Thursday, August 31, 2006

Heart Evangelista to host Idol Exclusives

A reliable source in ABC confirmed that young actress and veejay Heart Evangelista will host Philippine Idol Exclusives, your daily news and updates show on anything Philippine Idol.

When she will appear for the show, however, is still unconfirmed (although we can surmise that Heart will debut on Monday, September 4).

Idol Exclusives has ben running for three weeks and a lot of juicy info have been featured. For one, we took a peek on what songs some of our Top 12 Men will most likely perform this Saturday at SM Megamall Cinema 3.

Philippine Idol Updates male frontrunner Drae Ybanez would be singing "What You Won't Do for Love" by Bobby Caldwell, while poll runnr-up Jan Nieto practiced "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel.

Baguio rocker Ramirr Grepo will perform the ultimate rock ballad "Bed of Roses" by Bon Jovi, while Gian Carlo Magdangal plans on tracing back to his musical roots by singing Kenny Loggin's "Footloose."

It seems that only Freddie Cabael would be singing a Filipino song, and it's not the usual pop or RnB that we are familiar with. He plans to sing "Macho Guwapito" by Rico J. Puno.

Also, take a look at the picture on your left. This is a miniature of the Philippine Idol stage that will be mounted in SM Megamall. In true Idol fashion, LCD screens and neon lights will fill this stage. Special thanks to jeric234 of Pinoy Exchange for this screencap.

We thank our readers for their continuing support for Philippine Idol Updates. Rest assured that you will get the freshest Idol news here before you see it in other Idol fansites.

N.B.: Do you know that there is a Friendster account that exclusively contains Philippine Idol Gold Passers? You can find the profiles of your favorite Idol hopefuls from Erika Jill, Drae, Christian, Gail, Armarie, Stephanie, and others who have made it in the Top 169 on one account. Now that's what I call "cyberstalking made easy."

Philippine Idol Updates Poll of the Week Statistics

With two days to go before the male semi-finalists of Philippine Idol take the stage at the SM Megacinema, where a state-of-the-art stage has been built for the Philippine Idol broadcasts, the results of four days of informal voting on the Philippine Idol Updates' Poll of the Week has brought in almost 400 votes.

Paul Andrae Ybañez (left, Friendster pic), the charity worker from Cainta, Rizal, leads the pack with 180 votes. Drae earned more than a 45% share of total number of votes cast. Second after him is the singer from Unilever, Jan Kurt Nieto (right, Friendster pic), who registers 80 votes, for a 20% share. Third and fourth from him are Kenneth Dingle, the fast-track survivor, who earns 67 votes, for a 17% share, and Miguel Mendoza, at 16, the youngest competitor in this year's Philippine Idol, with 16 votes (4.1% share). Rounding up the top 5 is theater actor Gian Carlo Magdangal, whose 15 votes give him a 3.6% share.

In the middle of the pack are Joseph Astor (8 votes, 2% share) and Freddie Cabael (4 votes, 1% share).

The bottom five are , and Jasper Onyx Culala and Christian Masaga (3 votes each, 0.8% share), Reymond Sajor (2 votes, 0.5%), and Robert Bernadas and Ramirr Grepo (1 vote each, 0.3% share)

Six Philippine Idol Updates visitors votes that they haven't found a favorite yet (1.5% share), five Philippine Idol Updates visitors don't like any of them. (1.3% share), and two Philippine Idol Updates visitors like them all (0.5% share).

Please note that this is an informal survey, taken even before we've heard any official notes come out of their talented mouths. It is no indication of popularity on the show, nor is it You still have one day to vote before close of voting at 5PM tomorrow.

On behalf of all of us at Philippine Idol Updates, thank you for making us part of your Philippine Idol internet habit. Drop by Philippine Idol Updates for more information, photos, videos and surveys. Thank you very much!

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Top 24! (With Update on Wildcard Round)

After months of speculation, Philippine Idol has finally unveiled its Top 24 candidates, but not without any drama.

Many viewers were probably surprised that a lot of the so-called "professionals" have been ejected after the group performances. The likes of Divo Bayer, Jason Velasquez, Marinel Santos, Ivy Paredes, OJ Mariano, and Floramae Lucida, packed their bags and left CCP after the bad news was delivered by the judges.

A lot of contenders who did well on their auditions were eliminated at the onset of Top 40. We see Jaime Barcelon (a scholar from Julliard) in total disbelief; Cjara being consoled by her bisexual husband; Michelle Belmonte planning to follow her boyfriend in Austria; Rowell Quizon tearfully embracing his new-found friend Freddie Cabael.

