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Marlisa Punzalan

Filipino Teenager Wins Australian X Factor


Marlisa Punzalan
Marlisa Punzalan

By Jaime K Pimentel

MORE than one million viewers on Australian television watched teenager Marlisa Punzalan sing to the top of X-Factor on Monday, October 20, beating 22-year-old favourite Dean Ray in the final. 

Fifteen-year-old Punzalan, a schoolgirl from Sydney’s western suburb of Mount Druitt, chose ‘Titanium’ as her final song. Ray sang ‘Budapest’. 

Irish pop star and an X-Factor judge Ronan Keating was the Filipina’s mentor and coach. 

In winning the X-factor title, Punzalan secured a recording contract with Sony Music Australia. 

This year’s X-Factor became the most watched program on Australian television this year with an audience of 1.316 million nationwide. 

In her first official public appearance with the Filipino community, Marlisa Punzalan is expected to attend a dinner as a special guest of the Filipino Communities Council of Australia (FILCCA) at the conclusion of its national conference in Parramatta on Saturday, October 25. 

THE AUTHOR –  Jaime K Pimentel is a journalist in Sydney, Australia. Born in Intramuros, Manila, in 1934,  Pimentel is a journalism graduate from Ateneo de Manila and Medill School of Journalism (Northwestern University) in Chicago, Illinois. He emigrated to Australia in 1971, retiring as motoring editor of Fairfax Media’s FCN Sydney group of local newspapers in 2014.