The third Voice of McDonald’s global singing competition named its grand prize winner yesterday morning in Orlando, Florida.

Chenee Capuyan, an employee of a McDonald’s restaurant in Davao Del Sur, Philippines, beat out second place winner Jin Hur from Goyang City, South Korea, and third place winner Jesus Molinares from Lima, Peru.

Capuyan performed Destiny’s Child’s “Stand Up for Love,” and wowed an audience of more than 14,000 McDonald’s franchisees, suppliers, and company employees. The panel of four judges who voted Capuyan this year’s Voice of McDonald’s winner were Grammy Award–winning R&B singer Estelle, chairman and CEO of Atom Factory Inc.’s Troy Carter, Grammy Award–winning music producer Walter Afanasieff, and entertainment attorney Ken Hertz.

Capuyan won $25,000, two VIP tickets to the Lady Gaga “Monster Ball Tour” concert in Los Angeles in August, and a new MacBook computer. The second and third place winners took home $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

The Voice of McDonald’s singing competition offers a chance to all 1.6 million McDonald’s restaurant employees around the world to showcase their talent. More than 10,400 employees entered last year’s competition.

Rich Floersch, senior vice president of global human relations, was one of the original organizers of the first competition in 2005, and he continues to be a part of the program today. “We wanted to showcase the talent that we have within our restaurant to a wonderful audience,” he says. “I think what it does is it shows that when you’re employing more than 1.7 million people, you have talent within the organization. It just shows the caliber of the talent that McDonald’s has in the system, and it’s a wonderful way to showcase it. Plus it gives them an opportunity to chase their dreams.”

For the first time in the competition’s history, special workshop sessions were held this year among the judges and the top 12 contestants.

“We actually had the judges stick around on Tuesday morning, and they sat down with all the finalists and gave them advice about how they could pursue their career even more … so that was extremely well-received,” Floersch says.

“Somebody came over to me and said, ‘What do you think somebody would pay for something like this? Just to have this caliber of talent be able to help you?’ And we’re providing it to these 12 extremely talented people. It was incredible.”

By Jill Watral

News, McDonald's