Top 9 and guest stars impress at electrifying The Final 1 finale

Performers join this season’s contestants onstage for a dazzling extravaganza

The top nine contestants open the show at the Capitol Theatre
The top nine contestants open the show at the Capitol Theatre
05 Oct 2015

The top nine contestants open the show at the Capitol Theatre

Photos: Tammi Tan

After an evening of rousing musical performances, 16-year-old student Jermaine Leong emerged the champion of the second season of The Final 1, Channel 5’s reality singing competition, after a gruelling 197-day trial by fire. The Temasek Polytechnic student edged past Charlene Su, 19, and joins season one winner, Farisha Ishak, on the journey of becoming local vocal talents.

The Final 1 judges Jaclyn Victor and Taufik Batisah, as well as special guest Jessica Sanchez, runner-up of American Idol season 11, performed alongside this season’s top nine contestants in a star-studded, action-packed grand final that took place at the newly refurbished Capitol Theatre.

Things got off to a more mellow start when the three-person judging panel made its way into the venue. The straight-faced Ken Lim commented on the audience, saying, “I think it’s a bit quiet here, they didn’t cheer enough when I came in.” But the top nine Final 1 contestants soon got the crowd moving to their opening song and dance item, “I Want It All” by Karmin. 

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Charlene performs her items
Charlene performs her items
05 Oct 2015

Charlene performs her items

The competition proper began with Charlene and Jermaine each performing a song the other had sung in previous rounds. Charlene chose “Superstar,” saying Jermaine sang and emoted it well, while Jermaine picked “The Colour of My Love” because she was impressed with Charlene’s technical skills in covering the Celine Dion number.

Charlene had been fighting off a throat infection all week, but you wouldn’t have known judging from her performance. The pair went into a battle of ballads, with Charlene covering the heartfelt “Clown” by Emeli Sandé and Jermaine powering through the Judy Garland classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Asked for his comments on the contestants’ performances, guest of honour and Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, said: “Charlene gave a very emotive performance, but chills went through my body when Jermaine hit the high note [at the end of her song].”

But when pressed to name his pick, the minister said, “My vote is secret,” to the amusement of the audience.

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Jermaine takes her turn to sing
Jermaine takes her turn to sing
05 Oct 2015

Jermaine takes her turn to sing

The contestants returned to the stage to perform the upbeat number “Shine,” written by judge Ken Lim as the winner’s single, and after their spirited performance Jaclyn said, “No matter what happens, you're both winners and you both look beautiful.”

While the votes were being tallied, the other seven contestants kept the audience entertained with energetic tunes, the highlight being an impromptu a capella rendition of Paramore’s “The Only Exception.” Jaclyn then joined the five girls in belting the Whitney Houston girl-power anthem, “I’m Every Woman,” while Taufik and the four guys grooved along to Stevie Wonder’s hit “Superstition.”

Charlene and Jermaine returned to the stage together with Jess Glynne’s “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself,” and were joined by none other than Farisha Ishak. “Whoever wins, it’ll just be the first step on this whole amazing journey,” she said after the performance.

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Guest of honour, Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong
Guest of honour, Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong
05 Oct 2015

Guest of honour, Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong

Special guest Jessica Sanchez made her first appearance during Charlene’s rendition of “Dance with My Father,” and then Jermaine got to duet with the diminutive powerhouse on “Clarity” by Zedd.

Jessica stayed on for breathtaking solo performances of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” and “And I’m Telling You” by fellow American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson. “Everyone here is amazing!” Jessica said of the local talent. “I kind of want to sing with everyone.”

Charlene and Jermaine returned for one last duet, “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, before the result was announced. Amid the shower of silver confetti, Jermaine was crowned the champion, and the season’s top nine contestants rushed on stage for a round of celebratory hugs. Jermaine ended the evening on another high note with a reprise of “Shine,” proving her worth as this season’s Final 1.


Click here for our winner’s interview on The Final 1 Season 2 grand finale, and catch the repeat telecast on October 10 at 3pm on Channel 5. For more information and features, visit our microsite.

Top 9 and guest stars impress at electrifying The Final 1 finale
Top 9 and guest stars impress at electrifying The Final 1 finale
05 Oct 2015

Top 9 and guest stars impress at electrifying The Final 1 finale

The stunned seven were called upon for an impromptu item, and they delivered
The stunned seven were called upon for an impromptu item, and they delivered
05 Oct 2015

The stunned seven were called upon for an impromptu item, and they delivered

Inaugural Malaysian Idol winner, Jaclyn Victor, performs
Inaugural Malaysian Idol winner, Jaclyn Victor, performs
05 Oct 2015

Inaugural Malaysian Idol winner, Jaclyn Victor, performs

Jaclyn Victor with the girls in the top 9
Jaclyn Victor with the girls in the top 9
05 Oct 2015

Jaclyn Victor with the girls in the top 9

Judge Taufik Batisah leads the guys in a special item
Judge Taufik Batisah leads the guys in a special item
05 Oct 2015

Judge Taufik Batisah leads the guys in a special item

The Final 1 season one's winner, Farisha Ishak, lends her voice to
The Final 1 season one's winner, Farisha Ishak, lends her voice to "Don't Be So Hard on Yourself"
05 Oct 2015

The Final 1 season one's winner, Farisha Ishak, lends her voice to "Don't Be So Hard on Yourself"

American Idol alum Jessica Sanchez shares the stage with Charlene
American Idol alum Jessica Sanchez shares the stage with Charlene
05 Oct 2015

American Idol alum Jessica Sanchez shares the stage with Charlene

Jermaine sings her duet with Jessica Sanchez,
Jermaine sings her duet with Jessica Sanchez, "Clarity"
05 Oct 2015

Jermaine sings her duet with Jessica Sanchez, "Clarity"

Jessica Sanchez shows what she's made of with two power ballads
Jessica Sanchez shows what she's made of with two power ballads
05 Oct 2015

Jessica Sanchez shows what she's made of with two power ballads

Jermaine is declared the winner of the Final 1
Jermaine is declared the winner of the Final 1
05 Oct 2015

Jermaine is declared the winner of the Final 1

Jermaine later said she was happy but also shocked, overwhelmed and trying not to cry
Jermaine later said she was happy but also shocked, overwhelmed and trying not to cry
05 Oct 2015

Jermaine later said she was happy but also shocked, overwhelmed and trying not to cry

The top 9 gather onstage as Jermaine sings the winner's single,
The top 9 gather onstage as Jermaine sings the winner's single, "Shine"
05 Oct 2015

The top 9 gather onstage as Jermaine sings the winner's single, "Shine"

Click here for our winner’s interview on The Final 1 Season 2 grand finale, and watch the post-competition interview video here.

More on The Final 1 Season 2:
The weird and the wonderful: Jessica Sanchez’s life after American Idol
The Final 1 Top 4: Every elimination was tough for us
Ken Lim: The Final 1 Season 2 has Singapore's best Top 10 ever
Taufik Batisah on the challenges of modern parenting

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