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All for the love of OPM

/ 12:37 AM May 29, 2016

Last season, one of the new TV programs we went out of our way to support was “I Love OPM” because it showcased locally composed pop songs, which are generally upstaged in this still-“colonial” land by imported music.

The fact that the show used foreign singers to interpret OPM songs only made its supportive intentions clearer and more convincing, hence our fond wish that a second season of the “enlightening” musical competition be launched forthwith.

Before that happens however, another OPM-boosting show, “We Love OPM,” has just started telecasting on Saturdays and Sundays on ABS-CBN.

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We caught its debut telecast on May 14, after “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” to see how it intended to achieve its similarly worthy objective:

Program host Anne Curtis introduced singing icon Martin Nievera, who performed an OPM song and later in turn presented other singers like Jay-R, Richard Poon and KZ Tandingan as mentors of competing teams of interpreters.

Each trio of soloists would do a fresh take on an OPM number, then Martin and the studio audience would score their efforts, to determine the best group performance.

First off was KZ’s group of three female soloists, and their performance got a high performance score of 90 percent—which turned out to be the evening’s top mark.

Next came a less homogenized trio of singing starlets mentored by Jay-R. Right off the bat, we saw—and heard—that they were generally less competent singers, and their voices didn’t blend, as well. True enough, they got a decidedly lower total score.

The third group was Richard Poon’s trio of teen “boys next door,” who charmed listeners and viewers, with their light blithe ditty.

Like the second group, they were flawed singers—but their youth and the effervescence of their performance helped make up for their weak “off” notes, so they got a higher score (88) than the second group.

Initial lessons learned: The interpreters chosen to compete in the tilt generally have to be better singers.

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The production shouldn’t be used just as an “exposure” or “training” opportunity for the “still learning” young singers—because the high level of its intentions makes even minor mistakes sound major and, thus, unacceptable.

In addition, the star-mentors should be given more time to work on their wards’ performance.

The usual quick-fix process doesn’t help, so everybody has to give training and rehearsal sessions many more hours to produce really improved results.

Third, Curtis and her “sidekick,” Eric Nicolas, have to work harder to really “own” the show, as all TV hosts and cohosts should.

Fourth, the tilt’s judging system is too off-hand and has to be made more decisive and definite.

The “iconic” singer for the week can be relied on to come up with a well-considered verdict, but the studio audience is patently less reliable and more prone to react more subjectively.

So, this weak link in the show’s judging procedure needs to be decisively firmed up.

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TAGS: “I Love OPM”, Music, OPM, Original Pilipino Music, TV, We Love OPM
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