Fil-Am Malaya Watson makes it to 'Idol' Top 13

Posted at 02/21/14 12:42 PM

MANILA - Only one of the two girls with Filipino roots remain in American Idol Season 13.

Malaya Watson made it to the reality show's Top 13 along with Ben Briley, Emily Piriz, Alex Preston, Jessica Meuse, Dexter Roberts, Caleb Johnson, Majesty Rose, MK Nobilette, and Sam Woolf.

Judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr., picked Jena Irene, C.J. Harris, and Kristen O'Connor for the Wild Card.

Of the Top 13 'Idol' finalists, 10 of the contestants were chosen via text votes, while the remaining three were saved by judges with wild cards.

However, Filipina Marrialle Sellars, who, during Rush Week sang Katy Perry's "Roar," didn't make it to the cut. Sellars, from Indianapolis, auditioned in Detroit.

Her mother, Luzviminda, is Filipina. Her parents were penpals before they got married and started a family in America. Sellars' father Frederick unexpectedly passed away in 2009.

Sellars said she joined American Idol to honor his memory.

Watson, known as the tuba player from the Southfield High School in Michigan, performed “Hard Times” by Ray Charles which earned the judges’ nods during Rush Week. She earned the 10th last spot during that night.

“There is no doubt that you are one of the big powerhouses of this competition. Every time you get up there, for me it’s just epic… I just want to say that you did a great job tonight. I have to say you’re amazing and I really hope we have you around for a long time,” Lopez said to Watson after her Rush Week performance.

Watson said her Filipino grandfather is one of her singing inspirations.

On Twitter, Connick Jr., said "We made it! Top 13 are gonna bring it next week!". With a report from Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau