Fil-Am Malaya Watson makes it to Idol's Top 30

Posted at 02/13/2014 3:02 PM | Updated as of 02/14/2014 9:36 AM

MANILA - Malaya Watson, the tuba player of Southfield High School in Michigan, is now a part of the Top 30 contenders on American Idol Season 13.

Watson took an elevator to the venue where the three judges--Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban—were waiting to tell her of her fate in the show.

It was Connick who first acknowledged her presence as she got out of the elevator.

"Hey, Malaya," Connick said, pronouncing her name as Maleya.

"Hi," she said, smiling back. "It's Malaya. It means freedom," said Watson as she sat on a chair in front of the three judges.

To this, Connick replied, "I'm glad that you reminded me of the pronunciation of your name because that name has great potential to be a star at some point".

Then he added, "You're gonna be on Top 15. Congratulations, we look forward to seeing you grow".

Watson smiled after learning she was one of the 15 female contestants left on Idol.

The 16-year old with a quirky personality left the judges grinning as well as she pranced in excitement in a move that Urban described as "like a cat burglar".

"I'm the very first tuba player on American Idol from Southfield High School. Whoa!" she said.