Ellen DeGeneres and Filipino YouTube sensationsBy Joseph R. Atilano
It looks like Ellen has become a supporter and benefactress of young Filipino singers who simply want to express their love for singing often perhaps not really knowing they have talent that everyone should see and hear. The latest Filipino talents to get the attention of the popular talk-show host are cousins Aldrich Talonding and James Bucong from General Santos City who performed an acoustic cover of ”Dance With My Father” on YouTube. Seeing that video of the cousins was enough for Ellen to invite them to appear on her show and they have happily accepted her invitation.
Ellen is really scanning and in some way searching for these talents. She provides the platform for our aspiring singers to not only receive worldwide attention but possible support outside the Philippines, via the exposure in the limited yet valuable minutes the aspiring singers receive on her show.
You can say that Ellen DeGeneres has become a “beacon of hope” for our aspiring singers, especially the struggling singers, who have posted their performances on YouTube. I don’t know and I can’t say with complete certainty if she has a soft spot for Filipino talents but her selfless actions indicate she does care. Just look at what she has done for other Filipino singers who have guested on her show in the likes of Arnel Pineda, Charice Pempengco and Zendee Rose Tenerefe. Their apperances have all paid off for them in various ways.
Ellen has afforded them a chance at bigger fame when others would not have given them that opportunity. Neither would they have taken the “risk” of bringing in a relative newcomer or a complete unknown outside of their own native countries into their shows. But look at these select individuals now! Didn’t the exposure work out for them? Aren’t we all proud of how far the careers of Arnel, Charice, and Zendee have reached? I sure am.
After Arnel, Charice, and Zendee guested on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” more people now are vying for media attention and hoping for a shot at instant fame by posting their videos on YouTube and just maybe, someone with the clout that Ellen DeGeneres has can give them the breaks or at the very least provide them the launching pad to fame. This raises the question? Just what is the percentage of those who post their videos covering a song and singing their own original composition will make it?
To be handpicked and given the privilege of appearing in such shows like Ellen’s is almost like going through the eye of a needle. What qualifies Ellen DeGeneres to choose which talent should appear on her show, you may ask? Well, wasn’t she a judge for ‘American Idol’ a few years ago? To be able to recognize talent and to see talent in music don’t always necessarily mean you have to be from the same “world” of music. You just have to have the ear and the eye for it.
YouTube has really become a “portal” through which people all over the world can watch you perform and showcase any talent you have and believe you may have. It doesn’t have to be always singing and dancing. You get the picture. What would seem impossible maybe 12 years ago to have Filipino singers appear on a talk show in the States has now become a reality, thanks to YouTube being the resource and tool for people like Ellen to spot them.
The bulk of people who post themselves either singing or dancing, or doing both, on YouTube have some semblance of talent—mostly, talent that is raw and not yet well-honed. But a select few are worth investing in and keeping an eye out for in the future given that the right kind of support comes their way. Until such time that some of these talents get to fully unlock their potential, in most cases, it does become a wait-and-see period wherein it would take time for them to come out of their shells that are hindering them.
When Ellen started bringing in Filipino singers to appear on her show, it made others think and ask themselves: “Why does she do it”? Why would she go out of her way to even care for our singers? It just really speaks well of her and proves her unselfish motives which motivated our struggling singers to strive more and to do their best to get attention where they need it the most and which would best serve their long term goals as well.
Whether more people realize this or not, inadvertently, Ellen DeGeneres has become a supporter in big proportions for raw talents that represent OPM. The eyes of the world are indeed watching YouTube and scanning thoroughly those videos posted. But kudos to Ellen for acknowledging and praising Filipino singers! How I wish more celebrities were like her.
The “Gwiyomi” thing
Speaking of videos on YouTube, the “Gwiyomi” thing is too silly to be taken seriously. I have nothing against people who have jumped on the trend and are riding along with this latest fad. But really? Can you imagine seeing your favorite rock stars doing this? This is like “kryptonite” to every rocker out there. Watching a dozen of these videos on YouTube made the hair at the back of my neck stand on end. I just find it creepy! But upon reflection, as we keep embracing other cultures, I honestly feel that at times we are selling ourselves short of what we are truly capable of as Filipinos. I wonder, is there any trend started by us Filipinos that is taking place in other countries? That would be something I hope would happen one day.
“Gwiyomi” will eventually fizzle out and be forgotten just like all bad trends that have come and gone in the last several years. I understand there is an unexplainable need to always constantly fit in and to not be left behind at any cost in this day and age, but sometimes better taste should stop that .This is one fad that I am waiting to just fade away and never come back. We are already experiencing an “invasion” of sorts in the country. Should the “invasion” continue even in all forms of entertainment? In my opinion, sometimes we gotta filter what we buy into and to think very well first before posting any video on YouTube. Because you just don’t know if people are laughing with you or are laughing at you in the videos you post?
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