Saturday, September 02, 2006

Philippine Idol Top 12 guys Recaps

So! Did you tune in to Philippine Idol? What’d you think? While ABC-5 should be commended for pulling off the show, they’ve much to improve on. Sound quality was terrible, affecting performances, as you’ll learn later on in this recap, and production has a long way to go before it really matches the quality of other Idol shows aboard.

Bad sound notwithstanding, here are your recaps:
Freddie Cabael - Macho Gwapito
Freddie already becomes the answer to a trivia question, being the first semifinalist to sing in Philippine Idol history. His performance is decent, despite a nasal delivery that brings into question his earlier broadcast performances that showed his breathy R&B style. Certainly not a winning performance by my standards. I wonder if his father’s tuning in – I hope he is, because I don’t see Freddie making it to the Top 12.
Francis: I saw the real Freddie Cabael tonight.
Pilita: Lose the hat.
Ryan: Hope to see you in the next rounds to sing a ballad.

Robert Bernadas - Take a Look Inside My Heart
Robert’s voice is soothing, but the poor sound quality is killing me. His version of Take a Look Inside My Heart is more than passable. Let’s see what the judges have to say.
Francis: It was relaxed, effortless. You really could be Philippine Idol. I like your dimple.
Pilita: You look thinner.
Ryan: You are my bet!

Ken Dingle - More Today Than Yesterday
Ken's charismatic personality takes full control with his delivery of the Ayala Center theme song (Hahahaha!). He looks good, he rules that stage, and he makes good eye contact with the camera. Ken looks like he's about to run out of steam near the end, but that's okay. Good job, Ken.
: It was fun.
Pilita: I remember when you forgot your lyrics. You’ve got to do better than that.
Ryan: You’ve got a wide range; use it to the fullest.

Drae Ybañez - What You Won’t Do for Love
The Philippine Idol Updates poll topnotcher lives up to his top ranking, delivering a confident version of the Bobby Caldwell original. Ooh, he starts out on top of the stage and moves his way down. Strong vocals, good eye contact with the camera, and a solid finish. Hey, he does look like Spiderman.
Francis: Best performance of yours so far, but a bit safe.
Pilita: I like your confidence. I hope you make it.
Ryan: Best performance so far. You looked relaxed, you’re charming. Even if you don’t make it, you’ll make a good recording artist.

Onyx Culala - Windmills of Your Mind
The singing lawyer selects an ancient track, hoping to interpret the archaic single into something more contemporary. Unfortunately for Onyx, the arrangement and poor sound quality fail him, and the performance comes across as languid and lazy.
Francis: [I missed his comments because my son started to run across the room.]
Pilita: Kulang sa puwersa.
Ryan: Wrong choice of song.

Gian Carlo Magdangal - Footloose
Gian picks a relatively safe song, choosing the Kenny Loggins 80s chestnut Footloose. Magdangal performed this song as part of the chorus in the Footloose musical production, and his slick performance doesn’t fail to disappoint, save for a bum note at the end when his voice gives out.
Francis: In your element. You were born to do this.
Pilita: Really knows how to entertain the people. Ang galing-galing niya. That’s what we need. Appeal.
Ryan: Professional, sleek. I hope the voters come in for you.

Ramirr Grepo - Bed of Roses
Ramir wishes to package himself as a rocker, and his selection of Bed of Roses certainly wouldn’t make one question his rock-on preferences. A spot-on delivery – almost identical to Jon Bon Jovi – makes me wonder if I’m watching Philippine Idol or hanging out in a sleazy bar, but then again, if Ramirr’s looking to tap into the masa vote, he’s got it, especially with that money note at the end. The judges love it - again, proof that in the Philippines, hitting the high notes relatively well will result in almost unanimous praise. Tsk tsk tsk.
Francis: Kinikilabutan ako. Mawala na ang lahat, huwag lang si Ramirr.
Pilita: Ramirr, I love you!
Ryan: Best choice of song tonight. You are the singer to beat tonight.

Miguel Mendoza III - Highways of My Life
Hoo boy. Miguel admits he didn’t know the song, a foreshadowing that virtually dooms his performance. He is painfully pitchy all the way, his nerves are showing, his posing is a bit on the and one can see his nipples through his shirt. Ryan makes light of the fact he’s the youngest.
Francis: You have the potential to be the Philippine Idol, but do better.
Pilita: You’re still in school. Can you imagine all La Salle voting for you? I hope they all vote for you.
Ryan: I don’t think you’re mature enough to sing that song. You should have chosen better. I wish you well; sana makapasok.

Reymond Sajor - Tell Her About It
Reymond’s dancing is certainly infectious (can’t say the same for the near-all-white outfit). It’s a little variety show performance. Oh no! His microphone malfunctions! They give him a second chance, and he redoes the song, but he’s lost energy. What a pro. He deserves to go through to the next round just for picking up the pieces.
Francis: All contestants should emulate. This is the way a professional should act. Gumaling ka lalo. Panalo.
Pilita: That makes you a professional. It’s nice to see him perform.
Ryan: Tonight, you went to hell and came back not only alive but bongga.

Joseph Astor III - Why Can’t It Be
Joseph picks a Rannie Raymundo chestnut, and sings a decent version, although the low notes come across pitchy. Astor knows he is good-looking (the illegitimate son of Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby? He does look like either), and uses it to full effect, eye-mashing the camera. I can understand now why there’s a Parental Guidance sign above my screen.
Francis: Polish the diction, pero para sa akin, pasok ka.
Pilita: I’ve always liked Joe. You can see how much he wants to be Philippine Idol.
Ryan: Gusto ko ang boses mo. The earnestness, I can feel it. Sana makapasok ka.

Christian Masaga - Have I Told You Lately?
Christian chooses a song most popularly redone by Rod Stewart, a bit safe choice for his soothing baritone. Ooh, he lives up to his name, changing the lyrics a bit and makes it a Christian song, adding “Lord” in strategic places to give glory to his Maker. Wow, dude, that’s brave. I’ll send one vote your way.
Francis: It’s very emotional, he becomes one with the song. Moving performance, great.
Pilita: He always sings full of emotion, feeling. I hope he can make it.
Ryan: I didn’t like the song; I would have wanted to hear another song. It was good enough.

Jan Kurt Nieto - Bridge Over Troubled Water
The Atenean crooner and Philippine Idol Updates poll runner-up gets the pimp spot, and delivers a strategic performance of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, which gave Clay Aiken the boost he needed into the Final Two of Season 2 in American Idol. His performance is pitchy, just not that impressive, but hey, he’s got the look, and the pimp spot. Francis: I liked what you did at the end.
Pilita: I hope to see you again.
Ryan: I didn’t like it. I’m sorry. You didn’t connect.

Who do the judges pick?
Francis picks Ramirr for his song, and Reymond for grace under pressure.
Pilita has five choices and won’t share the names, save for Ramirr.
Ryan picks Ramirr and Gian Carlo.

Who do we pick?
My fearless forecast places comfortable Top 2 finishes for Ramirr Grepo and Gian Carlo Magdangal. The other two slots up for grabs, we’re going to go out on a limb and place Reymond Sajor for simply pulling through that technical mishap (sympathy votes count for a lot), and bypassing Ryan Cayabyab’s favorite Robert Bernadas for Philippine Idol Updates votegetting champ Drae Ybañez. Let’s see what happens!