Don't be fooled by Ellona Santiago's small stature. This girl is a powerhouse vocalist, capable of pulling off a Whitney Houston number — no small feat for any musician particularly one still in high school.
The 17-year-old was born in the Philippines and currently lives in San Lorenzo, California. Although she wants to be a superstar, girl's got her head on straight and has kept studying throughout her time on X Factor (she even took the SATs during Live Shows!).
Despite her youth, Ellona’s one of the few X Factor veterans involved in this year's show. She previously auditioned for Season 1 and made it all the way to Live Shows with mega-group InTENsity. It's a fact judge Simon Cowell didn't remember at first — but once he did, the deep V neck-loving Brit realized the kind of talent the show let go last time around.
Being cut from Season 1 wasn't easy for Ellona. "It really crushed me," she says. "It really crushed my heart." Now back as a solo act, the older and wiser talent proves that she's worthy of a win. As Demi Lovato puts it, "Ellona has a diva inside of her."
There's no doubt about that after Ellona's knockout performances of songs by fellow pop divas Little Mix, Britney Spears, and, of course, Whitney Houston. Most recently, she took on UK diva Ellie Goulding's "Burn" for her Top 10 performance and then Jessie J's "Mamma Knows Best" (perhaps a dig at Simon's less than flattering comment of the week before?) for her Top 8 showing. Mr. Nasty called it the performance a "game changer."
Ellona continued to mix up the game in her Top 6 take on Lady Gaga's "Applause," and despite all the glitz and glimmer even Simon loved it! "You've gone from being a mouse to a little tiger here," he told Ellona, saying he even preferred her version to the original! Um, sorry, Gaga. Then, for her Unplugged number, Ellona took things down a notch with Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy."
What did you think? Will Ellona Santiago's name soon be added to their prestigious ranks? Unfortunately, she won't be making that list as an X Factor winner. Ellona was eliminated on December 5, right before the semifinals. It was a shocker but of course doesn't diminish the powerhouse talent that little lady possess.
Watch Ellona Santiago's audition — Little Mix's "Wings"
Four Chair Challenge: Ellona Santiago Sings Zedd's "Clarity"
Top 16: Ellona Santiago Sings Britney Spears's "Till The World Ends"
Top 13: Ellona Santiago Sings The Supremes's "Baby Love"
Save Me Song: Ellona Santiago Sings David Guetta and Sia's "Titanium"
Top 12: Ellona Santiago Sings Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
Top 10: Ellona Santiago Sings Ellie Goulding's "Burn"
Top 8: Ellona Santiago Sings Jessie J's "Mamma Knows Best"
Top 6 Diva Song: Ellona Santiago Sings Lady Gaga's "Applause"
Top 6 Unplugged Song: Ellona Santiago Sings Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy"