You haven’t heard of the name Chenee Capuyan, you might not even know that she can sing and has made the country proud after winning an international singing competition.
Twenty-one-year-old Chenee, a native of Davao del Sur and a restaurant employee of McDonald’s in the province, was declared the top winner in the recently-concluded Voice of McDonald’s Global Singing Competition held in Orlando, Florida. The petite Davaoeña also took home US $ 25,000 as cash prize.
Chenee is the second Filipino to ever reach the finals of the annual competition open to the employees of the global fast-food chain.
Fresh from Orlando, the singing pride of Davao was welcomed by the McDonalds’ family through a press conference to formally announce the good news to the public and to introduce the talented Pinay to the members of the press.
Present at the event held in McDonald’s restaurant in Greenbelt 1, Makati City are the local officials of the fast-food chain like Bing Bachoco (executive VP) and China Torre (VP for Human Capital Group).
Torre told the press that the Voice of McDonald’s talent search is a worldwide contest exclusive to McDonald’s crew and restaurant managers. It has become an international stage to discover, recognize and reward the most talented singers among the 1.6 million McDonald’s restaurant employees all over the world.
“The Voice of McDonald’s is only one of the ways the company solidifies its commitment to employees by making all McDonald’s restaurants a fun and great place to work in,” Torre said.
She added that in the first edition of the completion in 2005, more than 2,500 participated all across the globe, and in 2007, more than 3,600 singers joined the search. For its 3rd edition, more than 10,400 employees tried their luck to bring honor to their respective countries.
A cut above the rest
After multiple elimination rounds of the fierce yet fun competition, Chenee bested out 10,400 other contestants from different countries who were all McDonald’s employees like her.
During the finals held on April 22, Chenee stunned both the celebrity judges and the crowd of 15,000 with her vocal prowess and magnetic stage presence as she performs the hit record “Stand Up For Love” (originally sung by Destiny’s Child). Chenee trumped Jin Hur of Goyang City, South Korea and Jesus Molinares of Lima, Peru.
One of the judges, Grammy Award-winning RnB singer Estelle remarked, “I’ve worked with some of the best singers in the music industry and I can honestly say I was blown away by Chenee’s talent and passion… kudos to McDonald’s for giving them this opportunity.”
The final round of competition was judged based on the following criteria: singing ability (60 percent); creativity (20 percent); and on-camera/stage presence (20 percent). A panel of internationally-renowned music industry professionals judged the final competition which also include Troy Carter, chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, Inc., whose clients include Lady Gaga; Walter Afanasieff, Grammy Award-winning music producer whose credits include recordings by Mariah Carey and Celine Dion; and prominent entertainment attorney Ken Hertz.
A humble voice
Standard Today had a little chat with the singing champion and she told us that she is not used to the attention she is getting after winning the competition. As a matter of fact, she kept on apologizing to the members of the press for being nervous while attending to their questions.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me right from the very start—my family, friends and co-workers back home in Davao,” the young singer, who idolizes the likes of Charice, Christina Aguilera, and Rachelle Ann Go, expressed.
Cheena is a party host in a local McDonald’s branch in Davao and she has been enjoying the job for almost two years now. She plans to go back to school to pursue a degree in Information Technology.
“I didn’t finish college, hopefully with the cash prize I received, I can go back to school now as an incoming third year student,” Chenee told the Standard Today.
Apart from going back to school, a big chunk of money will go to her mother’s operation and medication.
“My mother has a heart disease and I will make use of the money I received from the competition to ensure that my mother will get proper care and medication,” the young singer stated.
Before the press conference ended, Chenee handed a cheque worth US $1,000 to the McDonald’s officials. The money will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities.