Filipino teener Marlisa is ‘X Factor Australia 2014’ grand winner!

It’s the tightest result ever, with only 0.01 percent difference, announced The X Factor Australia host Luke Jacobz.

That 0.01 percent difference made Filipino teener Marlisa Ann Punzalan the grand winner in this year’s edition of the reality show Down Under over debonair rocker Dean Ray.

Marlisa congratulations

Marlisa almost did not make the cut to The X Factor Australia 2014 grand finals as she battled for the last slot with Reigan Derry last week. Fortunately, she got more votes to join Brothers 3 and Dean Ray.

On Sunday, the finalists sang their audition song.

Marlisa started the round with her version of Yesterday by the Beatles.

Singing the same piece in the grand finals already with her confidence built up, the audience and the judges gave her a standing ovation, which mentor Ronan Keating said she was getting it at the most perfect time.

The final song for the Best Moment was Titanium, which mentor-judge Dannii Minogue said was the game-changer as it’s in this performance that Marlisa stepped out of herself, adding that her edge is her vulnerability mixed with her strength, and should not change a thing.

Redfoo commented that Marlisa is like wine, getting better and better every time and advised her to keep the fierce attitude when she performs as it’s her edge (over the other finalists).

Natalie Bassingthwaighte said that it’s amazing to see Marlisa in the grand finals, as she joined the show with a powerful voice but didn’t know what to do with it. Things have changed in so short a time that at school people didn’t even know her name, but now everyone in Australia knows who she is.

Marlisa winner announcementMarlisa reacts as she’s announced as the grand winner

Marlisa also performed her Bootcamp piece Never Be The Same with no less than the singer of the monster hit, Jessica Mauboy herself (runner-up in the Australian Idol fourth edition in 2006).

Dean Ray performed with Olly Murs and Brothers 3 did theirs with Guy Sebastian.

Superstar Taylor Swift was the big guest performer with her Shake It Off.

Marlisa with Dean RayTop 2 Marlisa and Dean Ray doing a duet

On Results Night, Marlisa was the first to advance to the sing-off. Brothers 3 was sent to the back burner and it was her and Dean Ray slugging out for the title.

Her Winner’s Single, Stand By You, elicited comment from Foo that it’s a sure monster hit, and Ronan saw the song to be a sure number one as soon as it hits the market.

Marlisa’s big surprise upon the announcement that she’s the winner showed on her expression.

Dean Ray, the gentleman that he is, hugged Marlisa and Ronan, then literally swept the young singer off the floor. It was a picture of the rival accepting the result wholeheartedly.

Marlisa with winner's songMarlisa sings debut single ‘Stand By You’ predicted to be a monster hit

Ronan commented about Marlisa’s interview published in the papers that she hoped she was as confident as the other girls.

He advised her ward that she should not change a thing, as now people look for authenticity and Marlisa is so authentic, unlike in previous years that pop idols were manufactured.

“Who you are is so endearing. The fact that you are not over confident in this show is so refreshing. Who you are is everything.

“You know what, there was a time that manufactured pop music was important and that is what people want, and believe me, I know, but not anymore. Right now it’s all about authenticity, and you are so authentic, you are so real.

“You know, you’re too young to be affected by other people and other things. You are not affected by the bright lights and the fame of the show in any way. And I love that about you, I love that, every single week working with you.

“They say that ‘good guys or good girls finish last.’ I don’t believe that, and I hope that’s not the way it’s gonna be tonight. If this is my last year on the show, I hope that I can leave a worthy winner like you. Well done,” he said.

In the homecoming tour/concert, Marlisa was so surprised by the turnout of people in her school, Mercy Catholic College in Chatswood, New South Wales. She even attended her Math class with Ronan. The teacher asked the Boyzone lead singer what’s the factor of 12. The schoolgirl Marlisa whispered the answer to him.

Ronan also had a taste of Filipino culture and hospitality when they visited Marlisa’s home as he was enjoined to do traditional Igorot dance steps.

Marlisa album coverThe superstar now that is Marlisa

Marlisa posted on Monday:

“My X Factor Journey has been incredible because of the beautiful people around me. To my loving family, thank you for standing by me through thick and thin, you are my rock and my strength!

“Also, behind the scenes are passionate and dedicated professionals and I thank all the crew at X Factor for the unbelievable effort they put into the best talent show in Australia.

