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Meet Myra Tran, the Vietnamese Girl Who's Taking 'American Idol' by Storm

You’ve probably heard it by now, but the latest season of American Idol has a Vietnamese contestant, and she’s kicking ass.

In an all-black ensemble and an Ariana Grande-esque high pony tail, Myra Tran begins her appearance on American Idol with astonishment and a touch of palpable nerve, just like any typical Idol hopeful. However, once she launches into the first verse of Jennifer Hudson’s Dreamgirls soul ballad ‘One Night Only,’ the judges are entranced.

The clip of her audition has gone viral across social media platforms since it was released on YouTube two days ago. Among the performances of the latest season’s first episode, Tran’s rendition of ‘One Night Only’ has garnered the most views with more than 690,000 at the time of writing. “You’re up there with the Kelly Clarksons of the world,” country singer Luke Bryan, one of the judges, comments after the audition.

Video via YouTube channel American Idol.

Though Idol audience and judges might find it unbelievable that a high school student could deliver such a powerful performance, Vietnamese fans have been familiar with Myra Tran’s talent since 2016.

Born Tran Minh Nhu in Long Xuyen, Myra Tran is no stranger to singing competitions as she won X Factor Vietnam in 2016 when she was just 16. Unfortunately, in a talent industry filled with talent shows, her win didn’t cause much of a ripple, but it also afforded her a decent following online. Most notably, Tran was selected by Disney to sing the Vietnamese version of ‘How Far I’ll Go,’ a song in Moana’s soundtrack.

According to Tran, she has been in the US for a year and is studying at a local high school. Being on American Idol is “her biggest dream” and it looks like her journey on the show might get interesting.

Myra Tran was featured in Disney's Moana mashup. Video via YouTube channel Disney Studios Vietnam.

It is not uncommon for contestants of Vietnamese descent to be on international talent competitions, for luckily for Vietnamese fans, past appearances have mostly been positive. The latest RuPaul’s Drag Race also features a Vietnamese-American queen, Plastique Tiara, a 21-year-old from Dallas, Texas. Last year, Vietnamese acrobat duo Giang Brothers also appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.

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