When her name was announced, winner of RichCity Idol 2018 Ysabelle Santa Ana’s sizeable crowd of fans erupted in deafening cheers to the clangs of a cowbell.
Earlier in the show, when interviewed, she said: “I started music when I was about three years-old. Music brought us closer as a family.”
Santa Ana, a Grade 12 student at Richmond Senior Secondary, handled the crowd well and asked them to use their cellphones as flashlights. With a strong unaccompanied opening, she offered her own unique take on Beyoncé’s “Halo.”
Pianist, composer, and producer Trevor Hoffman, one of the judges, said: “There were moments when I saw the true queen shine. When you find those moments, just enjoy them and keep them going.”
A second judge, Michele C, a songwriter and recording artist in the EDM and trance scene, said: “You have an impressive range, and your transition from true voice to falsetto was seamless.”
Third judge Bruce Nip, producer and host of a weekly music show on Fairchild Radio, said: “I think you were born to be a musician. You definitely have the right genes to pull off some of those notes.”
When asked by hosts Anna Leung and Marinelle Sinlao what advice she would give to someone just starting to sing, Santa Ana said: “It’s just important to keep on going no matter what other people say. Just keep doing you.”
Santa Ana’s audience filled much of the north section of the Gateway Theatre. They were the largest and most enthusiastic group of supporters. Their cheers were so loud they buzzed in the audience’s ears. And the cowbell, in the end, turned out to be a frying pan and a large kitchen utensil.