Filipa Carmo da Silva

The story of 18-year-old Filipa Carmo da Silva’s life has just taken the most exciting turn after the South African teen won the search for the best One Direction cover.

Filipa’s rendition of the hit Story of My Life saw her walking off with the top honours, beating more experienced campaigners in X-Factor UK twins Jedward, and X-Factor US finalist Josh Levi.

The competition began in January with 26 finalists. Each weeks, several competitiors were eliminated by public voting.

Filipa entered after she was approached by Seacrest’s production team, who had seen her One Direction cover on YouTube. The song was recorded by Brian O’Shea and Crighton Goodwill, among South Africa’s finest producers. Kyle White directed the music video, a slick production with a Pearl Harbour theme filmed on an old Air Force base.

“Winning this competition has been the highlight of my career so far and to have the support from the media and public in South Africa and overseas has been mind-blowing,” she said.

Filipa, originally from Pretoria, had recently moved to Cape Town to pursue her studies in the arts. But her success in this competition has already had an impact on her life. Even before the results of the competition had been announced, she was being interviewed on radio stations across the country. She has secured her first live performance, showing off her talents at Waterfront’s Summer Sunset Concert series in Cape Town. There, she performed the One Direction cover, as well as Dolly Parton’s Jolene and Lorde’s Royals.

Filipa’s original debut single is set for release next month. - Tonight Reporter