The massive ejections turned the historic building into a virtual ghost town as the remaining 40 contenders were all anxious and nervous. They are just this close to make it to the televised semi-finals.

And Markki Stroem seemed to be in a seious struggle. Apparently, he was to leave the country the day after the theater eliminations to pursue his college education. Although he wanted to continue, his parents decided that it would be best for him to join them in Switzerland. He tearfully left the theater; let's hope we'll see more of him in the coming years.

After each and every remaining candidate sing with much passion on stage, it was time for the judges to break the good news or the bad news to them. Each took an elevator leading to the stage, and one of the judges told them whether the made it or not.

Fred Abaquita, the barber from Cebu, didn't make it.

Nerves took over Myla's (the single mom from Cagayan de Oro) singing. She didn't make it either.

Lenebelle Padillo danced her way on stage for the nth time, didn't pass either.

It resulted with a pretty-much diverse and untapped talents from Luzon to Mindanao. Here are your Top 24 Semi-Finalists:

Most remembered thus far for her being partially hearing-impaired,
24-year-old Erika's eardrums were damaged in an accident.

Abigail, 24 years old, started singing professionally at 12 in Cebu.
Now Manila-based, she records commercial jingles, among other things.

Pau, 23, survived a gunshot wound to the ear during a mugging incident
to end up part of the Top 24.

Cherry, 22, first sang her way into Philippine Idol viewers' hearts by
belting out a non-traditional version of the Sex Bomb Girls' Spaghetti.

Armarie, 27, has won various singing contests, including Quest for the Best,
a National Panasonic-sponsored Indonesia-based singing tilt.

Australian Idol also-ran Stephanie Lazaro-Bainbridge, 27,
belted out Anastacia's I'm Outta Love for her initial audition.

21-year-old Ira Marasigan sang Route 66 during her initial audition. The daughter of theater artists Dennis Marasigan and Irma Adlawan, she was 5 when she won her first singing contest.

Maureen, 26, has participated in several singing competitions. She's most excited - who wouldn't be? - about her chances in Philippine Idol.

Infamous for her crush on Philippine Idol judge Francis M., Jellica sings in hotel lounges and bars, having been encouraged by family and friends, including renowned composer George Canseco.

Suey, 26, took time off from her busy schedule as member of a band to be a full-time mother. Her return to the entertainment industry comes in the form of a slot in the top 24.

25-year-old Christina is a Davao-based medical representative.

Elegant and poised Rina, 26, was a singing finalist at the 1998 Metropop Song Festival.
She was the grand prize winner of the Singgaling Ni Pops song contest in 2005.


27-year-old Joseph hails from Angeles City, Pampanga.

Robert, 26, is an artist, painter, and actor from Cebu.

23-year-old Freddie is most remembered for his search for his Afro-American father,
who left him at a young age to return to the US.

Jasper is a 25-year-old was a member of the UP Singing Ambassadors.

A testament to the power of perseverance, Kenneth, 23,
joined the fast-tracks three times before the judges gave him a go-signal.

Ramirr, 26, is a voice teacher at Yamaha. An original composition of his
was a Red Horse Musiklaban winner.

Theater veteran and former boy band member Gian Carlo, 24, returned to his soulful roots
and secured a spot in the Top 24.

26-year-old Christian, a former theater actor and band member, is now a medical technologist
at the Philippine General Hospital.

16-year-old Miguel is the youngest of all the 24 semifinalists, having earned a place after his initial audition at SM Dasmarinas.

24-year-old Jan Kurt works for Unilever Philippines.

27-year-old Reymond was a winner at the 2003 Hamilton Talent Hunt in Canada.
He has released an inspirational album here.

26-year-old Drae volunteers for the Children's Garden of the Philippines and the Children Community Ministries, groups dedicated to alleviating the plight of street children.

(all photos courtesy of

Don't forget to vote for your favorite guy on our Philippine Idol Poll of the Week on the menu bar to your right! :)

UPDATE #1: Representatives of SM Megacinema confirmed that the Philippine Idol Semi-Finals are on a "by invitation" basis. Each semi-finalist is required to bring up to four audience members, while other invites are distributed among the show's presentors (San Mig Coffee Sugar-Free and Smart) and major sponsors (McDonald's and Wow! Magic Sing) as well as some network executives. A lot of anxious PI fans have been wanting to watch the program live. We hope that ABC-5 would someday allow the fans to support their Idols in person.

