By Antoinette Bueno

Balita Media News Service

Does it get any bigger than “American Idol”? Having made superstars out of the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, there is perhaps no better showcase, and no bigger stage for, undiscovered talent than the hit Fox show. And fifteen-year-old Thia Megia, who hails from Tracy, California, has just made the prestigious “American Idol” Top 13 – arguably, when the real show begins.

Despite her young age, Megia has come off incredibly mature, a fact that judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson have continuously commented on throughout the show’s 10th season. She impressed the three judges from day one at her Milwaukee audition, when she sang British songstress Adele’s breakout song “Chasing Pavements.”

She then sailed through the auditions, earning her a spot to perform as part of the Top 24 contestants, when the official voting began.

But the quiet Megia clearly emerged as an early frontrunner last Tuesday night, with her performance of Irene Cara’s “Out Here On My Own”. The youngest “Idol” contestant in the history of the show, she hit all the right notes, earning praise from all three judges. While Tyler was blown away by her “perfect pitch” and Lopez called the performance “beautiful” and “special”, Jackson even likened the tone of her voice to “the late great Michael Jackson,” a compliment that overwhelmed the teenager when she was asked about it on last Thursday’s results show.

“I just, I can’t even talk right now,” Megia said through tears to host Ryan Seacrest.

But it soon turned to tears of joy, as it was then announced that America had voted Megia into the Top 10.

The other Fil-Am Season 10 semifinalist Clint Jun Gamboa from Long Beach, however, did not garner enough votes to ensure him a slot in the Top 10.  He was also not chosen by the judges to compete for one of the three wild card slots, leaving him permanently out of the competition.