“Thank you also for the rare opportunity that Sony Music Entertainment presents to ordinary Australians like me starting a career in music.

“Thank you to Ronan Keating for believing in my ability and nurturing my talent, I have enjoyed every single day of working with you.

“And to all my supporters, thank you for getting behind me every single week, for I will not be where I am today without your support. And to The Lord above, I thank Him for everything.”

Website: www.marlisaofficial.com
Single: http://smarturl.it/StandByYou
Album: http://smarturl.it/MarlisaAlbum

Within 24 hours from release, Marlisa’s debut single is already topping iTunes in several countries, to wit: #1 Australia, #1 Philippines, #1 Qatar, #1 United Arab Emirates.

It also entered the top charts in several others: #5 Singapore, #7 Saudi Arabia, #47 Hong Kong, #61 Bermuda, #89 Sweden, #117 Norway and #176 Macau.

Click link to watch announcement of Marlisa as winner singing her debut single https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8onLpiYW5g&index=1&list=UUTJAIsNx88v0e0nBgQ4PpVA

Click link for Marlisa’s finale performance of Titanium https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8yeCWPL9_k&list=UUTJAIsNx88v0e0nBgQ4PpVA

Videos from the official YouTube channel of X Factor Australia YAHOO7.COM.AU/XFACTOR

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Photos from ‘The X Factor – Australia’ official Facebook Page

‘Impossible’ but ‘Girl On Fire’ Filipina teener Marlisa gets into ‘X Factor Australia 2014’ grand finals with ‘Help’ from viewers

Australia-born but full-blooded Filipino teener Marlisa Punzalan was always second to be declared safe in the ongoing X Factor Australia 2014 reality show.

During the Top 4 phase, she was the first to be sent by host Luke Jacobz to safety.

Marlisa sexyMarlisa Punzalan

However, for the Top 3, where the remaining contestants will battle it out for the Grand Finals, Marlisa was in the Bottom 2 along with Reigan Derry, as Brothers 3 and Dean Ray were safely sent to the penultimate showdown.

Mentor Ronan Keating chose Alicia KeysGirl On Fire for Marlisa, then X Factor UK 2012 winner James Arthur’s Impossible.

Click links to watch Marlisa‘s Top 4 performances: http://youtu.be/bUCHXgnSOzE (Girl On Fire); http://youtu.be/iq7317cpSao (Impossible)

“Not only have you stepped into your voice and your confidence and you’re mastering those runs and you’re singing the best songs around, so congratulations to you and to Ronan,” judge-mentor Dannii Minogue commented.

Marlisa with Ronan Impossible numberMarlisa with mentor Ronan Keating

As for Ronan, he said he was nervous during the rehearsals as Marlisa missed a key for the second song.

“You found this one a little tricky during rehearsals. You struggled a few times. You nailed it this time. I was really nervous. This is your last shot. This is the last song Australia could ever see you sing on the show. I hope they pick up the phone and vote. You deserve a slot in the grand finals. You are incredible and that performance was impossible so congratulations,” Ronan quipped.

On Live Decider Night, Reigan sang Hallelujah, X Factor UK 2008 winner Alexandra Burke’s grand finals song.

Marlisa sang Help (a Beatles original) by John Farnham. She said she chose the song because it fits her voice and that was what she needed at that crucial time – Help from voters to sail through the grand finals.

Click link to watch Marlisas rendition of Help http://youtu.be/iBzH-lrjkcs

The mentor-judges gave their verdict.

Marlisa on the cover of a local publicationMarlisa on the cover of a local publication

Dannii voted to send Marlisa to the grand finals.

Ronans unimpeachable decision was, of course, for Marlisa.

Redfoo voted for his ward, Reigan.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte’s vote for Reigan made it a deadlock, so Luke had to announce who between Marlisa and Reigan was voted by Australia.

The moment was so tense and silent, that even a pin drop and the heartbeats of the remaining contenders and their mentors can be heard.

Marlisa and Ronan exulted in jubilation when Luke announced it was Marlisa joining Brothers 3 and Dean Ray in the grand finals.

Meanwhile, Redfoo and Reigan accepted their fate with resignation.

Foo said he’s sure Reigan will become a star, as she already has become a LegenDerry (a play on the word legendary) in the contest.

For the grand finals Brothers 3, Dean Ray and Marlisa will be singing three songs each.