UPDATE #2: An article in Manila Bulletin confirmed that there will be a WILDCARD PHASE. The four men with the highest votes goes in the Top 12 this Sunday, same with the top 4 females coming September 10. The remaining 16 contestants will battle it out on the Wildcard Round on September 16 to determine the top 2 males and females that will complete the Final 12.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

ABC Sets Philippine Idol to a Faster Pace...Finally!

Answering to clamors from the viewing public, ABC-5 gladly sets Philippine Idol to a faster pace. Now, we will get to know the Top 24 a week earlier than scheduled, and that means TONIGHT!

Not only that, the Spectaculars leading to the Top 12 will also be on a higher ante. Starting on September 2, Saturday, the Top 12 Men of Philippine Idol's Season One will perform live at SM Megamall Cinema 3 (information on how to get tickets will be posted as soon as possible). The public is encouraged to watch it live and vote for their favorites (through landline or text messaging) to show their support for the show. And then on the day after, September 3, the four guys with the lowest votes will get the boot.

Following the trend, this is what the Spectaculars would be scheduled:

SEPTEMBER 2 - Top 12 Male Performance
SEPTEMBER 3 - Top 12 Male Eliminations (4 with lowest votes eliminated)

SEPTEMBER 9 - Top 12 Female Performance
SEPTEMBER 10 - Top 12 Female Eliminations (4 with lowest votes eliminated)

SEPTEMBER 16 - Top 16 (Male and Female) Performance
SEPTEMBER 17 - Top 16 (Male and Female) Eliminations (4 with lowest votes eliminated)

By the time the Top 12 is announced, this is where the competition really heats up. One will be eliminated every week, each performing with all passion and heart, all vying to win your affection.

The judges will not save them, the contenders will not vote for a potential threat.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Top 24: The Juicy Details

No, we will not post any partial list of the confirmed Top 24 candidates. As much as we want to type it, let's also bear in mind that there are Philippine Idol viewers who do not want to be spoiled.

However, we can provide you some juicy info that has been circulating all over the Net.

As you have seen, the scenes from the Theater Eliminations will continue next Sunday, but there are reports that Philippine Idol will formally announce the Top 24 on September 3. They will check-in at Bayview Park Hotel beginning September 4, which only means one thing: If you wanna see them in the flesh, we recommend to lounge around the lobby. Perhaps you could have them sign autographs (and don't forget to share it with us!).

Technically, the Top 24 are not allowed to reveal that they are part of it while the Theater Eliminations are being shown. They are also not allowed to perform at gigs until the Top 24 is announced, which detriments several contestants whose performing at bars is their bread and butter. But once the Top 24 Eliminations begins, they can campaign whatever they want, however they want.

An online source revealed that the composition of the Top 24 consists as such: 1 from Mindanao, 3 from Visayas, and the rest are from Luzon. It is not stated whether the breakdown is according to residence or audition venue.

Meanwhile, the venue for the Performance Shows had a sudden revision. We at PIU were aware that the live shows will be held at PICC. However, we have learned from an unconfirmed online source that ABC-5 is tossing up between SM Megamall Cinema 3 or SM Mall of Asia Music Hall as its show venue. Not that there is anything wrong with that. We think that the change of location, if this is true indeed, would make it more reachable for the masses.

The Top 24 Performance Shows will be held every Saturday starting September 9, while the Eliminations will be held the day after (after an approximate 12-hour voting).

We recommend our fellow Idol fanatics to watch the show live rather than in television. Let's show our support by showing up and root for our favorite Idol hopefuls.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

These are the teasers for this coming Sunday's theater eliminations this Sunday, August 20, 2006.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Complete list of Philippine Idol Gold Ticket recipients

This is the complete list of Philippine Idol Gold Ticket recipients, those Philippine Idol contestants who made it to the 2nd round of competition. It's a complete list of Philippine Idol semifinalists, so yay!

Kristela Musica Cristobal. 18. Auditioned in Davao.
Johan Vladimir Espiritu. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Cherry Mae Fernandez. 25. Auditioned in Cebu.
Fernando Roque Gonzalez. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Jamille Navarro. 17. Auditioned in Manila.
Glicerio Germudo Jr. 28. Auditioned in Cebu.
Jenny Rose Carpio. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
Mark Armada. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Ann Quitoriano. 25. Auditioned in Davao.
Jan Kurt Nieto. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Julius Tuvilla. 22. Auditioned in Cebu.
Tiffany Nicole Mallillin. 16. Auditioned in Manila.
Robert Navarro. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Judith Hizon. 26. Auditioned in Manila.

