This is it!By Lea Salonga | Philippine Daily Inquirer
The blind auditions, battles, the series of live shows—all on a road leading to this final day. Mark the date: Sunday, Sept. 29. It’ll be the final showdown of the four grand finalists of “The Voice of the Philippines.”
Representing Team Apl is Janice Javier; for Team Bamboo, Myk Perez; Team Sarah, Klarisse de Guzman; and for Team Lea, Mitoy.
It all went by so quickly … in a blink of an eye. The Day of Reckoning is almost at hand. (Yes, I know I’m being a tad overdramatic, but given the drama of the competition from the start of the first season on June 15, you’ve got to give me a little leeway.)
The diversity of the grand finalists is reflected not only in their physical appearances, but also in their vocal qualities and the music they choose to sing. Mitoy is a rock tenor, sort of a cross between former Journey frontman Steve Perry and Air Supply lead singer Russell Hitchcock. His singing is clean and precise, cutting from top to bottom. Myk is a romantic at heart, judging by the songs he’s selected throughout the competition.
Janice is Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin rolled into one. She has a huge soul housed in her body, but she isn’t all emotion. Because of her experience as a vocalist, she is deadly accurate and hasn’t sung a bad or wrong note since her blind audition.
Finally, we have Klarisse, Sarah’s former adversary on “Star for a Night” who had come away empty-handed. Gifted with a deep, smooth vocal quality akin to hot chocolate on a rainy day, it’s a soulful tone that is easy on the ear.
None of the judges is taking anything for granted at this final stage. We still will be coaching, aiding our artists to shine. However, there will be no more Coach’s Vote.
You, members of the viewing public: You alone will get to decide who will take home the title, “The Voice of the Philippines.”
As always, text votes and online votes will be counted, but there is now an added component: iTunes downloads. Each download from the date of release will be equivalent to five public votes, and will all count toward the final score on Sunday.
I am most excited by the original music: Mitoy has “Bulag,” Klarisse has “Slowly,” Myk has “Fix You” and Janice has “Coming Home.” I strongly suggest downloading all four, plus each artist’s cover song, as they are excellently performed.
However, it isn’t just the grand finalists who have their music available on iTunes for your downloading pleasure. All the music by the Top 8 is now there, which makes me so happy. (Just FYI, how an artist sounds live may not reflect how they sound recorded, so if you didn’t like their live performance, don’t hold it against them when figuring out what to download.)
For Sunday night, aside from the competition, the four coaches will be performing together, as well as with their artist and a surprise guest. The Top 24 will also be returning to perform. Oh, backstage at Newport Performing Arts Theater will be a very busy, lively place.
Truth be told, as competitive as each coach is with wanting their artist to take the title home, I honestly feel as though we’ve already won with the final four currently in place. Every one of them has a compelling tale to tell, of love and loss, of missed opportunities and second chances.
But at the forefront is their talent. And these four are all supremely gifted.
After the winner is crowned on Sunday, what happens? With a smile I now say, they become part of the music scene that we all love so much. And the public will be treated to incredibly talented singers who will change the landscape of the industry. With each season of “The Voice,” more color, style and flavor will be added.
So before our grand finals night even happens, allow me to invite you to give “The Voice of the Philippines” a shot. If you have what it takes to make it in this competition—true honest-to-goodness singing talent—then please audition. If you think you’re soulful like Radha or Janice, possess a smooth tone like Klarisse or Paolo, belt to the heavens like Morissette or Mitoy, or make the ladies swoon like Myk or Thor—whatever the music genre—you may have what it takes to become the next person to hold the title, “The Voice of the Philippines.”
I’m excited already.
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