A 17-year-old Filipina student earned a standing ovation from the judges and audiences of The X Factor UK.
Maria Laroco performed her version of the Prince classic “Purple Rain” for her audition during Week 2 of the reality singing competition.
Tears welled up in Maria's eyes as she told judge Simon Cowell:
“Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be an international superstar,”
“I want to be big. That’s why I’m doing this, because I love to do it and this is my dream.”
After her powerful performance, judge Louis Tomlinson described her number as “absolutely incredible.”
The former One Direction member told the Pinay singer: “To do what you’ve just done vocally at 17, you absolutely blew me away.”
For her part, judge Ayda Field believed that she “just bossed that stage.”
When judge Simon Cowell asked her if she ever doubted her talent, Maria admitted, “I never gave up on my dream. A lot of times, people tell me I’m not good enough, and I can’t do it.”
Judge Robbie Williams encouraged her by saying, “Look what you did to the audience. This doesn’t happen a lot!”
All four judges gave a “yes” to Maria, allowing her to move on to the next round of The X Factor UK.