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Friday, May 30, 2008

Pinoy Idol: Anybody’s ball game

Originality and versatility helped American Idol Season 7 winner David Cook and runner-up David Archuleta reach the finals. The two Davids never experienced being in the bottom three. That made the competition tougher particularly for the televiewers to decide which David was deserving of the Idol crown.

This should serve as a tried-and-tested winning formula for the remaining 20 finalists in the ongoing search for Pinoy Idol on GMA 7. Performance nights are aired on Fridays and Saturdays with the result show on Sundays. On weeknights after The Legend, Pinoy Idol Extra hosted by Karylle and Rhian Ramos will let televiewers sneak peek into the daily activities like makeover, rehearsals and workshops of Idol wannabes. Two male and female aspirants will be booted out each week until televiewers decide who the Top 12 will be.

Last week, Elliot Andal of Batangas, Dio Paulo of Iloilo City, Drizzle Muniz of Quezon City and Bev Ejercito of Davao got booted out. Bev and Drizzle were the surprise ran-outs of the first elimination night.

During the Pinoy Idol media launch at Promenade-Greenhills, Drizzle appeared to be a veteran. You could feel her commanding presence onstage. Her big voice was perfect for Big Girls Don’t Cry, which she performed during the show. Drizzle is comfortable in pop music. She joined Pinoy Idol because it is her chance to present her music. With her early exit from the TV talent search, Drizzle’s dream to become a mainstream singer is not over. There are still avenues where she can try her luck in the recording scene.

Another casualty of text voting is Bev. Her advantage among Idol hopefuls and ticket to snag a recording contract is her unique voice. Her voice could shift from R&B, jazz and rock with much ease.

Sans her big, curly hair, Bev reminds one of the powerful vocals and strong stage presence of Ana Fegi, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer and Whitney Houston. Although her journey to become Pinoy Idol was cut short, it is a beginning of something humble and big in the future for Bev. She sang It’s Too Late during the launch.

Based on the finalists’ performances in the media launch, 10 women including Bev and Drizzle emerged stronger. They presented an individualized singing and performing style. These ladies didn’t have to scream to deliver their songs and entertain the audience.

Some think they can equal and even surpass singers of today whose entry to showbiz landia was through a talent contest, media hype, vocal group or celebrity affiliation/association.

Other finalists who will hopefully make it to Top 12 and will not be eliminated soon are Meryl David, 23, whose genres are R&B and soul; and Jeni Rawolle, 20, who can do standard, jazz and blues. Jeni banks on her talent, looks, personality and uniqueness to become the first Pinoy Idol. Meryl, on the other hand, considers Idol as a way of offering her talent to Someone Up There by singing for others. Jeni sang You Don’t Know Me while Meryl performed How Come You Don’t Call Me during the special show.

Among the contestants, Daryl Celis and JJ Jr. could charm their way to the final cut. Daryl relies on the range of his vocals, perfect for an R&B ditty or ballad. JJ, deadringer for Ryan Agoncillo, also sings R&B and ballad.

The public will hopefully not mix talent with looks. The winner of Pinoy Idol, however, must be a combination of both. Talent should still supersede charm and resources.

What is interesting and engaging in talent searches like Pinoy Idol which involve text and call votes is that it could be anybody’s ballgame until the name of the voted-out contestant is announced.

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