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Filipina singer wins Vietnam Idol singing competition

Filipina singer wins Vietnam Idol singing competition

Sunday, October 02, 2016, 17:05 GMT+7

For the first time in its seven seasons, Vietnam Idol has had a non-Vietnamese winner as Filipino-born contestant Janice Phuong took home the title on Friday.

The 28-year-old was crowned the 2016 season winner after receiving 54.25 percent of the SMS votes from fans during the show’s finale at BHD Studio in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, leaving Viet Thang, her only opponent in the top two, with the runner-up title.

First brought to Vietnam in 2007, the Vietnamese adaptation of British reality television singing competition Pop Idol has broadcast a total of seven seasons, with the latest airing from May to September this year.

Phuong was born and raised in a family in the Philippines, and moved to Vietnam on her own at the age of 21 in search of a way out of poverty through her natural gift of singing.

As fate would have it, Phuong found a family of her own in the country, getting married to a Vietnamese man, who had been an unwavering supporter of her singing career pursuit.

For seven years, Phuong has been performing at bars and tearooms in Hanoi to save money and get to know more about Vietnamese culture and language.

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Janice Phuong walks on the street of Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Phuong’s years of self-study has allowed the Filipina singer to communicate in Vietnamese at an intermediate level of proficiency with her fellow contestants and sing Vietnamese songs successfully in the competition.

“Janice is a breath of fresh air that has revitalized the competition,” Uyen Linh, third-season winner of Vietnam Idol, commented on her successor.

Born Janicee Aranjuez Buco, Janice Phuong was given her Vietnamese name by the judges of Vietnam Idol and has since used the mixed name as her stage name.

With the prize money of VND600 million (US$26,786) she got for winning the competition, Phuong said she had never got her hands on such a large sum.

“It’s too much I don’t even know what to with it. My monthly income of VND10-12 million was more than enough for me to live by,” Phuong said in Vietnamese of her intention to use the prize money.

Phuong said her biggest wish after concluding her Vietnam Idol journey was to return home in Hanoi to compensate for the months she had spent away to take part in the competition.

vietnam-idol-2016-viet-thang-janice-phuo

Janice Phuong and runner-up Viet Thang snap a selfie during the finale of the 7th season of Vietnam Idol at BHD Studio in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, September 30, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Janice Phương: người Philippines lên ngôi Vietnam Idol

Janice Phuong poses for a wefie with a fan during the finale of the 7th season of Vietnam Idol at BHD Studio in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, September 30, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Janice Phương: người Philippines lên ngôi Vietnam Idol

Janice Phuong performs in the finale of the 7th season of Vietnam Idol at BHD Studio in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, September 30, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Janice Phương: người Philippines lên ngôi Vietnam Idol

Janice Phuong performs a duet with Vietnamese singer Bang Kieu, one of the competition’s judges, in the finale of the 7th season of Vietnam Idol at BHD Studio in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, September 30, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Janice Phương: người Philippines lên ngôi Vietnam Idol

Janice Phuong is congratulated by fellow contestants after winning the 7th season of Vietnam Idol. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Janice Phương: người Philippines lên ngôi Vietnam Idol

Janice Phuong cries as she is congratulated by the judges after winning the 7th season of Vietnam Idol. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Janice Phuong performs 'Hello Vietnam' in the finale of the 7th season of Vietnam Idol. Credit: YouTube

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