Muslimah Singing Sensation Stuns X Factor Judges


A young hijabi becomes an instant celebrity after auditioning for the country’s X Factor talent show. Afia R Fitriati reports.

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Sixteen-year-old Fatin Shidqia walked up to the stage for an audition at X Factor Indonesia, looking all shy and sheepish in her school uniform. The high school student bashfully admitted to the four judges that she had skipped class to join the audition, held in the middle of January.

The young hijabi then performed a rendition of a Bruno Mars song, ‘Grenade’, in a distinctive voice reminiscent of a famous 80s pop icon.

‘I like your voice. It reminded me of Cyndi Lauper’s. I think you’d be great singing “Time After Time”’, said Ahmad Dhani, a musician and music producer.

The other three judges agreed, and thus the talented school-choir singer passed the audition with flying colours to become one of the candidates in the first season of X Factor Indonesia.

Apparently, not only the judges were wowed by Fatin’s performance; her shy demeanour and unique voice captured the hearts of many others as well. Fatin’s audition video on YouTube became an instant hit, with more than 1,500,000 views as of February 11th.

Similarly, the number of Fatin’s followers on Twitter shot through the roof almost overnight, all rooting for her to win the X-Factor. She even has fan groups who call themselves Fatinatics sprouting up in various towns and cities in Indonesia.

The frequent mentions of Fatin’s name together with Bruno Mars trending on social media caught the interest of the management of the American singer himself. Within a week after her video was posted on YouTube, the fateful audition video made its appearance on Bruno Mars’ official website.

The X Factor is a television music competition franchise created by Simon Cowell, an infamous ex-judge on the successful American Idol programme. In Indonesia, the X Factor premiered at the end of last year. The winner of the show will win a cash prize of one billion rupiah (around US$100,000) and a recording contract with Sony Music. This recording prize is touted to be ‘the biggest guaranteed prize in Indonesia television history’, according to the show’s press release.

With elimination many weeks away, Fatin still has a long way to go to become the X Factor champion. But for many, she’s already the winner.

As tweeted by Indonesian comic Ernest Prakasa, ‘What a voice!’

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