MANILA, Philippines – They may have been eliminated from The X Factor UK, but this isn't the last we'll hear of the 4th Impact sisters. (READ: 10 things to know about 'X Factor UK' Pinoy girl group 4th Impact)
Almira (28), Mylene (23), Irene (25), and Celina (19) made it to the Top 5 of the competition after putting on an impressive fight with their harmonized vocals and choreographed dance moves. From their audition (Jessie J's "Bang Bang") to their touching final performance (Jackson 5's "I'll be There"), the girls have gained fans from across the globe. (WATCH: PH group 4th Impact performs 'I'll Be There' on X Factor UK)
"Ang dami pong nagme-message sa amin na pwede daw po ba kaming pumunta sa US, Australia, Canada, sa Dubai (A lot of people have messaged us asking if we could go to the US, Australia, Canada, and Dubai)," said Celina, answering a question from Rappler through RTL CBS Entertainment HD. Irene wasn't present at the interview.
Of course, the girls have celebrity fans too, including Lea Salonga, Rachelle Ann Go, and Nonoy Zuñiga.
Vote for them now @4thImpactMusic @TheXFactor pic.twitter.com/44Z6DoSwSU - Rachelle Ann Go (@gorachelleann) November 21, 2015
Thank you very much po Mr Nonoy Zuniga for your support. GODBLESS..Salamat po #OpmLegend #4thimpact A video posted by 4TH IMPACT (@4thimpactmusic) on Nov 11, 2015 at 2:41am PST
THIS!!! This piece of good news made me so happy! -- 4th Impact makes it to 'X-Factor UK' Top 7 via @rapplerdotcom https://t.co/KTuNGcOfqX - Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) November 16, 2015
The girls won't be performing outside of the UK in December though, as they'll be going on the "X Factor Live Tour" in 2016. The tour only includes stops in the UK.
"Pero siyempre po sasabihin po namin [kung may concert kami sa Pilipinas] officially pero ngayon po nothing is finalized pa po sa pag-uwi namin (But of course we'll tell everyone [if we'll have a concert in the Philippines] officially, but for now, nothing is finalized yet when we go home)," said Celina.
A history of performances
Before The X Factor, 4th Impact was known as the Cercado Sisters, Gollayan Sisters, and 4th Power. According to Celina, their first competition was on the show Fam Jam by Kitchie Benedicto on QTV-11.
The video below shows the sisters' journey through Fam Jam. They also share a little about their father, who was a junk collector. According to the video's caption, it was orginally shown at the “Reach Out and Touch” Benefit Concert during the 2nd Annual Monaco Film Festival in 2007.
Before Fam Jam, they performed using karaoke machines.
How did you start singing?
Mylene: Kami pong magkakapatid, love na love po talaga naming mag-karaoke. Nagsimula po sa amin na kumanta is si Ate Almira po. Meron pong nag-scholar sa kanya sa voice lessons nang one year tapos shinare niya po sa aming magkakapatid yung napag-aralan niya po. Siya po dati sa singing contest, kaming 3 sa dance contest pagka-piyesta po na competition.
(Between us siblings, we really love karaoke. Ate Almira was the first one who started singing. Someone gave her a scholarship to have voice lessons for one year, and she shared what she learned with us. She used to perform in singing contests while the 3 of us would join dance contests during fiestas.)
Tapos yon, yung tita ko po yung naka-discover sa amin na, mayroon po nun' dati na parang birthday party sa family namin na nagkakantsawan po na, 'Kanta naman kayo, kanta naman kayo. Kaya nyo bang gayahin si Ate nyo?’ Hindi po alam ni Ate na ginagaya-gaya na namin sya pag nagpa-practice siya. Kaya hayun, doon po kami nabuo as a group.
(Our aunt was the one who discovered us. When we were at a birthday party with family and they were teasing us, 'Sing, sing. Can you copy your sister?' Our sister didn't know that we were copying her everytime she'd practice. So there, that's how we became a group.)
How did you know about the X Factor auditions schedule, and what made you decide to do it?
Almira: Nag-start po nung lumaban kami sa Korea (sa Superstar K6), nag-"Let It Go" cover po kami. May British guy na nag comment sa YouTube link namin na, 'Why not try to audition here in X Factor?' Hindi naman po sa hindi namin pinaniwalaan, na impossible kasi Filipinos po kami, pero tinry parin po ni Irene magsend ng video link. But, January po iyon, February you have to expect an email na pasado ka pero wala po kaming nareceive kaya umuwi na lang po kami ng Philippines from Korea. Pero wala po kaming nareceive na nakapasa kami kaya hindi na po namin in-expect until nung May po nakareceive po kami ng, meron po kaming audition pass to, 'yun nga po, arena audition.
(It started when we competed in Korea [on Superstar K6], we made a "Let It Go" cover. There was a British guy who commented on our YouTube link saying, 'Why not try to audition here in X Factor?' It's not that we didn't believe him, but we thought it was impossible because we're Filipinos, but Irene tried to send the video link anyway. But that was in January, and February you have to expect an email that we passed but we didn't receive anything. So we went back home to the Philippines from Korea. We didn't receive anything that said we passed so we didn't expect anything until in May, when we received an audition pass for the arena audition.)