Tiffany Garrucha. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Rowell Quizon. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Rose Ria Bautista. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Brian jeff Sombrero. 22. Auditioned in Cebu.
Valerie Puadod. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
OJ Mariano. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Cjarah Perpetua. 25. Auditioned in Davao.
Philip Deles. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Zandra Tan. 25. Auditioned in Cebu.
Richard del Pilar. 19. Auditioned in Manila.
Armarie Cruz. 27. Auditioned in Davao.
Christian Masaga. 26. Auditioned in Cebu.
Jhonalene Sison. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Alvin Almario. 16. Auditioned in Manila.
Paula Patricia Chavez. 23. Auditioned in Manila.

John Jericho Perey. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Rina Lei Pangan. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Jamie Barcelon. 20. Auditioned in Davao.
Rhia Guevara. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Paul Andrae Ybanez. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Lenebelle Padillo. 24. Auditioned in Cebu.
Emmanuel Lopez. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Ritchie Asibal. 28. Auditioned in Davao.
Jamiliah Dayaday. 20. Auditioned in Manila.
Marc Stroem. 19. Auditioned in Manila.
Christine Love Marcaida. 27. Auditioned in Manila.
Glyde Ababa. 25. Auditioned in Cebu.
Ira Marasigan. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Alber Sembrero. 25. Auditioned in Manila.

Japril Yap. 18. Auditioned in Cebu.
Immanuel Cruz. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Edelred de Jesus. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Nerbert Ku. 28. Auditioned in Manila.
Mary Anne Pacia. 22. Auditioned in Cebu.
Zennith Rivera. 28. Auditioned in Cebu.
Gretchen Espina. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
Ludwig Pardenilla 28. Auditioned in Cebu.
Arsenio Valencia. 27. Auditioned in Manila.
Daphnie Jontariego. 23. Auditioned in Cebu.
Ronald Diana. 28. Auditioned in Manila.
Christine Marie Caminade. 16. Auditioned in Davao.
Mark Angelo Alarcio. 25. Auditioned in Manila.
Flora Mae Lucindo. 20. Auditioned in Manila.

Randolph Libres. 28. Auditioned in Cebu.
Fleur de Liz Macalintal. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
Armando Cruz, Jr. 19. Auditioned in Davao.
Maribeth Arellano. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
Fred Abaquita. 23. Auditioned in Cebu.
Erika Jill Bautista. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Reymond Sajor. 27. Auditioned in Manila.
Tanya Diaz. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
Leandro Maravilla. 27. Auditioned in Manila.
Cherry Ann Chiu. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Ricardo Sabanal III. 26. Auditioned in Cebu.
Eartha de Guzman. 26. Auditioned in Davao.
Bench Cruz. 28. Auditioned in Manila.
Marinel Santos. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Freddie Cabael. 23. Auditioned in Cebu.

Diana Jean Leviste. 19. Auditioned in Manila.
Raphael Atienza. 20. Auditioned in Manila.
Maureen Marcelo. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Paul Marlo Apurado. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Paul Anthony Paris. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Liezel Lastimoso. 23. Auditioned in Cebu.
Anthony Sampayan III. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Bianca Marie Conejero. 21. Auditioned in Cebu.
Francis Rodriguez. 19. Auditioned in Manila.
Hazel Ann Velasco. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Ardie Shaine Valerio. 25. Auditioned in Manila.
Joseph Astor. 27. Auditioned in Davao.
Jaybee Grace Ortega. 27. Auditioned in Manila.

Archie Regencia. 27. Auditioned in Davao.
Lilfer Charm Balbuena. 20. Auditioned in Manila.
Ramirr Grepo. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Resciebelle Santiago. 16. Auditioned in Manila.
Kenneth Paul Alonzo. 22. Auditioned in Cebu.
Pamela Imperial. 25. Auditioned in Cebu.
Mark Anthony Merced. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
Amor Bacharpa. 27. Auditioned in Davao.
John Peter Carriedo. 24. Auditioned in Davao.
Shielamie Sison. 20. Auditioned in Cebu.
Kenneth Dingle. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Michelle Belmonte. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Mary Claire Fernandez. 23. Auditioned in Cebu.
Lalaine Enriquez. 21. Auditioned in Manila.

