SURREY – Surrey’s Alyssa Gutierrez has been performing as a singer since she was a toddler. With 13 years of performance under her belt, it’s not a huge surprise that the natural-born singer snagged first place at the PNE’s final Star Showdown last Wednesday.
Alyssa, 16, placed first in the youth division Star Showdown on Aug. 17, which brought her into Wednesday’s finals.
"(My mom) sang to me while I was in the womb, and then when I was born and I was growing up to be a toddler, I would sing the same songs and she’d be like ‘How do you remember that?’" Alyssa told the Now.
The Holy Cross Regional Secondary student performed a cover of Alicia Keys’ "If I Ain’t Got You" when she placed first against nine other competitors in the Youth Division on Aug. 17.
"Honestly, when I received the prize I was really shocked. It was a fair game because the amount of talent that I saw was just unbelievable," she said.
In the final round at the PNE’s Chevrolet Performance Stage, she beat out competitors
Devon Busswood and Colin Bullock.
In an interview preceding her win, Alyssa said that if she snagged the $5,000 first prize, she’d be sending some of that cash to her family "back home" – in the Philippines, where the singer was born.
She’s also starring in an upcoming musical called Right Here, Write Now, which will raise relief funds for people in the Philippines. The show, in its second year, will kick off Nov. 16 at River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond. Two additional shows will be performed at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre on Nov. 29, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. "The story is about a group of friends who are graduating university, and on their graduation day, they were recalling all of their life stories," she said. "My character, Maria, realizes that, ‘Oh, do I have a story?’ The whole musical revolves around her trying to find her story and near the end she does find it, but it’s not the story she expects."