Expecting the unexpected
Well, well, well. Last weekend, “The Voice of the Philippines” was filled with surprises that not even the coaches or staff could anticipate. This makes this reality show compelling television.
A quick summary: Tanya Diaz (Team Apl) and Mackie Cao (Team Apl) left on Saturday; on Sunday, Kokoi Baldo (Team Sarah) and Nino Alejandro (Team Lea). Three four-chair turners bid goodbye in one weekend, leaving only one to fight for his dream: Rence Rapanot (Team Bamboo). It just goes to show that the number of chairs that turn for an artist doesn’t matter.
You may notice the absence of “comebackers” among the top 8, artists who once had their days in the sun and who seek another chance in the industry, such as Arnee and Nino. Left behind are singers who have been doing the rounds of bars and clubs, random karaoke kiosks at the malls, or open mic nights. One has always had a farm for a stage. These artists are all waiting for that one big break.
The assembly of our top 8 contenders is the result of two very emotionally-charged nights of performances, voting, and coaches’ selections.
Breaking it down
Many of the show’s fans had bet on cool rocker chick Tanya Diaz to make the strongest bid. However, once it came down to her and another strong female, Rita Martinez, Bamboo chose in favor of Rita. Rence Rapanot was his team’s highest vote-getter on Saturday.
For Team Apl, because Alisah Bonaobra had sailed through largely on her crystal-clear performance of “Let It Go,” it was a choice between R&B crooner Daryl Ong (a consistent top vote-getter) and singing contest veteran Mackie Cao (who performed Gloc-9’s “Sirena”). Apl picked Daryl.
On Sunday, once it was announced that Jason Dy got the largest percentage of votes for his team (thanks in large part to his soaring vocals on the South Border hit “Kahit Kailan”), Sarah had a very difficult decision to make. She had to choose between Kokoi Baldo and Monique Lualhati.
Kokoi was an audience favorite (with millions of views on his Blind Audition video) but Monique’s strong performances would also bring her to the top of that team’s leaderboard.
Sarah, visibly emotional, decided in favor of Monique. Kokoi had previously expressed a desire to return to his beloved island; perhaps this was part of Sarah’s deliberation process.
As for my team, I was stunned in all good ways when Timmy Pavino got the team’s highest votes for his rendition of One Direction’s “The Story of My Life,” leaving Leah Patricio and Nino Alejandro in the bottom two. Both Leah (“Because You Loved Me”) and Nino (“I Wanna Know What Love Is”) turned in incredible performances but, in the end, Leah emerged as the coach’s choice to move on to the semifinals this weekend.
The show has proven to be unpredictable for everyone—the audiences watching at home, the staff of “The Voice,” and even the coaches. No one can take anything for granted.
We’re all back to square one, and the competition has gotten hotter. Brains have been reset; song selections, reevaluated. This weekend, the final four will be known.
We can guarantee one thing: amazing vocals and lots of surprises. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be one bumpy ride.
“Miss Saigon” swept the What’sOnStage Awards in London, winning nine out of its 10 nominations. Congratulations!
Best actor in a musical: Jon Jon Briones; best actress in a musical: Eva Noblezada; best supporting actor in a musical: Kwang Ho-hong; best supporting actress in a musical: Rachelle Ann Go;
Best direction: Laurence Connor; best choreography: Bob Avian and Geoffrey Garratt; best set design: Totie Driver and Matt Kinley; best West End show; and best musical revival.
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