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Fil-Canadian wows ‘American Idol’ judges with original song, advances to the Top 20

By Brooke Villanueva Published Apr 24, 2023 12:11 pm

Filipino-Canadian Tyson Venegas made it to the Top 20 of American Idol’s 21st season! 

The 17-year-old impressed the audience and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie with his original song 180 in the reality competition’s latest episode, which aired on Monday, April 24 (Philippine time). 

“I think that was wonderful. It was a great song, great execution. I think you’re on your way to being an artist,” Perry said.

“You’re 17, right? You’re up here on American Idol delivering messages for the world and helping people. You do a marvelous job at the piano. The way you’re able to hold the room—you are far beyond your years, talented,” Bryan added.

“Singer, songwriter—let me tell you how powerful that is. A lot of times, when singers come into the business, they need songwriters to write for them, and therefore you’re at the mercy of finding the right songs. When you are a singer-songwriter, you can write your future. That was a damn good song,” Richie said.

Tyson earned the first-ever platinum ticket in the reality tilt’s current season in February this year with his soulful performance of Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind. Aside from his vocal chops, he also impressed the judges for having been able to play the piano flawlessly while he was singing.

The Fil-Canadian teen was part of The Voice Teens Philippines in 2020. He also performed New York State of Mind while playing the piano with a blindfold on. When asked by judge Lea Salonga why he liked to play some music that way, he said: “I really like Stevie Wonder, and I love how he plays the piano, it’s like very natural.” He became part of's team but exited the competition before the knockouts were held.