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Expect no mercy from ‘PGT’ judge Vice Ganda

By: - Reporter
/ 11:20 PM January 14, 2016

“MORE than anything, we don’t want the show to be called ‘Pilipinas Got Awa,’” according to comedian Vice Ganda, who is one of the four judges of the fifth and latest season of the reality series, “Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT).”

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The show will premiere on ABS-CBN on Jan. 23.

Vice said he would make sure that the latest batch of contestants “are really deserving and were not picked out of pity.”

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Vice will work closely with fellow judges, Robin Padilla, Angel Locsin and former ABS-CBN president Freddie M. Garcia (FMG).

“I expect to see acts that will move me and touch my soul. I will choose those that will satisfy my eyes and ears,” Vice told reporters on Tuesday during the first day of auditions at the Kia Theater in Cubao, Quezon City.

As a judge, Vice promised to “simply have fun.” He added: “I will make sure that the talents we will pick are  deserving—after all, the winner will bring home a cash prize of P2 million!”

The past four PGT winners—Jovit Baldivino, Marcelito Pomoy, The Maasinhon Trio and Roel Manlangit—are singing acts.

FMG, who has been a judge since the first season, said he and the three new judges “had beautiful chemistry during the dry-run on Monday night. They each have different personalities—Vice is very strict, while Robin and Angel are both nice.”

Garcia said they were ready to watch some 240 performances. “We will be auditioning 40 contestants a day for the next three days in Manila, and another three days in Davao. We hope to find the best talents,” he pointed out.

As a judge, Padilla said he would be “every contestants’ ally. I will not be too strict, but at the same time not too lenient. I will not pretend to be a know-it-all. I will just say what is from my heart.”

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Padilla then talked about his and the  other judges’ “differences in style.” He shared with the

Inquirer: “FMG is a star-builder. He’s my idol. If he is the guy looking at you from above, I’d be the guy holding your hand.”

He added: “With Vice, you’ll never know when he is serious. He always has a punch line. Angel  is always ready to share some words of wisdom. She is perfect as a judge.” Locsin and Padilla last worked together in the 2013 sitcom, “Todamax,” also on ABS-CBN.

Locsin said she hoped to see talents that are “world-class, although we know that talent alone is not enough to be successful in show business. For people to really love and support you, you have to have magic!”

Locsin will be working with boyfriend Luis Manzano, who will cohost the show with Billy Crawford. Manzano swore that any    personal issue he would have with Locsin would not affect their work. “We have to be professional—that’s the most important thing. We don’t want to take the spotlight away from the contestants. They worked hard to get here. They should be made to shine.”

“I’m sure that when Angel sits as a judge, she will focus on the contestants and not on Luis. I will make sure of that,” Crawford quipped. “I wish all the contestants luck. The show will be  a lot of fun!”

Asked how the combination of judges was decided on, business unit head Lui Andrada said: “We want a group that can relate to the masses—this is not to say that the old group is not relatable. Robin is the idol of the masses. Combine him with Vice, who is a comedian and Angel, an intense actress—and we’ll surely cater to a wider  audience.”

Andrada said that while Garcia earlier expressed his intention to quit the show, the production team had managed to convince him to work for one more season. “We  need his eye for talent. I guess he got tired of working long hours for the show. At least he was able to take a break from it for two years.”

Among the changes that will be introduced in the latest season is the golden buzzer, which was first used in the German version of the “Got Talent” franchise.

Andrada explained that during the auditions, aside from the standard buzzers, there will be a golden buzzer placed at the center of the judges’ desk. Each judge is allowed to press the buzzer once. This will automatically send the auditionee to the live semifinals round.

“The judge can do this even if the other three judges say ‘no’ to an auditionee,” Andrada explained. “They also have the choice not to use it for anyone. Ideally, the golden buzzer should be used for that one act that a judge feels so strongly about.”

Last year in “Asia’s Got Talent,” American songwriter and judge David Foster hit the golden buzzer for Filipino opera singer Gerphil Flores, while Indonesian artist Anggun hit it for the group El Gamma Penumbra, which eventually became the grand champion.

E-mail mcruz@inquirer.com.ph

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TAGS: Angel Locsin, Entertainment, FMG, Pilipinas Got Talent, Robin Padilla, Vice Ganda
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