And then there were three
On Sunday, Aug. 21, only three young artists were left standing after all the singing was done. “The Voice Kids,” or TVK, is approaching the end of its third season with these three: Antonetthe Tismo for Team Sharon, Justin Alva for Team Bamboo, and Joshua Oliveros for Team Lea.
Each of these kids has been through the wringer: Blind Auditions, besting thousands of other kids just to get one of their respective coach’s 24 precious slots; Battle Rounds, where they directly go against two of their teammates to advance to the next round; the Sing-offs, where they pick one song, hoping to grab one of three slots for the Live Semifinals.
And finally, it was the audience who decided who the grand finalists will be.
The demand for these kids immediately triples. Each one competes with not just one, but three songs, much like in seasons past.
After all is said and done, the champion will be proclaimed, then they’ll sing to celebrate their win. At which point, all of us involved in the show will get to enjoy the end of another great season.
This go-around has given us a treasure trove of talent from all over our fair country. And, as previous contestants have proven, you don’t have to win to have a future in this business.
Darren Espanto has a wonderful singing career. Esang de Torres has proven her worth as Little Cosette in “Les Miserables,” both in Manila and Singapore. Sam Shoaf and Luke Alford are now regulars on the Yey Channel. And JK Labajo and Kyle Echarri were recently in “I Love OPM” (which JK had to leave because of his stay in Kuya’s house in “Pinoy Big Brother”).
The only thing any of us can do is make sure the kids are prepared, that the songs chosen for them are right for the occasion (as well as the singer), and that they leave it all on the stage.
It’s up to these young ones now. Let your voices be heard, indeed.
Always a day away
Just before TVK rehearsals began at Resorts World, I was able to hang out briefly with Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Michael Williams before their rehearsal for “Annie.” Because of traffic, some of their personnel hadn’t yet arrived, which makes showing up on time a challenge. Oh well, things will be what they will be, I guess.
A week or so before that, I sat in on one rehearsal and got to hear the music being performed. Just listening to that material threw me back to my childhood, when I was 9 years old and starring in this same show.
The lives of all those kids—most especially Isabeli Elizalde and Krystal Brimner, who share the title role—will never be the same. And I wish everyone the best of luck.
It’s incredible how these two things have converged at this time in my life: on the stage floor, I get to coach kids for TVK. And in the upstairs rehearsal room, the songs of my past are being rehearsed, in preparation for the grand opening on Sept. 30.
It’s possible that someday, one of those girls upstairs will be sitting in a red chair of her own, after playing the iconic redhead in that red dress singing about optimism and a brighter future.
There are no accidents or coincidences. If anything, knowing that “Annie” is being rehearsed just upstairs from us is a great reminder to keep paying it forward, giving back to the Universe what was once generously given.
To say I am grateful is an understatement.
“The Voice Kids Season 3” will air for one more weekend at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday, while “Annie” begins its run at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila on Sept. 30.
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