17 year-old Maria Laroco flew all the way from the Philippines to wow the X Factor judges on Saturday night, performing Prince’s Purple Rain to a standing ovation from the audience.
The singer told Simon Cowell that it was her ‘dream’ to be “an international superstar – I want to be big!” before launching into a rousing rendition of the Prince classic.
A sneak peak of her performance promised big things for the singer, with the crowd leaping to her feet and Robbie Williams shaking his head in disbelief.
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Laroco’s ambitions have history. Her major claim to fame in her native land is being a contestant in the Philippines’ version of The Voice Kids in 2014, where she performed as a 13 year-old under the name Giedie Laroco (her full name is Maria Giedie Ocang Laroco).
She impressed the show with her version of Jennifer Rush’s The Power of Love (below), but was eventually eliminated in a sing-off battle in the eleventh episode of the series.
Beyond The Voice Kids, Laroco was featured on the YouTube channel of an independent record label in the Philippines called Universal Records, performing a cover of Disney classic Beauty and the Beast…
… and Hindi Ko Kaya, the theme song for a 2015 South Korean drama called All About My Mum.
All of which suggests that Laroco could be a formidable force in the competition – after all, at only 17 years-old, she has experience.
X Factor airs Saturdays and Sundays on ITV