Tapos lahat po kami dito sa London for the first time, akala po namin si Simon na 'yung makakaharap namin, pero pagdating po namin, ang haba ng pila, sabi po namin, "Di lang po pala kami ang talented dito sa mundo eh."
(And then we all went to London for the first time thinking that we'd perform in front of Simon. But when we got there, the line was so long, we thought, "We're not the only ones in the world who are talented.")
Almira further shares that they caught people's attention because of their height and because they came from so far away. The group flew back and forth from the Philippines to the UK in between arena auditions, the Judges' Houses segment, and the 6 Chair Challenge.
The X Factor experience
From the beginning, the girls made it known that they were fans of Simon Cowell, saying during their auditions that their "ultimate dream" was to perform in front of him.
Once they passed as a group, X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini became their mentor.
Done with our rehearsal & bumped with @CherylOfficial & @SimonCowell 2 people we admire so much! #Only4thImpact pic.twitter.com/lb6hzoEoPf - 4TH IMPACT (@4thImpactMusic) December 10, 2015
The girls have been praised by both.
What’s the best piece of advice that Cheryl gave you?
Celina: "Everytime na kasama po namin si ya lagi n’ya pong sinasabi saamin na 'wag magfocus sa negativity especially po sa social media na hindi po mawawala 'yung bashers, yung haters. So always think positive and just be yourself on stage and give your best. Ayun po."
(Everytime we're with her she always tells us not to focus on the negativity especially on social media; that the bashers, the haters won't go away. So always think positive and just be yourself on stage and give your best. That's it.)
What about the best piece of advice that Simon gave you?
Celina: Ang best advice rin niya po na [nakuha] namin is i-enjoy po namin 'yung lahat ng nangyayari.
(The best advice that he gave us is to enjoy everything that's happening.)
To the audience, your performances are always perfectly sung and choreographed, but we’re always our own worst critic. Are there any aspects of your performance that you’re working to improve on?
Almira: Nakaka-flatter naman po yun. Siguro po gusto pa po naming i-improve yung vocals po namin, mga style po tapos yung kung pa’no po kumanta nang talagang – kung pa’no po [kinakanta] 'yung Beyonce peg, na kahit humahataw, kahit sumasayaw, nandoon 'yung power, alam n’yo po 'yun.
(That's so flattering. I guess we want to improve our vocals more, our style and how to sing in a way that's really – our peg is how Beyonce sings, that even though she's moving, even though she's dancing, the power is still there, you know.)
The girls' family has played a big role in their career. Their mom can always be seen on the show cheering them on, and on their Instagram feeds.
I believe in Love at First Sight because I've been loving my MOM since I open my eyes.#happymothersday #iloveyoumom #supermom #loveatfirstsight A photo posted by Celina - 4th Impact (@celinacercado) on May 10, 2015 at 8:09am PDT
London eye experience with mamyeyyyyy happy Thursday everyonexcited for Saturday A photo posted by Almira 4th Impact (@almira_4thimpact) on Nov 19, 2015 at 2:19am PST
Back home, the girls also live with their two other siblings and their dad.
happy birthday to the no.1 father in the worldWithout you we are nothing.Your the best popsy i could ever havI love u Pops happy birthdaycheers#HAPPYBDAYPOPS#MICAPopsyBday A photo posted by Almira 4th Impact(@almira_4thimpact) on Apr 30, 2015 at 8:26pm PDT
Our Xmas isn't complete bcoz we miss our 2 king in our family in the Philippines#missingPopsyAndBonchong #needtoworkMore #dreamTotravelWithTheFAMILY A photo posted by Almira 4th Impact@almira_4thimpact) on Dec 26, 2014 at 1:35am PST
Can you tell us a bit about your family? Do your parents and other siblings like to sing and dance too? What do they do here in the Philippines?
Celina: Actually we are 6 po. Five sisters po kami and may isa po kaming kapatid na lalaki. Eldest sister po namin is 29 years old, and brother po namin na 9 years old. And kumakanta din po sila. Actually, we started as 5, 5 sisters and then nung nag-start na mag-nurse 'yung ate po namin, nagfocus na po sya sa pagaaral nya kaya ayun, kami pong 4 yung nagpatuloy. (Kami po yung gumagawa ng paraan pang tuition niya.)
(Actually, we are 6. We're 5 sisters and we have a brother. Our eldest sister is 29 years old and our brother is 9 years old. And they sing too. Actually, we started out as 5, 5 sisters and then when our eldest sister studied to become a nurse, she focused on her studies. That's why there's only 4 of us who continued. (We're the ones who found a way to provide for her tuition.)
In a previous interview with the Britsh show This Morning, the girls said that "they're still chasing their dreams" after all the competitions they've joined. After everything they've been through, it looks like this isn't the last we'll see or hear of 4th Impact.
Are you a fan of 4th Impact? Tell us what you think of the girls in the comments below! – Rappler.com