|Birth name||Malaya Tina Bandico Watson|
September 24, 1997 |
Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
|Genres||R&B, soul, funk|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, tuba, violin, guitar, bass drum, snare drum|
Malaya Tina Bandico Watson (born September 24, 1997) is an American singer from Southfield, Michigan, who finished in eighth place on the thirteenth season of American Idol. Watson is the second youngest contestant in American Idol history that has reached the live show, next to tenth season contestant, Lauren Alaina.
She is a half Filipino American, half African-American, the daughter of Ronald Watson, a professional guitar player, and Marian Bandico Watson, who hails from Manila, Philippines and is a nurse. Malaya is a tuba player in Southfield High School marching band. She is also an alumna of the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit  and the Michigan Opera Theatre Children's Chorus.
Watson auditioned in Detroit with Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way." She second youngest contestant in American Idol's history that has reached the live finals after Lauren Alaina. Watson is the first contestant born after 1997 to have reached the live finals on the show as of 2014.
After being deemed as a front-runner to win by judge Jennifer Lopez and fans, Watson was announced as the act with lowest number of votes for Top 8 reveal night. With the Judges save gone Malaya was eliminated from the competition. She sang "I Am Changing" as her farewell song. After her final performance Watson received a final standing ovation from all three judges
Performances on American Idol
|Episode||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Order||Result|
|Audition||Auditioner's Choice||"Ain't No Way"||Aretha Franklin||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood Round, Part 1||A Capella||"Brand New Me"||Alicia Keys||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood Round, Part 2||Group Performance||"I Want You Back"
with Christina Collins, Olivia Diamond, and Queen Bulls
|The Jackson 5||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood Round, part 3||Solo||"I Believe"||Fantasia Barrino||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 20 (10 Women)||Personal Choice||"Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)"||Ray Charles||10||Advanced|
|Top 13||This Is Me||"Runaway Baby"||Bruno Mars||2||Bottom 3[a]|
|Top 12||Home||"Take Me to the King"||Tamela Mann||10||Safe|
|Top 11||Songs from the Movies||"I Am Changing"||Jennifer Holliday||11||Safe|
|Top 10||Billboard Top 10||"When I Was Your Man"||Bruno Mars||5||Safe|
|Top 9||I'm with the Band!||"The Long and Winding Road"||The Beatles||4||Safe|
|Top 8||Back to the Start||Solo "Ain't No Way"||Aretha Franklin||6||Bottom 3[b]|
with Sam Woolf
|Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat||8|
|Top 8[c]||Songs from the 1980s||Solo "Through the Fire"||Chaka Khan||4||Eliminated|
|Duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
with CJ Harris
|Aretha Franklin & George Michael||8|
- When Ryan Seacrest announced the results in this particular night, Watson was among the bottom 3, but was declared safe second, as Kristen O'Connor was eliminated.
- When Ryan Seacrest announced the results in this particular night, Watson was among the bottom 3, but was declared safe, as Sam Woolf was saved by the judges.
- Due to the judges using their one save on Sam Woolf, the top 8 remained intact for another week.
|2014||"When I Was Your Man"|
|"The Long and Winding Road"|
|"Ain't No Way"|
|"Through the Fire"|
- 'American Idol' Season 13: Malaya Watson Is the Youngest Finalist in Series History - Hollywood Reporter
- Fil-Am Malaya Watson makes it to American Idol's Top 13 | Pinoy Abroad | GMA News Online
- RAWatson - Rock, Blues, R & B, Inspirational and Jazz Music *THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE*
- Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit - History
- Michigan Opera Theatre Children's Chorus
- Road to Hollywood: Malaya Watson
- Fred Bronson. "'American Idol' Season 13: Malaya Watson Is the Youngest Finalist in Series History". Hollywood Reporter.