Better bets ‘X-ed’ on talent tiltBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
We fervently hope that the first two “elimination Sundays” on “X-Factor Philippines” don’t set a pattern for the talent tilt, because the show’s viewer-voters ended up voting off two of the better contenders.
First to be booted out was tall, sexy and husky-voiced Jerrianne Templo. The following Sunday, handsome balladeer and pop exponent Mark Mabara also undeservedly bit the dust.
What was going on? Do the other bets have bigger and more active “vote-generating machines,” or are the program’s viewers unable to recognize exceptional talent?
Another possibility: Both Jerrianne and Mark came off as “classy” performers— could some viewers feel intimidated by them and thus prefer to support lesser talents who are easier for them to relate to?
Whatever the reason, we trust that this “eliminate the unrelatable” propensity won’t become the rule for the tilt, or it could end up with “final-finalists” who are wildly popular but not very good singers. A “winner” who hits a sour note at the very end of the contest? That would never do.
What was noteworthy and perhaps instructive about Mark’s premature debacle was the fact that there were two other young male finalists who were similar to him on point of persona, musical style and appeal—yet, they survived. Which just goes to show the subjective nature of the tilt’s selection and voting-off process.
Since we aren’t privy to the number of votes that each finalist gets each week, we can’t compare their showing on point of relative viewer approval, and we just have to react to each week’s results as they come.
Other hopefully relevant observations: Two Sundays ago, the finalists’ musical numbers tended to be big, brash and full of gimmicky “production values,” major dance support and other in-your-face distractions that could have been resorted to in order to make a great first impression— or to cover up some finalists’ deficiencies.
Last Aug. 12, however, we were relieved to see that the hyper, hard-sell gimmicks were generally gone, and the focus was more on the singing. Let’s hope that this clearer focus is sustained up to the end of the competition, so that the tilt and its viewers will end up picking a real winner.
This early, two or three front-runners in terms of talent and uniqueness are making their mark. Will they hang on for dear life up to the final fade? That’s up to the viewer-voters, so the suspense is not killing us.
Now, for some possibly irrelevant notes: Juror Pilita Corrales is dressing less fussily and thus better these days, but Charice’s “golden” locks are turning out to be a major distraction—as is her continually “evolving” wardrobe.
She started out favoring the “glitz butch” look, but last Aug. 12, she looked decidedly matronly. Was she channeling Dolly Parton? Charice is still in her early 20s and Dolly is in her 50s, so that’s not a good way to go!
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