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Unprecedented

By: - Columnist
/ 11:11 PM September 04, 2013

It is a number I shall remember forever: 82.29.

That was the percentage of public votes garnered by one of Team Lea’s members, Mitoy. During our second Live Show of “The Voice of the Philippines” on Sunday night, the public vote for my team was the last to be revealed. A technical snafu prematurely gave the news away to the audience inside the Newport Performing Arts Theater (Resorts World Manila) via the LED screen in the back, except for the actual numbers, which were obscured by a set piece. When Toni Gonzaga announced that Mitoy had garnered 82.29 percent of the votes that evening, the audience erupted into a thunderous ovation.

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The actual telecast’s flow from start to finish was a little tighter (fewer production numbers; focus was on the competition). We started a half hour earlier, at around

8 p.m. as opposed to the previous Sunday’s 8:30 p.m. start.

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It kind of had us off kilter for a hot second, but we were relieved that we would head home a little earlier than we initially thought. And the performers exceeded their coaches’ expectations.

Dress rehearsals

I was present for everyone’s dress rehearsals, so I had an idea of what to expect at show time. The things that went on were interesting: a costume that didn’t look good on camera had to be changed; a new pair of shoes that weren’t comfortable were switched for something tried and tested; vocal trouble in rehearsals which left me in doubt as to what the performance would be (I didn’t have to worry, the singer did great); huddles in the house; conferences between coaches and artists for last minute instructions; and stylists figuring out if the looks they determined were working, both for the stage and for the screen. For everyone’s final look, I think the stylists did a fantastic job. All the artists (and even the dancers, coaches, and hosts) looked wonderful.

The coaches had much to figure out too, on their artists’ behalf… for Diday Garcellano, this task was a bit more difficult. She is a vocalist whose unique singing style leans naturally to lyrics and not to complicated vocal runs. We went through many songs before deciding on “Rumour Has It” by Adele. Her delivery would be very different from the original version. Diday has a vocal quality that I really enjoy listening to. Unfortunately, I had to let her go and say goodbye, but felt truly blessed to have known her and her wonderful parents, and to have been touched by her positivity. This young woman knows the meaning of getting back up after a fall, so I am assured of her strength of self and character.

Next up was Kimpoy, who was tireless in his preparation for his rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (also performed by Jeff Buckley). I heard him warming up in the bathroom quite a few times just to be ready, as his dress rehearsal was a bit sketchy by both our standards. He performed very well on Sunday, well enough to deserve the Coach’s Save on this night. The Save served as my birthday gift to him, as Kimpoy would be turning 17 the following day. There is still a lot this young man can give. Let’s see how far he can be pushed.

A phenomenon

As for Mitoy… I don’t know that there are words in the English (or any other) language to adequately describe the phenomenon that he is. He is the lead singer of The Draybers, a popular show band that plays gigs in clubs in our fair metropolis. From what I’ve heard, The Draybers (Mitoy in particular) has fans who fill any and every venue where the band performs. For “The Voice,” he is on stage solo, taking it all in by himself. He’s doing just fine, and his powerhouse performance of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” might as well have been a signage atop his shaven head. If he keeps this up, he is unstoppable, and I am looking forward to his next performance.

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So now on Team Lea, there are only four singers with the dream of becoming the first Voice of the Philippines: Mitoy, Kimpoy Mainit, Darryl Shy and Radha.

Last contenders

Team Apl’s got Janice Javier (who turned in a stellar rendition of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” that brought the house down), Penelope Matanguihan (her take on John Legend’s “Take It Slow” was smooth), Thor and Jessica Reynoso; Kamp Kawayan moves forward with Isa Fabregas (who did Carole King right with her performance of “You’ve Got a Friend”), Paolo Onesa (who made the girls swoon with James Morrison’s “You Give Me Something”), Lee Grane and Myk Perez; and Team Sarah rocks with Maki Ricafort (oh, what a heartfelt “Without You,” originally by Charlie Wilson), Klarisse de Guzman (who roared with Madcon’s “Beggin’”), Eva delos Santos and Morissette Amon.

Meanwhile, the noncompeting artists jammed with Coach Sarah on Katy Perry’s “Roar”.

The competition has four more Live Shows left. Get ready for things to heat up with even more amazing performances by our artists. Stay with us on our journey, this is getting good.

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TAGS: “The Voice of the Philippines”, Music, Television
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