Filipina Irene Alano-Rhodes Sings Wind Beneath My Wings and Captures the Judges Hearts
For the nth time around since Filipinos had come flocking the British stage looking for talents, many have taken the spotlight and showed the audiences what Filipino talents are capable of.
Adding to the number of Filipino names making abuzz on TV and the internet is a Filipino mum of single child who is now a widower to her husband and an orphan to her father.
Although the year was 2009, which is basically 7 years ago, the heartbreaking year was still fresh for the Filipino singer Irene Alano-Rhodes, 42-year-old widower who lost a husband two weeks after her father’s death.
Despite the odds of not performing her best during the third blind audition of the popular live UK talent-seeking program, the judges were given a rendition of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath my Wings” which captured the hearts of two judges, Will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas and Ricky Wilson, the lead singer in the band Kaiser Chiefs.
Quoting Will.i.am, he said, “I turned around because you have an amazing voice, you took it there, you peaked. But towards the end, I thought if you continued the fight, she might not be able to fight, but you continued. I like a fighter. You controlled my hand and pushed my button. I would like you to be on my team to officially be a part of our family.”
On the other hand, Ricky Wilson was quoted as saying, “That was simply wonderful and you got the sentiment of the song across. I loved it. It was one of those voices that reached over the chairs into our hearts. I guarantee you that happened not just to us, but it went down the lens to everyone’s sofas. There will have been a national standing ovation”.
But as any contestants who made it further into the program, Irene Alano-Rhodes had to choose between two judges as her mentor throughout the show. Feeling a sense of good vibe to a fellow person who would know Filipinos best for his friend and co-singer Apl.de.ap, Irene chose Will.i.am as her mentor and will proceed into the next battle rounds.
Irene Alano-Rhodes, however, is interesting not just because of her good voice in singing. Her history is pretty interesting as well, one point of which led her to the UK isles.
Playing as the role of “Gigi,” Irene, back then a single person of Alano surname, was one of the lucky 12 members to cast in the West Production “Miss Saigon” sometime around in 1995. Subsequently after her role as “Gigi,” she continued casting under the same production in musicals like the “The King and I” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”