Maria Laroco reveals why her visa got denied during “X Factor UK”

Filipino singer Maria Laroco’s journey in the “The X Factor UK” has ended after she got eliminated from the competition.

It can be recalled that the 17-year-old singer failed to make it to the Simon Cowell’s house in Los Angeles, California during the Judges’ House round of the competition after she failed to secure a visa.

Laroco made up for her absence by sending a video message wherein she performed the song “California Dreamin'”.

After her elimination, Laroco explained that she was not able to fly to the United States because she encountered a problem when she applied for the wrong visa.

“We got a problem fixing the visa because we applied for a wrong visa. [We applied] for visitor’s visa, not performer’s visa,” she said.

“To be honest they [X-Factor UK] made me apply for a visitor’s visa. Before the interview at the Embassy, we had a meeting. They taught me what to say and what not to say to avoid issues and be denied a visa but when I got there po sa embassy, they told me that I applied for the wrong visa,” Laroco continued.

Laroco tried to convince the embassy to approve her visitor’s visa since she would not be earning money while she’s there. She will visit the US as part of the competition.

“They told me that I was supposed to apply for performer’s visa [and] not visitor’s visa… even if I told them na I’m not getting paid or it’s not work, it’s a competition, you still need a performer’s visa,” she said.

Laroco said that not being able to fly to the US and perform live in front of Cowell and the other judges he invited might have hurt her chances of winning.

Nevertheless, she remained thankful for the opportunity she was given while competing in “X Factor UK”.

“It was heartbreaking for me, not going to LA. What’s funny is my song was ‘California Dreaming.’ It was heartbreaking for me at first but I later realized that I’m still lucky because I’m still here, part of the competition and all the judges, 50 pa po, watching me. It was a bit weird because I didn’t know how the judges are going to react so it was nerve-wracking without all the other girls,” she said.

She added that she plans on keeping her promise to Cowell, who stood as her mentor during the competition, by coming back next season.

“During the call – it was live – he told me that I had a good song choice. That was all positive but then he said no. At first, I felt like crying… ‘It’s over.’ After that, I started thinking of so many things. Then he told me on phone: ‘Promise me you’ll come back next year,” she said.

According to Laroco, the editors cut a part of Cowell’s call.

“They cut it from the final episode but he also said, ‘If not, I will be the one to fly to the Philippines to get you here in the competition. So I’m going back because I have no intention of breaking that promise,” she said.

As of press time, Laroco has returned to the Philippines and dreams of creating a name for herself on the music industry.

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