Marlisa Punzalan brought home the grand winner title of The X Factor Australia on October 20, 2014. With the age of 15, Punzalan is the youngest champion since the conception of the singing competition in 2005.
It had been November of 2013 when The X Factor had started the auditions for the season 6. Punzalan stood out when her emotionally powerful voice escaped from her extremely shy character as she had sang the Beatle’s hit ‘Yesterday’. The performance brought tears to Ronan Keating’s eyes as he had said that nobody had done it to him in years.
After almost a year, season six closed with Punzalan taking the title with the help of her mentor, Irish singer Ronan Keating. She had gone head to head against Brothers3 under their mentor Dannii Minogue and Dean Rey whose mentor was Natalie Bassingwaithe.
Keating had dubbed Punzalan’s voice as one in a million. She had lifted up people as they gave her a standing ovation when she performed her very first single "Stand By You”.
In her hometown, Keating visited Punzalan and her family. He was warmly welcomed by the Filipino family as the neighbor danced a seemingly native Ifugao dance with the native attire. Punzalan family had express their pride over the schoolgirl who was able to get pass her shyness.
Keating had also expressed his amazement with Punzalan’s voice and his appreciation for her genuine character. She had brought something fresh in the competition and the industry.
Born to Filipino parents, Punzalan lives in the suburb of Mount Druitt, Sydney. She had admitted that she has extreme shyness during her audition, she wowed the people with her bare voice, and now she is the grand winner of The X Factor Australia and also an inspiration to many people who hides their talentin their shyness.