‘American Idol’ Star Malaya Watson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Malaya Watson’s full name is Malaya Tina Bandico Watson and she’s a 16-year-old Filipino-American finalist on season 13 of American Idol. Read on to hear all about Watson and her time on Idol.

1. Watson Barely Escaped Elimination on the First Round of Finals

It was down to two for the first elimination of the finalists on this season of American Idol. After Emkay Nobilette was found to be safe, Kristen O’Connor and Malaya Watson were on the chopping block. Fortunately for Watson, it was O’Connor who was sent home.

2. Tuba Is Her Instrument of Choice

Apparently, Watson is actually a tuba player in her marching band at Southfield High School. While most of her American Idol competitors play the piano or the guitar, she’s got the tuba on her side. She also plays the piano and sings in her school’s jazz band. Music seems to run in Watson’s blood as her father Ronald is a professional guitar player.

3. Watson’s a Theater Chick

Music isn’t Watson’s only interest. She seems to have a hand in acting as well and is even an alumnus of the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit, according to Wikipedia. Mosaic’s president Rick Sperling told Detroit Free Press that:

She’s a phenomenal performer with a great voice, but she’s also a true original, a unique kid. From her first day, she had us in stitches. She’s got this crazy, wild, sometimes weird sense of humor that’s just over the top. She’s not some cookie-cutter pop singer.

4. She’s Got Soul

When Watson was asked by American Idol what makes her unique, this was her reply:

I’m sixteen but I have all this soul! I get that a lot. I have this soul that touches people. It gives people quivers! It’s that soul that Watson feels will take her far in this competition, even though her braces, glasses, big hair, and personality are hard to miss as well.

5. Being on American Idol Has Been a Childhood Dream for Watson

Like many singers out there, Watson has dreamed of being on American Idol since she was a young child. She told the show about her aspirations to be a part of the Idol family saying:

I thought it would be a cool idea to audition for American Idol because this has really been my dream all my life since I’ve been a little kid … so I’m trying to make it come true!