Mabel So. 26. Auditioned in Cebu.
Rhodney Teng. 25. Auditioned in Manila.
Ivy Grace Paredes. 20. Auditioned in Manila.
Arthur Camonayan. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Iris Malazarte. 19. Auditioned in Manila.
Rommel Kahiwat. 29. Auditioned in Manila.
Michelle Gillamac. 24. Auditioned in Cebu.
Jim Joseph Lacson. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Gladys Castillo. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Jason Jeff Velasquez. 27. Auditioned in Manila.
Monette Rica Lim. 23. Auditioned in Cebu.
Paul Michael Belen. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Joana Marie Tan. 18. Auditioned in Manila.
Emmanuel Omaga. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Gian Marla Gloria. 16. Auditioned in Manila.

Myla Abales. 27. Auditioned in Davao.
Miguel Mendoza. 16. Auditioned in Manila.
Ava Celine Mendoza. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Stephanie Lazaro/Bainbridge. 27. Auditioned in Cebu.
Eliza Marie Arnaiz. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Paul John Arroyo. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Anthony George Paeldon. 22. Auditioned in Manila.
Majella Protacio. 16. Auditioned in Manila.
Jerushalmai Calisang. 19. Auditioned in Cebu.
Junnel Rayos. 20. Auditioned in Manila.
Maria Liezel Garcia. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Melinda Torre. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
Edwin Lotivio Jr. 21. Auditioned in Cebu.
Sarah Namba. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Joseph John Temporal. 21. Auditioned in Davao.

Maria Cristina Saducos. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Jefferson Gayo. 27. Auditioned in Cebu.
Janice Uy. 25. Auditioned in Davao.
Jeffrey Santos. 20. Auditioned in Manila.
Muriel Anne Flores. 20. Auditioned in Manila.
Jessie Caina. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Rowena Gaviola. 23. Auditioned in Manila.
James Yabes. 27. Auditioned in Manila.
Yasmi Rose Medina. 26. Auditioned in Manila.
Jacqueline Dalwatan. 21. Auditioned in Manila.
Quinnie Cortel. 23. Auditioned in Cebu.
Gian Carlo Magdangal. 24. Auditioned in Cebu.
Mary May Banawa. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Abigail Blanco. 24. Auditioned in Manila.
Jellica Marie Mateo. 23. Auditioned in Manila.

There you go! The complete list of Philippine Idol Gold Ticket recipients, fresh off the Philippine Idol website.

Philippine Idol in Mindanao: the good, the bad, and the icky

Philippine Idol's Mindanao episode started at 8PM sharp, a nice thrill for Philippine Idol fans who - let's face it - weren't exactly inspired by ABC-5's Teka Mona. I didn't care for the replacement program, either, tuning in only at 7:57PM. Call me an Idol fanatic. Whatever.

Before the program started, my wife and I wondered whether previous remarks from Philippine Idol judge Pilita Corrales would backlash onto the Mindanao episode. We also wondered whether it was the organizers or the contestant who wrote down the numbers on their Idol stickers. Coming from Cebu, where the episode focused on the disgustingly bad singers, would Mindanao prove to be indeed the place that Corrales insinuated had little to no talent?

Philippine Idol's third episode kicks off with a recap of some of the better singers (an additional two seconds of airtime!) for Cebu auditionees (yet Manila-based!) Stephanie Lazaro and Gian Carlo Magdangal, as well as gold-ticket receiving Manila-based singers Jhonalyn Sison and that undeserving trumpet-playing cheeseball whose name I have conveniently opted to forget).

Calling upon the spirits of Mig Ayesa's hair, Philippine Idol host Ryan Agoncillo decides to forego the pleasantries and launches straight into how Davao is "home of the royalties," with it being the base of the Philippine Eagle (king of birds) and the durian (king of Philippine fruits), among other things.

We then get a taste of some of Davao's choicest singers, whose song selection features gems like, "footloose, footloose, pull me out of my knees."

Gladly, kiddo. Gladly.

Strangely enough, we get a prize horse as soon as the gun goes off. Ann Quitoriano of Sto. Tomas croons out a decidedly soulful version of Randi Crawford's One Hello, and pleases the judges.

Francis: Interesting.
Ryan: Problems with low notes, sumasayad, but good singer.
Pilita: Right key but good quality. Pwedeng pwede.

Good to go. Gold ticket right there.

John Peter Paual Carriedo of Lanang, Davao City, then follows Ann Quitoriano with his rather pitchy version of Stevie Wonder's My Cherie Amour.

