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‘TnT’ judges’ ‘good problem’ on grand finals today

By: - Reporter
/ 12:10 AM September 18, 2021

By the time the “Tawag ng Tanghalan” (TnT) reaches the grand finals today, every single contestant will have been good enough for the title. This makes choosing the right winner a tremendous challenge and responsibility for the judges. But at the end of the day, it’s “a good problem” to have, they said.

“When we say everyone is good, we’re not being plastik. It’s a tough, but good problem. We enjoy listening to everyone—they all have the talent and they are highly skilled in their craft. It’s a task we have to take care of,” judge Louie Ocampo, a renowned composer-arranger, said in a virtual conference for the grand finals for the contest’s fifth season.

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Eight aspirants will vie for the title: Reiven Umali, Froilan Cedilla, Psalm Manalo, Gem Christian, Adrian Manibale, Anthony Castillo, Lorraine Galvez and Aixia Mallary. The winner will receive P1 million, a brand new house and lot worth P2.3 million, a recording contract with ABS-CBN Music, a management contract under Star Magic’s Polaris and a trophy designed by National Artist Toym Imao. “They’re all good because they have been through various screenings. But our target as judges is to discover new talent. So every season, our requirements level up. We want to see someone different and better. All of the past four champions are amazing in their own styles and genres. But we’re always asking ourselves, ‘What will be this year’s champion offer?’” balladeer Jed Madela said.

Different judges

Because the judges come from different musical backgrounds, their taste and preferences will naturally vary.

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“We all share this responsibility or burden of making the correct decision… However, we have different skill sets as musicians, so our perceptions of what’s good or beautiful will be different,’ singer-actor Nyoy Volante said. “It’s especially hard when they’re all good. Sometimes, we find ourselves having discussions right after the performances. But ultimately, we share the same goal.”

Other factors to consider

Though vocal quality is the most important judging criteria, there are also other factors to consider. “Sometimes, our personal choices can also be based on things like, ‘Will this contestant have audience appeal? Are they in it for the long term?’ Judging is hard, especially when you have a limited time to decide,” Jed said.

Meanwhile, Nyoy stressed that sad backstories should have no bearing in the result. “We all know that everyone is going through hard times because of the pandemic, including some of the contestants. And it’s a challenge for us not to get affected by that. It’s difficult for us human beings because we’re empathetic to the people around us … but if we were to get affected, it should be only from a human standpoint,” he said. Being fair

“But from the standpoint of a judge, you have to do your job. It will be unfair for everyone else if you feel like you have to be lenient to someone because of what he or she is going through,” Nyoy added. The grand finals will air as part of “It’s Showtime” on the A2Z and Kapamilya channels; Kapamilya Online Live on ABS-CBN and the iWantTFC app.

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