Saturday, September 09, 2006

Philippine Idol Round of 12 Girls Recap

Welcome to Philippine Idol, where the sound is much better and Pilita Corrales should be jailed for all that shameless flirting with Ryan Agoncillo.

Mrs. Robinson jokes aside, we're reminded about last week, when Drae Ybanez, Miguel Mendoza, Reymond Sajor, and Jan Nieto became the first finalists into the Top 12.

Oh, look, Ryan's wearing a funny microphone on his head. "Hello, Easycall, may I take your message?" It's so call-center, I swear.

Anyway, we’re introduced to the semifinalists, then the judges. Ryan asks about the other qualities that make a Philippine Idol.

Francis: Kahit sino diya, boundary iyan. Looking for someone to rise to the occasion, shift gear. Ito na.
Mamita: I like Francis because usually when there is a pretty girl, pero hindi na ngayon. For me, they’re all standouts. Before saying anything, I want to listen to them tonight.
Ryan: Sing as best you can. We’re supposed to guide you, critique your performance. Don’t take it personally. Voters, kahit minsan, makinig din kayo.

Excuse me. I thought you liked last week’s four placers. Tonight, you pip the selection. Ano ba talaga? Whatever. The one male Philippine Idol semifinalist I actually sent votes for made it; happy na ako, belat.

The first singer up is Gail Blanco. We’re told that she wrote a song inspired by the experience. She sings What’s Love Got to Do With It. On the bright side, she puts a lot of heart into it, but doesn’t seem to connect with the audience. Voice-wise, she’s a little breathy, but it’s all right.
Francis: hard to be the first, I found it okay.
Pilita: Gail can join the Bb. Pilipinas. She’s so beautiful. I don’t like the song, but I like the way you did it.
Ryan: That song was difficult, and we know how the original singer did it. When you choose a song, you ride on it, or it eats you up. Sadly, it ate you up.

She thanks them in Cebuano, and appeals to the regional vote. Smart move.

Ting, Ynah and Apple are next. Break.

Sige na, sige na, sige na, sige na! Hahaha. Lucky backup girls.

Ting Otero didn’t pass the first fast-track, but she made it the second time around. She chooses Come in From the Rain by Diana Ross, so she’s hoping to give it a different turn and make it her own. She reminds me of CeCe Peniston (remember her?). My wife doesn’t like her tight outfit, and thinks it’s making singing hard for her. Her version isn’t half bad, but the backup music is waaaaay too loud, and she looks at the camera a lot, which is good. Her voice is strong, and, save for a few bum notes, especially near the end, she ends decently.

"A good ting na bumalik ka." God, Ryan, quit the puns.
Francis: Papirmahin na ng kontrata iyan. Album.
Pilita: Bisaya ka, Day? Ang mga Bisaya, iba talaga, katulad ko.
Ryan: I like your voice, Ting. One thing I can say: we’re looking for an Idol – you need a makeover to make yourself look younger. Your voice is good.

Ynah Pangan is up next. She feels like she was beheaded when she made it into a finals’ competition. She chooses Halik, the first OPM song up, and her voice is powerful enough to capture the Aegis feel and sound. She looks great, although I don’t care for her outfit, and I feel like I’m in a cheap girlie bar. She’s going for the rocker chick feel, and, well, I’m sure the crowd’ll eat this one up.

Francis: Courageous effort, when everyone sings a pop song, Ynah sings this local song. Tuwang-tuwa ako.
Pilita: I can assure you Kuya Germs did not teach her to sing. I like the choice of song. Good luck.
Ryan flirts cheap, going vintage.
Ryan: Big gamble, but you won it.

Apple Chiu is an interior designer from Cebu. She sings Rhythm of the Street by Patti Austin. She starts from the audience and works her way up to the stage. Her voice is certainly smoky, and she definitely works her way into the song. She’s gyrating all over the stage, but the song is simply forgettable, and that’s not going to work.

Francis: I don’t think it’s the song that you should perform kapag labanan, but Apple doesn’t hold a song, parang alam na alam niya. Kinareer niya.
Pilita: Huwag mo akong tarantaduhin (to Francis). I think you’re very sexy. I like your performance too.
Ryan: Meron si Apple buong buo yung voice, pero hindi ko ma-take yung kanta. I don’t like ganong klaseng kanta because what more can you do with it?

Jeli and Ira are up. Break.

Jeli is gorgeous, looking like Miriam Quiambao from certain angles. She says she wants the Idol title more than she needs it, and sings Bridges. Her voice is pretty, but with little support underneath it, she’s extremely pitchy. I can’t understand her words, and that’s never good. Ooh, strategic move, she sings in Filipino – eek, flat notes – that I suppose may win a couple of votes. Ugh, what was that last note?

Francis: English, Portuguese, Tagalog. It’s a gamble, I hope the voters catch on.
Pilita: You don’t fit with Ryan. (Crazy flirt.) I enjoyed all the songs she’s sung from the beginning. This song, she took a gamble, but I still liked your performance.
Ryan: You know what’s going for you? You’re tall, you’re beautiful, expressive voice, you gotta work on your songs. You have pitch problems, dapat binaba ng konti, di mo na siya maabot.