Ryan: Sometimes, some problems with pitch, but yes.
Pilita: I like the look. Yes.
Francis: You're in.

After two in a row, it was only natural that we get a good singer who just doesn't meet the grade. Unfortunately, it's Maritess “Inday” Vargas, an 18-year-old tree climber from Tacurang, Sultan Kudarat. She sings Crazy by Patsy Cline. Ryan compliments her on her choice of material, then takes back the carrot.

Ryan: Good choice of song, but it’s not PhilIdol material, no.
Pilita: Kulang pa.
Francis: Better luck next time.

After a commercial break, Philippine Idol lets the circus begin, starting with Regine and Jaya impersonator Winston Ko, a 26-year-old queen from Toril, Davao. He belts out an off-key, window-breaking version of Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin.

Francis: Meh. Pass.
Pilita: Might have a hard time in Manila.
Ryan: No.

To further the point that the Philippines loves anything remotely American, we get a gratuitous flashback of gold-ticket winning cowboys Benjamin Cruz (yech) and James Yebes (bro, button up that shirt!). We're then given a cowgirl, in the form of diva-in-the-making Ma. Amor Bacharpa, whose chameleon look - cowgirl today, whatever she feels like tomorrow - doesn't quite match her song choice: Whitney Houston's I Believe in You and Me. Nevertheless, the judges are stunned by the singer-painter.

Ryan: Impressive – welcome to Manila.
Francis: Pronunciation, pwede ka.
Pilita: I like the voice, I like the style.

After much filler, we're then given Archie Regencia, whose version of Lionel Richie's Hello, well, makes me want to hang up the phone for sheer pitch and nasality. Much to my surprise, he's passed by the judges.

We're then given a profile of Jaime Miguel "Jamie" Barcelon, a rich Pasig-based kid who's studied in Juillard. He studied there but didn't make it. Meh. My wife thinks he's cute. Meh times two - because of that, I automatically don't like him. He's traveled from the US, didn't make the auditions in time, so flew to Davao. [Someone's got money.] But look, he's writing his own Philippine Idol number on his ticket. I win! I win! Belat my wife. But anyway, look, Jamie's singing Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Or in his case, enoff.

Francis: Yes, I like what I saw.
Pilita: Me too
Ryan: You’re really good, welcome to Manila. Go back to Pasig.

The judges then elaborate what it takes to be the Philippine Idol, then ABC-5 sends us a picture of exactly what the judges are not looking for.

Pilita - a singer who can be entered into the international market. Can talk, can dance a little.
Some nameless "I Need You" singer. Meh.
Ryan - Patient, persevering, tolerant, should accept everything they tell you, take all criticism because it'll make you grow.
We get Louraine Marie Jipos, whose style of singing Celine Dion's It’s All Coming Back to Me, is, in the words of the judges, "very immature."

I miss what Francis said, but Billy Jay Galang's Superstition butchers the Stevie Wonder original, so we can assume it had something to do with impact, style, looks... but then again, we don't really get much feedback from Francis, now, do we?

We're then given a taste of Barbie Almalbis look-alike Amy Lyn Joy Notarte. She's peppy, she's cheery, she makes everyone sign her "slambok." She sings You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.

Ryan: Voice isn’t strong enough.
Pilita: Voice isn’t there to be able to go to Manila and compete.
Francis: Better luck next time

We then get single mother Myla Gracia Abales of Cagayan de Oro. She opens her mouth to sing a flawless, controlled, utterly beautiful version of Dito Ba, and my wife and I are floored. WOW. The judges are, too. Calling Fantasia, take a look-see at the local Baby Mama.

Ryan: I like your voice.
Pilita: I like her.
Francis: I don't care if you're fat or thin, magaling ka. Pwede ka sa 2nd round.

16-year-old Neil Simpson Antiquesa launches into Swing Low Sweet Chariot, obviously pulled from Beyonce's The Fighting Temptations version, and Francis says he sounds like a goat. Tsk, tsk, Francis.

ABC-5 then does an about-face and gives us a consuelo de bobo about how they don't care about sexual orientation, giving us Paula Chavez's take on her being lesbian and Yobab Alonzo's "way of expressing" himself.

Francis then says "sexual preference is never an issue. Kung magaling, walang problema." *roll eyes* Doesn't matter if you're gay. Doesn't matter if you're fat. We'll hold you to your word, Francis.

We're given a few minutes of Marianie Caban's changing into a bright blue gown. She vamps out
Love Takes Time.

