Francisse Bondoc Wins 'Academy Idol' Season Five
'Academy Idol' season five winner Francisse Bondoc. Photo by Bob Toy.
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, the School of Multimedia Communications hosted the Academy Idol season five finale at 79 New Montgomery. Led by Director of the School of Multimedia Communications, Jan Yanehiro, and Associate Director Steve Kotton, the senior-level class wrapped their final episode of the reality singing competition, which streamed live all semester-long at academyidol.com.
But before hosts Aundria Jolivette, Frank Diaz and Lorena King got to the results, the live studio audience and those following along at home were treated to performances from the final three contestants, Francisse Bondoc, Janel Chanté and Sabrina Anderson.
Following the performances and final feedback from judges Keanna Moody, Alexis Moore, Elizabeth Sweeney, Matthew Cesca and Kiyomi Mitsuda, the hosts announced that Janel had come in third, which meant the final two contestants of season five left standing were Bondoc and Anderson. And for the first time in Academy Idol history, the show was doing a live vote that would decide the season’s winner.
With 62 percent of the vote, Bondoc was announced as the season five winner of Academy Idol.
After closing out the show with a moving rendition of Jessie J’s “Flashlight,” we caught up with the music production major to find out her immediate reaction to her name being called, how she selected her songs each week as well as her advice for future Academy Idol contestants.
How excited are you?
It’s very exciting. I’m really excited about what happens after.
What was your first thought as soon as they announced your name?
I was just like, ‘Is this actually happening? Did I just win this thing?’ It’s been so long. I was only here to perform. That was the main reason why I joined was to sing, and just think about the future and see what other people are going to react to my voice, but otherwise, I won, and I thought, ‘I think that’s really nice and I love everyone that’s been supporting.’
What made you decide to participate in Academy Idol this year?
My friend did it last year. The first time I heard about it, I was like, ‘Wow, I want to do this. Is it too late to sign up?’ And unfortunately it was. I was like, ‘I’ll wait until next year, I guess.’
How did you choose your songs every week and how did you select your final songs ("Mamma Knows Best" and "Flashlight" by Jessie J) for tonight?
I had like a little plan, I guess. I wanted to be able to show and evolve every single week. So I started out with something that was a little bit more mellow and not so belty and a little bit more calming. And then I progressed through and showed different genres that I can sing. And then, as a last song, I just wanted to show off everything that I’ve got. Everything that I performed, how I performed was everything that I did, have been doing.
What was the best advice that you received from the judges during the competition?
To keep improving, because I think that’s the best thing to think about, especially just day to day. If you’re not doing something and if you’re not improving, why are you staying the same? What are you doing with your life, basically. So every single day I’m trying to improve.
You mentioned at the end of the show about trying out for The Voice.
Let’s say you get to the blind auditions, whose team do you want to be on?
Why his team?
Because I feel like he has more to offer. I think he’s more around my genre of music that I want to start being in. … I feel like Adam has that power to just like show that you can be better than what you think you are.
What was one thing that you learned from the competition?
To keep my pace, I think. I feel like if I started out with something super dramatic and super crazy in the beginning, then there was nowhere else I could go.
Lastly, what is your advice for future Academy Idol contestants?
To sing your heart out. Be confident in yourself. And just love yourself, because it will show through your songs, through how you sing and your performance. Just keep doing what you love to do and just give it your all every single moment.