Instructive duel of veteransBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Last Sunday, Sept. 8, we made it a point to catch “The Voice of the Philippines” because of the impending “duel” for survival between top veteran singing bets Darryl Shy and Mitoy. Last week, Mitoy brought the house down when he garnered an unprecedented 80 percent of the popular vote. Would he duplicate that feat the following Sunday?
That dizzying prospect was decidedly iffy, because Darryl had his share of avid followers. If Mitoy thrilled listeners with the clarion-clear power of his voice, Darryl delighted his own fans with his less in-your-ear but similarly distinctive vocal stylings.
Thus, their “duel” was shaping up as a squareoff between two different styles of vocal performance, each with its own merits. So, the final outcome of the votes for each singer last Sept. 8 could tell us a thing or two about which style local music fans favored.
Final “relevant” note: The fact that both singers were mature performers was a big boost for veteran vocalists in these parts, where giddily young singing stars generally rule. Our hope is that with the mature finalists in “The Voice” leading the way, local music fans will appreciate other veteran singers, and make their textured vocal renditions popular and “relevant” once again.
Mitoy and Darryl were fully aware of the significance of their vocal squareoff, so they gave their competition numbers everything they had. Then, mentor Lea Salonga was required to prefer one over the other, and she opted to go for Mitoy, 60-40.
But, what about the popular vote? When it finally came in, it was an “instructive” shocker: More viewer-voters went for Darryl than those who voted for Mitoy! A clear difference of opinion there between mentor and viewers. More instructively, last Sept. 8’s vote went against the 80-percent vote in Mitoy’s favor just a week before. It could be interpreted to mean that, when push comes to shove, more viewers favor meaningful, textured singing over sheer vocal power.
This view is underscored by the fact that the song Darryl chose to sing was more meaningful and significant in terms of “lyrical content” than Mitoy’s performance piece.
This unexpected outcome in the popular vote did not prevent Mitoy from winning the “duel,” but it must have given him pause—and a lot of food for thought:
If vocal power alone can’t be completely relied on to win the day, then he has to choose his songs for the next rounds of the tilt much more astutely, if he wants to emerge as the final victor in the hotly contested vocal competition.
Two weeks ago, with the unprecedented 80-percent vote he garnered, that outcome looked like a sure thing—but Darryl’s unexpectedly strong showing last Sept. 8 indicates that things are decidedly in a greater state of flux, so nobody can afford to relax.
This view is bolstered by the fact that younger “survivors” like Morissette Amon are similarly impressing the tilt’s viewer-voters. Since local TV has a generally youthful viewership, it’s logical to presume that younger contenders have a “built-in” advantage as vote-magnets—but is it significantly quantifiable?
Perhaps, this key question can be definitely answered only when a young bet like Morissette is pitted in the tilt’s final square off against a mature performer like Mitoy.
Hmm, is this in fact how “The Voice” will ultimately play itself out?! Are we being prescient, or what? Excuse us while we shine up our trusty and hopefully not rusty crystal ball…
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