Text typo! Text Jelli to 2339, but we’re supposed to text Jeli.
Ira Marasigan, daughter of Irma Adlawan, is up next. She sings Natalie Cole’s vocally challenging Mr. Melody, and she vamps it up like anything. She scats, she hits the high notes, not all of them. Confidence-wise, best of the night, but she was flat near the end. Focused a lot on performance, her face wasn’t too expressive.
Francis: The thing that strikes me about Ira, may kultura tong batang to. You can’t argue with the energy.
Pilita: She’s blossomed – that’s what PI does to you. I hope you make it.
Ryan: I’m so happy you’re here, nagkaroon ng class. You’re very musical, one thing you do very well, ang galing mong maglakad.

She’s contagious, but I hope the energy is contagious and you’ll vote for me. Eh. Next are Stef, Pow, and Mau.

Another interior designer who came with a friend to audition, but she was chosen (just like Ira, who came with her Mom). She’s singing Ikaw Lamang, a brave choice. Wow. She reminds my wife of Dessa, and her voice is pure and lovely. Save for a few bum notes we can count on one hand, Pow has shown herself a frontrunner.
Francis: Alam mo itong si Pow, manloloko ito. Pa-hiphop pero mahusay na mangaawit. Ang gandang boses, kelan ka magpapalda? She says sorry na lang po. That’s truth to oneself.
Pilita: I asked her what she’d wear. She and Ryan are wearing the same shoes. Whatever you wear, whatever you say, I love you, Pow!
Ryan: Your plus factor: your voice is full of emotion, so you don’t need a gimmick, sing alone, and I’m sure if people will vote correctly, you’ll make it into the final four.

Stef Lazaro chose Home by Diana Ross because for a large part of her life, she felt she didn’t belong anywhere, growing up in Australia. Her voice is good, and her low notes are decent enough. Her camera eye contact is good, and I can tell she’s used to performing live, even if my wife finds it boring. Music waaaay too loud, and that last note… meh.
Francis: I think in spite of the fact that you came here from Australia, you did good.
Pilita: I’ve seen Stef and she can actually sing anything. Listening to Home, I wanted to see her do better. I hope everyone votes for you.
Ryan: To sing a national competition song, we’ve heard that song a hundred times. Nothing new.

Mau Marcelo set aside her petition to move abroad to sing here. She’s singing Sweet Love, and she hits those low notes very well. Her outfit hides a lot of her pounds, and her vocal is more than decent, good adlibs and all. Her look is very different.
Francis: Kung kantahan lang, you deserve to be in the Top 4. Fantasia taob.
Pilita: Maureen, I really liked the way you changed. Sexy ka na ngayon. Definitely, I like you very much.
Ryan: Performance mo, I do not understand why you are not yet an international recording artist. He stands up for her, a strategic decision to get people to vote for her. She breaks into tears.

EJ and Suey next. Break.

EJ is up next. The Philippine Idol Updates poll frontrunner is singing Paalam Na. She doesn’t bring anything new to the Rachel Alejandro song, though, and although she’s dressed prettily in yellow, the passion and emotion of the original doesn’t communicate well. Eeek! What happened to that one note when the band stopped? Oh dear…
Francis: Malinis ang pagkaka-interpret. (Hello? Are you deaf? It’s supposed to be EJ.)
Pilita: She’d always been in tune, in the right key.
Ryan: Just good enough. That’s all. Nothing exciting, nothing spectacular.

Asked for a comment, she sings the local Philippine Idol jingle. Ah, well, people will have their gimmicks.

Suey says she was scared when she first tried out. She sings Almost Over You by Sheena Easton, and she gets away with a passable rendition, pitchy in parts, but she belts out in the appropriate sections, but in the words of my wife, ‘it’s just too much.’ She tried to do too much, tsk tsk tsk.
Francis: Beautiful. Suey, you killed it.
Pilita: Me? I’ll ask you – do you like her? Suey, very good.
Ryan: I watched you yesterday and even this morning. I was ready to diss you, but you did something. Your performance was much better today than yesterday. Congratulations.

What is Arms wearing? Things hanging from her bustier. She’s singing Superwoman by Karyn White, and her strong vocal carries it well. Vocally, it’s very good, and her ending is a wee bit dramatic but she pulls it together.
Francis: One of the best performances tonight.
Pilita: It’s strange that this is the first time she wasn’t crying. You are my superwoman tonight.
Ryan: Very solid performance, very professional. I hope you make it.

Overall, I'm not that impressed with the ladies, but they certainly did do better than the gentlemen. It's your call on who to vote for, Philippines, but based on performance alone, our predictions hinge on the following:

Pow Chavez. This girl never fails to amaze week after week. Her voice was pure, and her being-true-to-herself is refreshing. If the girl won't wear a skirt, don't make her wear a skirt! Ano ba?

Maureen Marcelo: Mau looked really classy, and delivered a powerhouse performance. Kudos.

Ira Marasigan: Song was relatively forgettable, but she did deliver the goods in a truly stylish, elegant way. She should go through to keep some class in the show.

Arms Cruz: It was a consistent, solid performance by the Zamboanguena.

Dark horses looming in the distance: Ynah Pangan (what do we know? What didn't work for Ramirr Grepo may work for her) or Suey Medina (good song, meh performance). Let's find out tomorrow.

WHO DID YOU GUYS VOTE FOR? Post it in the comments!