Filipino girl group Fourth Power, formerly known in the country as Gollayan Sisters, earned a standing ovation from the four judges of reality show X Factor UK, which began its 12th season on August 29 (UK Time).
The group's show stopping performance of Jessie J's "Bang Bang" got four "big yeses," as Simon Cowell said during the auditions.
However, just hours after Almira, Irene, Mylene, and Celina Gollayan's explosive performance, controversy erupted online after claims that their auditioning on the show was supposedly "fixed."
It was British news website Daily Mirror that broke the rumor and reported that the sisters, who were "introduced as amateurs," were actually professional singers who have been part of several international competitions. Among them is the World Champion of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in 2013, where they emerged as the Sr. Grand Champion Vocal Group of the World and South Korea's huge talent show Superstar K6 under the name M.I.C.A. where they unfortunately got eliminated.
The news website was also able to track the local shows were the girls took part in. Among them the now defunct Pinoy Idol under the name Cercados and Showtime's Bida Kapamilya segment in 2012 where they became the champion as Gollayan Sisters.
What's more is that the report was able to discover the Gollayan Sisters’ album under Star Music and the fact that they were able to perform in the US professionally. (continued on next page)
Despite claiming during the live audition that they especially flew to London just to be part of the show, a Daily Mirror insider claimed that the girls were actually "invited" by the show's producers.
"Producers were well aware who the girls were before they arrived in front of the judges – so it was no surprise that they were ¬fantastic on the show," the insider said.
The source also added, “Executives looked at everything they had done before and discussed them at length before making the decision to invite them back and make them a big part of the launch show. Obviously they were exactly what had been expected."
However, the report added that the four judges namely Simon, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw were in the dark about the supposed invitation.
“But the judges had not been told what was coming, to ensure their ¬reaction was as strong and completely natural as it could be," the insider said.
Simon, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, confirmed that he never knew how the girls were found.
"I don’t know how we found them. You have to give some people a second shot. I ¬remember thinking, whoever found them did great job, ¬they are fantastic," he said.
“It felt their time was right and if they have been on something before we could do a better job with them, make a better record than anyone else. They got a bigger reaction than any British act. They could give Little Mix a run for their money,” he even added.
Little Mix is a British girl group found in 2011 who is behind the hit "Salute."
Asked on the idea of having foreigners on the show, Simon replied, "Part of me welcomes foreign talent in case we may not find enough at home. Another part of me thinks it is a badge of honor if you do well on the UK show."
"We sell it all around the world. That’s the one they all want to audition for and I’m competitive against the other versions of the show. So I like it if ¬foreign talent comes to the UK and not to their home country," he ended.