By Alyssa Leyda-Aldemo (Good News Pilipinas)
Justine in her winning performance of Beyonce’s iconic song “Listen” in ‘The Voice’ UK grand finals. Screengrab from the show.
UNITED Kingdom — Filipina singer Justine Afante has been crowned ‘The Voice Kids’ 2020 grand champion in the United Kingdom.
The 13-year-old talented singer won the competition streamed on August 29, 2020 (August 30 in the Philippines) after giving a powerful finals performance with her rendition of Beyonce’s “Listen”.
Afante, coached by Pixie Lott, bested 3 other finalists for the title including fellow Filipino 7-year-old Victoria Alsina from will.i.am’s team, George Elliot from Danny Jones’ team, and Dara McNicholl from Paloma Faith’s team.
Aside from the title as ‘The Voice Kids’ grand winner, Justine won a spectacular £30,000 or 1.9M pesos bursary towards her musical education and an ultimate VIP theme park experience at the Universal Orlando Resort.
“I am in so much shock. They were all so good. I didn’t think I was gonna be the winner,” said Afante while crying over her win.
Justine’s coach whose tears welled-up after the performance expressed her overwhelming joy for the success of the Filipino singer.
“You’re absolutely incredible, rare, and unique and special… I am so proud of you, you’ve worked so so so hard and the proof is in the pudding what we all saw tonight,” said Lott.
Justine even received a standing ovation from all the judges and reaped praises.
Jones said “Technically, what you’re doing is unbelievable for a 13-year-old. You come up on stage so calm, composed, professional and most of all, effortless.”
While will.i.am commented, “Spectacular! There’s not one low, dull, in that performance. Everything just keeps getting better and better.”
Paloma Faith said, ” I am blown away! I feel grateful that you’re so humble enough to come and sing to us because that was a very expensive performance.”
The young singer whose Filipino parents migrated to the UK became a finalist with her cover of the Whitney Houston hit, ‘One Moment In Time’, in the semi-finals.
Afante made all four judges turn to see her in the blind auditions as she sang ‘Never Enough’ from The Greatest Showman.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, The Voice Kids UK final show was pre-recorded last week in front of a virtual audience who helped decide the winner.
Other Filipinos who excelled in European singing tilts include Fil-Austrian Lukas Janisch who was crowned The Voice Kids Germany grand winner in 2016 and Rachel Gabreza who emerged champion in the Stars of the Albion Grand Prix 2018.