Monday, June 12, 2006

Three Days Of Torture And Drama

Last June 8 to 10 was a baptism of fire for Philippine Idol's main judges.

For three days, top-notch composer Ryan Cayabyab (aka Mr. C), Asia's Queen of Songs Pilita Corrales (aka Mamita), and Hip-Hop Hall of Famer Francis Magalona (aka Kiko) faced the shortlisted Luzon aspirants for the first time. This is also where they comment on each contestant much like what we see on American Idol.

And it wasn't an easy job after all.

In a text message to Manila Bulletin, Mr. C confided that he "got so emotionally drained having to say no to all the pleading, pleading, crying, crying."

"This is not fun anymore," he joked in the end of the mesage. "Torture!"

Accomodating around 100 auditioneers a day, the search slowly evolves from what was perceived as an American Idol clone into a show on its own. Basically because the auditions were filled with so much talent and passion for music.

The auditioneers were so impressive, the judges had difficulty finding major vocal faults to them, and instead count on flat notes and mispronounced lyrics.

As much as 70 out of around 300 aspirants got a gold pass, making them eligible for the next round of eliminations, but not without some drama.

Many auditioneers hang on the balance as the continuously pleaded their cases to the judges. They were allowed to sing as much as five songs to redeem themselves during the first day of audition. But the day after, Mr. C decided that one song is enough.

One Alicia Keys-wannabe was so frustrated after Mr. C and Mamita said "no" that she stormed out of the room and walked out, refusing to be interviewed by both the Philippine Idol staff as well as host Ryan Agoncillo.

A student from Laguna was also rejected by the judges and then asked them to sign her numbered sticker.

As posted in a previous article, several recording artists tried their luck in the Philippine Idol auditions. After facing the main judges, some were rejected, and others got in. One artist was so far confirmed and that is Reema Lucido (of Search for a Star and Born Diva).

Other interesting characters who attended the auditions are leather-and-spike-clad rockers, an anime-looking Fil-Korean, and a grandchild of Comedy King Dolphy.

And as a bonus note, one judge (guess which one) lambasted to an aspirant: "You work at a call center, 'di ba? Mag-call center ka na lang."

Meanwhile, Francis M shared his thoughts about his experience as Philippine Idol judge in his blog ( He even wrote his tips and advice for those who want to audition.

Those who got the coveted gold pass will undergo the next plase of auditions starting July 31 at CCP Main Theater where they also get to meet the gold pass receipients from Mindanao and Visayas. This is where they will choose the Top 24, who will perform at ABC Studios in Novaliches.