The road to the finals
THE ATMOSPHERE is intense. The air is permeated by tension and stress. Fear of the unknown grips everyone involved. All this in a kids’ singing contest.
“The Voice Kids” just finished semifinals and, as anticipated, on Sunday night when the results were revealed, there were floods of tears being shed both by those who made it into the Final 4, and those who did not. The families of these incredible young artists cried along with them, whether in celebration or commiseration.
Making it into the grand finals next weekend are Sassa Dagdag and Elha Nympha from Team Bamboo, and Reynan Dal-Anay and Esang de Torres from Team Lea. The competition will get even tougher for the coaches and the artists, as there will be more performances that our viewing audience will then be able to vote for: there will be a duet with a guest artist, an upbeat solo and a ballad. On Sunday, Aug. 30, a brand-new Grand Champion will be crowned.
Just this past weekend, a brand-new voting scheme was introduced for the semis: everyone could vote only once per SIM card for the entire weekend. For example, if you voted on Saturday and received confirmation that your vote got in, you would not be able to vote again on Sunday. No voting for an artist 30 times. No voting for more than one artist. We were all forced to pick one artist to stand with for the weekend, and then type in the name to vote for him or her.
The kids—God bless them all—did very well. Stirring renditions, complicated vocals and emotional connection. Their solo performances on Saturday night got great hands from the Resorts World audience, all of whom brought banners, signs and balloons, and wore T-shirts to support their favorite young artist and their favorite coach.
As fantastic as Saturday was, I personally enjoyed the production numbers on Sunday. Kyle Echarri, Sassa and Reynan sang a mash-up of “Saranggola ni Pepe” and “Ang Pipit,” while Zephanie Dimaranan, Esang and Elha performed a mash-up of “Flashdance (What a Feeling)” and “Fame.” Last year on this same stage, I remember the three of us coaches were seized by tension as the girls sang “Let It Go,” and the boys performed “One Way or Another,” our expressions and actions caught on camera.
Whenever the results are announced, it’s never ever easy. Our hearts start pounding out of our chests, and all we can do is hold our young ones tight and hope for the best. The anticipation is the worst part. There is plenty of waiting. I try to keep my eye on the stage manager giving Luis Manzano, our host, the go-ahead to make the announcement, in an attempt to manage my stress levels. Once I see the signal given, we brace ourselves for what comes next: the name of the person going through.
Of course, each coach wants to hear the name of the artist on his or her team. Even just one name would make this night bearable. Hearing two names is a bonus, like last season when Team Sarah got two artists into the Top 4. But, all anyone needs to have a shot at the championship is one.
This weekend is going to be a nail-biter. It’s guaranteed to be crazy, for sure it’ll be intense. But without a doubt it’s going to be a night that will change the life of one special young artist. Beyond the prizes, the recording contract and the brand-new house, to be named the Grand Champion of “The Voice Kids” is something very special.
It’s the start, that first real tangible step toward a career in the music industry. For that artist, I pray that he or she is ready for the whirlwind journey that is to begin.
Fasten your seatbelt, kid. It’s going to be one heck of a ride.
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