Sunday, July 16, 2006

Visayas Main Auditions, A Goldmine Of Talent

The high expectations that faced musically-inclined Visayans were exceeded as Philippine Idol judges Francis Magalona, Pilita Corrales, and Ryan Cayabyab, gave a total of 36 Gold Passes that were held last week at the state-of-the-art International Academy for Film and Television (or Big Foot Entertainment) located in Mactan Island, Cebu.

After what was described as a "disappointing" Mindanao Audition, the judges were allowed to give at least 33 Gold Passes, more than the usual 25. With an estimated 5,000 that auditioned during the pre-casting stages, 89 had the opportunity to face the Idol judges.

Corrales described that most of the auditioneers are the ones that you would see in bars, clubs, and hotel lounges, but not everyone were brave enough to join the auditions because they were afraid to risk their jobs as professional singers.

A lot of interesting Visayan Gold Passers have emerged from this auditions, among them a tranvestite named Kenneth Paul Alonzo, aged 21. He (let's make that a "she") was described by Cayabyab as someone "who looked and sounded female" and all of the judges were drawn to her singing talent. If Alonzo wins the coveted title, the Philippines would have been the first in the world with a tranvestite "Idol."

Magalona meanwhile singled out Monette Rica Lim, a radiology technician, whom he said in an interview with Inquirer Entertainment as "too good to be true." He said even Corrales joked that she didn't want to pick a contestant prettier than herself.

Other Visayas Gold Passers include James Yebes, a photography student at Big Foot; Fred Abaquita, who first joined "Fam Jam," a family singing competition that Magalona hosted; Mabel So, whom Cayabyab said reminded him of award-winning singer Dessa; Gian Carlo Magdangal, cousin of popular singer-celebrity Jolina Magdangal and a member of singing group 17:28; and Robert Bernadas of Toledo City, who is Cayabyab's bet in the Visayas leg of auditions.

Overall, a total of over 40,000 aspirants tried-out at all Philippine Idol main auditions, truly a rousing success for its first season. We at Philippine Idol Updates congratulate ABC-5 and the staff of Philippine Idol for a job well-done.