The X Factor UK 2015 started strong with numerous auditions that took place in Wembley Arena. Most of the time, the auditions were flawless and wonderful until a certain girl-group came. The four judges did not expect the arrival of four pretty and talented ladies that will take Wembley’s roof off, as what X Factor UK judge Cheryl said after their audition.
When they came on stage, they were actually shy and nervous, but when the music kicked in, they all turned into little bad girls while singing Bang Bang and it blew everyone’s mind off – the four Filipina girls gave an awesome, jaw-dropping performance of Jessie J’s hit song. From then on, 4th Impact (a.k.a 4th Power) became a fan favorite and made a buzz in the music scene, especially in the British and European market.
But who are these girls, really? What is their personal and music background? How did they form their band? Why are they so good at singing and dancing? And, why did they join the British X Factor? All these and more are found in this article. So read on.
Meet The Cercado Family
The ladies grew up in a poor neighborhood in the city of Santiago, Isabela. They are 8 in the family. The eldest is named Elvira, who is a registered nurse and has been quoted to be working at the Heart Center in the Philippines. Next is Almira (27), followed by Irene (25), Mylene (23), Celina (19), and their younger brother. Their parents are Mr. Dominador Cercado and Mrs. Erlinda Cercado.
How It All Started
With 6 kids to support, life has not been easy for their family. In order to help augment their family’s growing needs, their mother sold plastic containers and beauty products, while their father resorted to buying and selling bottles, newspapers, and other junks, pushing his wooden cart all over the area, just to earn. It was heartbreaking for the ladies to see their parents suffer and sacrifice that much for them, especially their dad. And so, they also did their part by helping in any way they can. By God’s grace, the 4 girls were blessed with amazing talents.
Almira was the first sibling to have shown potential in singing, which she used to help their family. She joined singing local and national contests including Star for a Night (IBC 13) and Batang Kampeon (trans. The Kid Champion) in RPN9.
She was even able to compete at the grand finals with the YouTube singing sensation and international star, Charice Pempengco. In order to improve her singing skill more, she was sent to Cecilian Voice Training Center for formal training (because she was actually joining competitions without any formal singing lesson or so, just pure personal learning). Awesome!
As they recalled, they would always join contests during fiestas. Almira would be in singing competitions while the 3 in dancing.
A certain personality named Sally Lazario invited them to his son’s wedding and requested that they will all perform at once, purely for entertainment purposes. But then, surprisingly, she discovered that the other 3 sisters (Irene, Mylene and Celina) could actually sing well too. And that is where she encouraged them to form a girl group.
In 2002, all 4 of them started performing in many occasions including birthdays, parties, and of course, weddings, which helped them pay their school fees and allowances. Almira was 14 years old at that time while Irene was 12, Mylene was 10, and Celina was 6.
Their First Singing Competition as a Group
In 2005, QTV 11, had a singing competition, The One Million Peso FamJam, which was the only family singing competition in the Philippines at that time.
Their mother Erlinda was watching the television when she saw this contest advertised. She was very happy because she saw hope in the competition. When suddenly, a bird just flew in through their window staying atop of their television. She picked the bird and she thought it was the best sign that she would let her 4 ladies join the competition.
They were in Tuguegarao at that time and they couldn’t afford a trip to Manila, so she went to a friend to borrow money. The 4 girls also sang in a cockfight to raise money. It was the only way they can think of, and fortunately, the people at the cockpit were impressed and they threw money towards them. They were able to raise around 3,000 to 4,000 pesos or $90 to $100. It was a moment they couldn’t forget.
But their money was barely enough to cover their travel expenses, so when they went to FamJam audition, they had no breakfast and lunch. They were winning every week in the competition until the tide turned against them. They lost against a certain Marquez family. The sisters were awarded as the 2nd runner up.
According to Almira, they felt like it was the end of the world when they lost in the FamJam competition. The defeat was so painful for the 4 kids. But they tried to be fine and they knew that the best is yet to come for them, that it was not the end, and that it was in fact, the beginning of their dreams.
Their First International Singing Competition
In 2006, the producer of FamJam competition chose the group to represent the country in WCOPA (World Championships of Performing Arts), which is likened to the Olympics of performing arts or talents, including singing. They brought the Cercado Sisters to Hollywood, which was the sisters’ first international travel.
They got the World Star Grand Championship Honors, which is the highest award in the said talent Olympics, because they were able to get 16 gold medals all in all in the Junior Division from the 4 categories: pop music, gospel, originals, and Broadway.
The Competitions They Joined
In 2010, the sisters joined a reality talent show in TV 5 called Talentadong Pinoy (trans. Talented Filipinos), but they did not win because there were just so many talented acts. Filipinos are one of the most talented people in the world actually.
In 2011, they joined another reality TV show – Protégé: The Battle for the Big Break, but they lost. Issues came out that the judges were not in favor of the group because they lack the physical appeal to make it to the music and showbiz industry.
In 2012, the group joined a talent show in the country’s number 1 television network, ABS-CBN. It was a family talent show called It’s Showtime – Bida Kapamilya, where their family emerged as the grand champion under the mentorship of Robert Peña. And, it was very memorable because their mother Erlinda was part of their grand finals performance and they received a standing ovation from all of the judges. They won 1M pesos and a brand new car, which they used to pay off all their debts.
Singing for WCOPA Again
In 2013, they represented their country once more in WCOPA for the Senior Vocal Group Category, but under a different name, The Gollayan Sisters (to pay tribute to their grandfather who was the best musician in their clan). And again, they won. They were pronounced as the Senior Grand Champions of the World or the Senior Vocal Group Champion of the World.
Their First Singing Competition in South Korea
In 2014, they joined Superstar K6 in South Korea under the name MICA, which represents their name – Mylene, Irene, Celina, and Almira. The judges were amazed by their rendition of U & I by Ailee, a famous Korean singer, Frozen’s Let it Go, and Almira’s Listen by Beyonce. As the show went on, they were always impressing the judges. However, it was a tough competition because they were asked to sing Korean songs and the judges were very strict with the correct pronunciation of Korean music lyrics. Although, they ended their journey being on top 8 of the finalists, the sisters created a mark in the Asian market.
Live Show Week 3
Joining X Factor UK 2015
In August 2015, they made a comeback through the British X Factor under a new name, 4th Power. They got standing ovation from the 4 judges on their audition singing Jessie J’s Bang Bang, survived the 6-Chair Challenge and went through to the Judges’ House with their mentor Cheryl Fernandez Versini. They survived week 1, 2, and 3 of the live shows and are currently competing for week 4.
6 Chair Challenge
Aeva Gono (author) from Philippines on November 17, 2015:
Hi Stu! Thank you. Oh, yeah, it looks like a Wikipedia article. Can I repost this to there? :)
Stu on November 17, 2015:
Very good article, you should put this on Wikipedia.