WE’RE GLAD YOU CAME The Inquirer.net captures the highlights of the final show of the American Idol Season 11 summer concert season held Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. VIDEO BY INQUIRER.NET’S DON LEJANO/EDITED BY CATHY MIRANDA
MANILA, Philippines—The American Idol Season 11 summer concert tour had its final show, not surprisingly, in the Philippines. It was also the second time in two years that an AI tour found its way into the country. The Philippines was a most logical venue for the Season 11’s closing concert, as the country, as far as the AI is concerned, is almost like an adjunct of the US, especially since at least five Filipino-Americans have made it to the finals of America’s No. 1 reality singing competition.
The concert tour indeed ended on a rousing note Friday night before an SRO crowd of over 10,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
As early as 7 p.m., people started streaming in inside the coliseum for the concert, which started at 8:30. Many came for AI first runner-up Jessica Sanchez, whose mother is from Bataan province, but American Idol as a reality show brand was an attraction in itself. Some people said the tour would not have been held here if there was no Fil-Am among the top 10. There may be some semblance of truth to this as the Season 10 tour concert in the Philippines last year also included a Fil-Am finalist, Thia Megia.
Although Jessica, together with Joshua Ledet and Colton Dixon, provided a big draw, the star of the show was still Phillip Phillips, and the concert producer meant it to be so. After all, he is the American Idol winner. And he managed to rouse the Araneta crowd to its hollering best when he appeared on stage. He was meant for the finale, reserved for the star, as he was not even a part of the group singing “Just the Way You Are”/”What Makes You Beautiful,” which was the final number of the first part of the concert. Many in the audience were kept wondering, “Where’s Phillip? What happened? Will he perform?” They would have been disappointed if he did not.
When Phillip finally appeared after the 25-minute intermission and after Jessica, 5th placer Skylar Laine, 4th placer Hollie Cavanagh and 3rd placer Ledet sang, the crowd let out a thunder that equaled, if not surpassed that for Jessica.
Jessica even provided a beautiful vocal backing to Phillip when he sang Damien Rice’s “Volcano.” And she did not steal the star from Phillip.
The highlight of the concert was, of course, Phillip’s coronation song and debut single, “Home,” written by Drew Pearson. The audience whooped it up and clapped rhythmically during the singing. All the other Idols joined him on stage during the refrain, which was rather mournful. After the Manila concert, the Idols were going their separate ways. But as the lyrics state, “Just know you’re not alone / Cause I’m going to make this place your home.” That’s the AI, of course.
Jessica, who was the second part’s opener, showed so much class and even showmanship in rendering “Proud Mary” as well as “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?” In both songs she was provided vocal backing by Joshua, who could have been either the American Idol or the first runner-up, and 8th placer DeAndre Brackensick, who is Jessica’s boyfriend. Both back-ups were themselves excellent showmen.
Joshua, for his part, awed the audience which, at one moment, was spellbound in silence before breaking into rousing yells of appreciation with his rendering of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Afterward, Joshua and Jessica, both gifted with powerful vocal chords, did a duet of “I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)” and it brought the house down.
All the 10 Idols finally sang “Glad You Came,” a hit song by the The Wanted British-Irish boy band, which also performed in Manila days before the AI show. “I’m glad you came, I’m glad you came,” so the refrain goes. The Idols were glad their Filipino fans came to fill the coliseum seats to overflowing. As 10th placer Erika Van Pelt tweeted after the concert, “Manila!!! You guys came out strong for us tonight….”
The Filipinos audience was equally thankful the Idols came for their last show of their season tour to Manila.
Will we see another AI concert, of Season 12’s top 10, next year? You bet, if another Fil-Am is in the top 10.