Ryan: I like your energy, it's very professional, but you've a problem with swallowing your words. Voice is okay, but it takes a lot more to be Philippine Idol.
Francis: Sorry, 2-0 better luck next time.
P: No for me, she can join again.

Caban's demeanor is refreshing. She accepts it.

We then get two sob stories.

Julieto Alquizar needs money. He sings Perfect by Simple Plan.
Francis: Saksakan ng pangit.
Ryan: No.
Pilita: No.

He started to beg. We start to feel uncomfortable. He's led out by security. The distaste in our mouth is icky.

Joseph John Temporal needs money. He sings I'll Never Say Goodbye.
Ryan: Voice is nice, but it takes more to be part of Philippine Idol. No.
Pilita: I like him.
Francis: I do, too.

And Ryan is once again outvoted by the other two. hwek hwek hwek

We then get "never say die" singer Jiegfred Pakino. He tried in Manila, meh. Tried in Cebu, meh. Now he's in Davao. Perseverance, thy name is Jiegfred. He sings a decent version of Fire, and is booted out yet again. 0 for 3.

Ritchie Asibal also tried out in Manila and didn't make it. He flies to Davao and oozes out a saccharine version of Go the Distance, that Michael Bolton shmaltzfest that Disney used to own before American Idol laid claim to all syrupy ballads. The judges give him a go, and send him to Manila.

Myla Manalang, meanwhile, also sings Go the Distance, supported by her oh-so-loving husband. My wife hopes she'll make it; she doesn't. We're both furious she can't make it but off-key singer Ricardo Sanabal can.

We get an unusual story out of Cjarah Perpetua, who married gay Davao comic "Mocha." She'll "fight for their love." She belts out River Deep Mountain High, and makes it, sharing the creepiest kiss on television since Lisa Marie and Michael recorded it for all posterity on You Are Not Alone. Chalk one up for unconventional love.

The battle of the families begins:
Henri Harvey Go vs. Hazel Mari Go.
Gaano Kita Kamahal vs. Anything For You
Both don't pass.

Mark Neil Macabenta vs. Marjorie Macabenta
Angels Must’ve Brought You Here vs. a song I didn't write down.
Both don't pass.

Armarie Lourdes Cruz vs. Armando Cruz
Hiram vs. a song I didn't recognize.
Their father was a rebel; their mother prays the rosary. How those two got together, we'll never know. But the Cruzes looks like a good, solid family, and Armarie, in particular, looks like Zsa Zsa Padilla, or Champagne Morales, or Sunshine Cruz, depending on your angle. Either way you look at it, she's a star. Her brother, well, cute but no cigar.
They pass. Chalk two up for unconvential love.

We get a view of next week's theater auditions, and I shut off the television, my computer, and rush off to sleep, because this review has to make it in time for tomorrow (that's today), and I still have to complain about age limits.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Local Press Lack Support to Philippine Idol

Several entertainment write-ups have recently appeared in various publications expressing their so-called disappointment about Philippine Idol. However, it is obvious that they are writing just for the sake of discrediting the phenomenal program.

An entertainment writer in a not-so-popular periodical wrote in his article that "many" people were dissapointed with Philippine Idol's premiere telecast. However, he only creditted his Lifestyle editor-in-chief saying that the audition looked very much like a "perya." In our opinion, one person is not enough to be considered "many". Analyzing his feature further, the writer claimed that the premiere episode tackled the auditions held in Cebu and Davao, which are definitely untrue as the pilot focused on the Luzon Main Audition held at PICC.

Scroll his column down and you will see positive features about two GMA programs. Now we see here where his allegiance lies.

Another periodical writer sarcastically commented that Philippine Idol's pilot rating of 7.7 points as "pivotal enough to topple the two giant networks." She seems to have forgotten that a 7.7-point rating is equivalent to over 1.2 million viewers in Mega Manila (if using 2002 population data). That alone is an amazing amount of audience for ABC.

Several tabloid writers appeared cynic about Philippine Idol (where looking at their columns would reveal that they are not watching the program at all), obviously showing their passive attitude towards the program just because it is aired on ABC, not in ABS-CBN or GMA.

Some writers criticized Philippine Idol's blatant similarities with American Idol, while others commented on how PI is dissimilar with AI.

Unlike in the US where entertainment news programs can feature programs from a rival network, Philippine entertainment writers place their allegiance on who would feed them more plates of pancit and glasses of orange juice. It appears to us Idol fanatics that the local entertainment press would only take notice of Philippine Idol if it were shown on another channel.

