PIN-DROP silence greeted her when she auditioned at the Na Domo singing competition last month.
But this lasted for a few seconds only before applause and cheers erupted when Talisa Rabaka surprised the crowd with her rendition of Etta James' famous song At Last at the Downtown Boulevard.
A month later she finds herself as one of the 12 competitors through to the semi-final this weekend. From the auditions to the eliminations, her soulful voice has left those watching speechless and most people could be forgiven for thinking the 20-year-old does it all the time.
Hailing from Tailevu, Rabaka always knew she could sing but didn't take it seriously. Two years ago, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, she sang in public for the first time during her first communion.
"I was really nervous," she says. "I wasn't supposed to sing but I stepped in when the girl who was supposed to couldn't. It was nerve wrecking but it felt good to sing, especially when you're doing it for God."
That was her first and only public performance until this competition started. She looks to soul and jazz as her signature styles, with her favourite artist being Natalie Cole.
Rabaka never imagined reaching this stage and has appreciated all she's learnt from the judges. She will perform at the Lami Parish bazaar at 6pm on Friday in the Na Domo semi final.