Marlisa birthday picMarlisa with some of her birthday gifts from fans and supporters

The Filipino-Aussie teener posted on October 13:

My BIGGEST THANKS TO YOU ALL!!! I am sincerely grateful to each and everyone of you who fought with me in this incredible journey! To all my supporters/fans in Australia and the world, thank you so much for voting and supporting me, believing in me and for defending me at all times showing your ongoing loyalty every single week! To my beautiful family, the Punzalan’s and the Ongkingco’s for standing by me through thick and thin, for the countless hours spent unselfishly to promote my cause whether near or far, you’re my rock and my strength. To my vocal coach/piano teacher Roxanne & Stephen Kiely for the passion and perseverance in making me who I am today, for trusting my ability and making me feel so much like a member of your family. To all our friends and relatives, for all the well wishes and encouragement to keep going, Mercy Catholic College for supporting my education whilst living my dream, the Press for helping me get the right exposure at all times, to all the organisers of the many charity and community events, AND to all whom I may have missed, thank you so much and my apologies to you all. To Reigan, this was not easy for both of us but you brought out the best in my performance, you are incredible and truly a professional. To Ronan for the trust and belief in my talent and for the excellent mentoring and for guiding me to reach the Top 3!! Most importantly I thank the Lord God for all these blessings and I thank God that you are in this journey with me. Without a doubt, we will keep on chasing this dream together according to God’s plan. Thank you so much, God bless and much Lve, Marlisa

Marlisa turned 15 on October 1.

Get to know more about Marlisa thru her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MarlisaMusic

Marlisa in Titamium costumeMarlisa in her ‘Titanium’ costume

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Marlisa Punzalan safely sails through ‘X Factor Australia’ Top 6

Instead of just Bottom 2, the three who got the lowest number of votes battled for the verdict of Australia and the four mentor-judges – Ronan Keating, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Dannii Minogue and Redfoo – to stay on the next phase of X Factor Australia 2014.

In no particular order, Luke Jacobz announced Brothers 3 was the first to move to Top 6, then Marlisa, followed by Dean Ray. Last to be called safe was Reigan Derry.

Marlisa X Factor stageMarlisa Punzalan

The week was Judges’ Challenge, where a contestant gets to perform a number chosen by another mentor.

(Click link to watch Marlisa’s performance of Try by Pink chosen by Foo for her http://youtu.be/nje2G6MaORA)

Marlisa (Punzalan), a 14-year-old Filipina born in Sydney to parents both hailing from the Province of Bataan in Northern Philippines, was again second to be called to be safe, same as last week for the Top 7.

After the make or break performances of Jason Heerah, Caitlyn Shadbolt and Tee, the latter was sent home.

(Click link to watch Live Show 7 Results http://youtu.be/vF6wIw1GPRw)

Marlisa performing TryMarlisa performs ‘Try’ by Pink

Marlisa has been gathering accolades and support since her unique rendition of Yesterday by the Beatles during audition.

She posted on September 24:

Hi everyone!!! So happy for getting thru another week but so sad to see Tee go. I can’t forget the night I got so sick and Tee was one of the lovely people who comforted me. Will miss Tee a lot !!
So…..today I have been busy with tutoring !!!
Thanks to Carly, my tutor, for the wonderful job you do in helping me maintain my school work while I’m on X Factor !!!
And thanks again to ALL, so excited for my next song !!!! God bless…
Love, Marlisa 💕

Marlisa has now 12,569 Likes in her official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MarlisaMusic) and expresses her gratitude for the support coming from all over the globe.

Marlisa shirtMarlisa shows supporter shirt

“This would have not been possible without each and everyone of you liking my music page and supporting me up to this day. Really appreciate it!” she said.

Marlisa with Ronan KeatingMarlisa with mentor-judge Ronan Keating

Seen as one of the strongest contenders for the win, Marlisa is one of two left under the wings of Ronan Keating. The other one is Caitlyn, who was in the Bottom 2 last week but managed to sail through when Rochelle Pitt was eliminated and in the Bottom 3 this week but got saved with the exit of Tee.

Related story in this blog:

Filipina Marlisa Punzalan advances to ‘X Factor Australia 2014’ Top 7, remains mentor Ronan Keating’s strongest bet https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/filipina-marlisa-punzalan-advances-to-x-factor-australia-2014-top-7-remains-mentor-ronan-keatings-strongest-bet/

Photos courtesy of Marlisa Punzalan