But we know that Philippine Idol is beyond those petty network wars. We know that the Idol franchise is strong and can rise up no matter which channel it will be shown.

We at Philippine Idol Updates commend ABC for having the guts to showcase the best untapped local talent. We believe that in due time, even without the support of the passive and biased press, Philippine Idol will stand true to its name as TV's phenomenon.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Philippine Idol teasers for auditions in Davao

Here are two Philippine Idol teasers from ABC-5 for the Philippine Idol auditions in Davao. Uploaded with permission from ABC-5.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Broadcast #2: Who impressed you in Cebu?

There were several great Philippine Idol contenders from Cebu, but Philippine Idol Updates needs screenshots. Send us image links and we'll link to you! :)




The following screenshots were generously provided by Jeric. Thank you, man.
You rock our socks.











Idol Contender "Pirated" To Pinoy Dream Academy

Sad news. ABC-5 executives have confirmed circulating rumors that one of Philippine Idol's Top 24 semi-finalists have dropped out of the competition in order to join ABS-CBN's "Pinoy Dream Academy."

"We are sad because kids have to face decisions like these so soon,” Perci Intalan, ABC 5 Creative and Entertainment Production head said in an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer. "They are still new in the business. From our end, we are flattered. Instead of looking elsewhere, other networks decided to just get 'Philippine Idol' contestants, apparently because they see that the best have come here."

Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA) is an Endemol franchise which is similar to Philippine Idol, only that the contestants were made to live in a house/ training academy filled with spy cameras, much like another ABS-CBN program "Pinoy Big Brother" (PBB). This rival talent search was abruptly launched by the country's former number 1 network (according to AGB studies) and caused the postponement of the supposed-to-be second season of PBB.

PDA's American counterpart, "The One: Making Of A Superstar," was cancelled after four weeks with a record low in US network ABC history.

Auditions for PDA have been lacking in luster of both talents and numbers, as well as experienced setbacks, notably after an Inquirer reporter went undercover to auditioned. He noted that after seven hours of waiting, an entire row of people (including him) were told "thank you" and asked to leave, without even singing at the auditions.

Meanwhile, rumors have spread that ABS-CBN employees approached several Idol contenders to drop from the competition and transfer to PDA, with promises of bypass from the audition and an automatic slot in the Finals. These scheming network employees had also gone to meet with one of the respected "Idol" judges to "just let (some of) the contestants go."

Read more about the article here.

UPDATE 1: The name of the contestant who jumped ship is still not confirmed, although Idol Source suspects that it is a male who auditioned in Manila. Meanwhile, a noted entertainment writer said in his column that it is a female who also auditioned in Manila.

We at Philippine Idol Updates are saddened that this healthy competition has become ugly because of greed and deceit on the part of certain parties. We urge our fellow Idol fanatics to keep on supporting Philippine Idol. Also, we ask our dear readers to avoid posting spoilers (information that are yet to be shown on TV) in the comments section as well as at the chatbox.

UPDATE 2: ABC-5 Head Perci Intalan visited Philippine Idol Updates to clarify that the contestant "pirated" by ABS-CBN's Pinoy Dream Academy was eliminated early on in the competition, and did not make it to the Top 24. He urged Filipinos who are following Philippine Idol to follow the show regularly and see the theater eliminations to further cement the assertion that the contestants who do make it to the Top 24 are all deserving of the title of Philippine Idol

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

ABC-5 Happy With Modest Philippine Idol Ratings

In an interview with Manila Bulletin, ABC-5's entertainment head Perci Intalan stated that the network is very happy with the above-average ratings of Philippine Idol's premiere episode.

The independent AGB survey revealed that Philippine Idol clocked in at 7.7 points against GMA-7’s "Mel & Joey" with 21 percent and ABS-CBN’s "Rated K" with 26.7 percent; but towards the program's last 30 minutes, the ratings climbed up to more than 12 points against "All Star K’s" 21.9 percent and "Sharon’s" 15.9 percent.

Intalan explained that although ABC-5 is not "yet" a habit network, they view the ratings climb as an indication that the viewers stayed on until its last minutes. Read more about the article here.

Meanwhile, the impact of Philippine Idol's first episode was evident in many radio shows last Monday. For instance, RX 93.1's morning tandem of Chico and Delamar said that they were laughing in delight as they watch the program, their favorite being one reject saying that she will come back. "Magpa-practice lang daw siya," the DJs happily narrated.