MANILA, Philippines—KZ Tandingan, a 20-year-old band vocalist from Digos City, Davao del Sur, burst into uncontrollable sobs after being declared grand winner of “The X Factor Philippines” Sunday night at the Pagcor Grand Theater in Parañaque City.
With her superb rendition of The Carpenters’ “Superstar” during the performance night last Saturday, the raspy-voiced singer won by a landslide, garnering 55.45 percent of the total text and online votes. She beat 19-year-old balladeer Gabriel Maturan and the all-male vocal harmony group Daddy’s Home, with 32.33 and 12.90 percent, respectively.
In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, KZ said that wining the reality talent search came as a complete surprise. “I wanted to win badly, but I didn’t expect anything. You can be the best singer, but if it’s not meant for you, then you can’t do anything about it. I just prayed and surrendered everything to God,” she said.
KZ, who almost lost her voice due to throat polyps during her high school days, added that her win proves that you don’t have to be a “biritera” to succeed in the music biz.
After sharing the winning moment with her family on stage, the singing champ fought back tears as she tried to give an encore of her winning piece.
Meanwhile, KZ’s mentor and X Factor judge Charice said she was overwhelmed by her student’s victory. “We were so shocked because we’re already conditioning ourselves for a second place finish,” she told the Inquirer. “I feel really proud. She’s such a smart performer.”
As the first winner of the local franchise of “X Factor,” KZ was handed a check worth P4 million and a recording contract with Star Music. Second placer Gabriel received P150,000, while Daddy’s Home won P50,000.
Asked what she’ll do with the prize money, KZ said she’ll donate P1 million to her local church in Digos City, which is in dire need of repairs.
The emotional results night reunited the three grand finalists with the rest of this season’s eliminated contenders. They all shared the stage with some of the most respected performers in the entertainment industry like Jed Madela, Erik Santos, Yeng Constantino, Angeline Quinto, Jovit Baldivino, April Boy Regino, as well as singer-comics Pooh and K Brosas.
The “X Factor” judges and mentors Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Pilita Corrales and Charice also took the stage.