from this Sunday’s U.S. airing include 16-year-old Rai-Elle Williams with her surprising, sassy rendition of “Sail” and 19-year-old Scarlett Lee who nailed her “Rise Up” performance. Getting through the audition phase is only the first step in a grueling set of next steps. Boot camp can either make or break even the best of contenders. It will be interesting to see who moves on from here.
“The X Factor UK” airs in the U.S. on Sundays and Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on AXS TV. Follow @TheXFactor on Twitter and tweet during the U.S. broadcast using the hashtag #UKintheUSA. Stay tuned to AXS for updates.