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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

4th Impact sing their way to X Factor UK’s top 12

“We felt in our hearts that we gave everything,” said a teary Almira, the eldest of the four siblings. “And I’m crying because I’m proud of my sisters.”
4th Impact, formerly known as 4th Power, performing in front of their mentors at Judges House’s. Syco / Thames / Corbis / Dymond
4th Impact, formerly known as 4th Power, performing in front of their mentors at Judges House’s. Syco / Thames / Corbis / Dymond

The Filipino girl group 4th Impact, formerly known as 4th Power, have advanced to the live top 12 show on The X Factor UK.

In a round known as Judges’ Houses, their mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini flew her remaining six acts to Rome, Italy, where each group had to perform a song in front of her and guest judge Jess Glynne.

The four sisters Almira, Irene, Mylene and Celina Cercado, impressed with their rendition of Eminem and Rihanna’s hit collaboration Love the Way You Lie.

“Wow,” Fernandez-Versini whispered to Glynne after 4th Impact’s performance. “I was choked. I’ve got goosebumps, I feel weird.”

“We felt in our hearts that we gave everything,” said a teary Almira, the eldest of the four. “And I’m crying because I’m proud of my sisters.”

Fernandez-Versini could only take three of her six acts to the top 12 live shows. Aside from 4th Impact, whom she announced as the first group to advance, Fernandez-Versini chose the six-piece girl band Alien Uncovered and the duo Reggie n Bollie as her finalists. All three will perform in the reality programme’s first live performance show on Saturday, October 31. They will be competing against the final three acts from each of the competition’s other categories, namely boys, girls and over 25.

Prior to the announcement, 4th Impact appealed to their mentor that they were singing not just for a spot on the top 12, but “for our lives”.

In an interview, the group revealed that they flew to London to audition for The X Factor in search of a better life. The Cercados grew up in poverty in Santiago, a city in the northern province of Isabela. They said their 59-year-old father Dominador, who works as a junk dealer who pushes a cart and collects rubbish on the street, is suffering from a brain tumour.

“Our dad can’t work now as he has a brain mass and when it gets bigger he is going to be blind. He needs an operation but we don’t have the money to pay for it,” said Almira. “That’s one of the main reasons we want to do The X Factor. We need to raise £10,000 to pay for it.”

Second-oldest sister Irene said: “His illness has affected us so much. It’s very hard for us to be strong. Every time we sing, it’s for him. It’s our motivation. He inspires us.”

Through their parents’ hard work, the four sisters managed to all go to university, supplementing their family’s income by joining singing competitions. They said they raised money to travel to the UK by working as performers at a local cockfighting stadium back home.

artslife@thenational.ae