entertainment, music, Philippines, songs, talent show, television

A New Rival for ‘The Voice Kids 2’

‘The Voice Kids’ season 2 will be having a new rival.

Opposing the hit ABS-CBN singing talent show soon will be GMA’s first multi-platform boyband competition in the Philippines, ‘To the Top’. Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, this program aims to discover the country’s next great boyband.

Unlike other talent shows in the country, ‘To the Top’ did not conduct open auditions. Instead, it invited the best male singers from different schools and organizations to join and audition for the final 25 slots.

‘To the Top’ initially aired as an online-exclusive series where they document the journey of each finalist from being soloists/group members to being members of a boyband. These webisodes were hosted by Julian Trono, who was intensively trained in KPop.

The remaining 25 finalists were then trimmed to 14, with the 11 eliminated finalists competing for four wildcard slots that was decided through social media votes. The 18 finalists who will see action in the televised portion of the series are:

  • AJ Ajrouche
  • Lance Busa
  • Ken Carpena
  • Mico Cruz
  • Cholo dela Cruz
  • Martin de Vera
  • Luis Gragera
  • Joshua Jacobe
  • MJ Magno
  • Miko Manguba
  • Seph Manlapaz
  • Bryan Olano
  • JP Palanca
  • Adrian Pascual
  • Louie Pedroso
  • Lharby Policarpio
  • Edric Ulang
  • Chris Yumang

The 18 singers will then be divided into groups of six, and will be housed together and undergo further vocal and dance training in preparation for their performances. They will then be judged based on their singing and dancing ability, as well as their cohesiveness.

The panel of judges will be led by accomplished composer Ryan Cayabyab, and will be joined by The CompanY’s Moy Ortiz, Sweet Plantado and OJ Mariano. The quartet will also act as vocal coaches for the three groups.

The dance coaches will be Philippine Allstars alunmi and two-time World Hip-Hop champions Madelle and Prince Paltu-ob, and international breakdance champion Reflex Gotangco. The sound and music department will be led by Sonic State Audio’s Jonathan Ong, along with Chino David, Chrisanthony Vinzons and Brian Lotho.

‘To the Top’ was originally scheduled to air this Saturday, July 18, but for some unknown reason, it was moved to July 25. The show is expected to compete against ‘The Voice Kids’ season 2, which is currently on a hot streak as far as ratings are concerned.

By all accounts, GMA should have their hands full in this latest endeavor. Opposing ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ and its kids edition has been a difficult ordeal for the network, having seen its most recent talent show ‘Bet ng Bayan’ fail against the said ABS-CBN program.

That said, a daunting task awaits ‘To the Top’ as it nears its premiere. Will this show provide a tougher competition to ‘The Voice Kids’, or will it fall in the same manner as ‘Bet ng Bayan’? We’ll see.


31 thoughts on “A New Rival for ‘The Voice Kids 2’

  1. GMA is currently banking on the idea that girls will be very interested in this show since supposedly the boys will draw huge fanbases which will draw the ratings. But the problem is the boys are way too many which will spread out the existing fan base GMA has and it might rob their existing artists some loyal fans. If I were them, I’ll replace some of the judges with the likes of Elmo Jhake and Alden to act as coaches. This will ensure that the fans will be shared and create a much more supportive environment than having old schools mentor them. Put them inside a house similar to PBB and have a livestreaming platform to generate noise and content. To The Top feels like the “group theme” of X Factor. I feel that To The Top can potwntially outscore PBB but not The Voice Kids-this show is a killer.

    • But if Elmo, Jhake and Alden were to be the coaches, would that be detrimental to them? Of course, the boys need to sing and dance but I doubt those three can be good vocal or dance coaches.

      For their homes, perhaps GMA should adopt the I Do approach, as in the three groups live in three separate shelters. And yes, a livestream (if they have one) should help.

      I have to say, GMA is definitely obsessed with beating The Voice. They failed with Bet ng Bayan, and now this. They seem impressed that The Voice is a big hit, but they’re not satisfied with ABS dominating over them. That’s why they keep on coming.

      • well wala n kasing ibang male lead talents that sing and dance sa gma, it sould help those 3 boys as it will force them to mature and grow as artists, nde n kasi relevant ung mga judges/coaches.

        Yes parang gnun but that is expensive than one house. GMA is really obsessed, eh feeling ko ung To The Top boys can easily be beaten by Darren or JK Labajo,

  2. Gab says:

    I like the concept when the show started airing on online platforms before it is aired on the big tube, to gain the young audience.

    By the way, To The Top is produced by the GMA Public Affairs, the one who also the creators of animated series, Alamat and some critically-acclaimed dramas (the likes of Katipunan, Bayan Ko, Illustrado, Wagas, Sa Puso ni Dok, Titser)

    • now that you mentioned it, it makes me doubt even more, I expect that the entertainment dept will handle this given the experience they have and especially that SAS is rumored to say goodbye, it will help them relegate some of the workforce to To The Top. With the massive layoffs done in News and Public Affairs dept, I wonder how will the low morale in the desks affect the production of the shows? This is the worst time to let go of anyone especially if they are producing both alamat and to the top.

      • All of a sudden, GMA’s News and Public Affairs department are producing shows that isn’t news at all, which has been the case the past year. I won’t be surprised if they even end up producing a teleserye or a variety show. It’s just getting out of control.

        Better merge the entertainment and news departments, if I were them. The lines are getting blurred at this point.

      • no wonder there is a decline in quality among their entertainment programs, and soon their public affairs programs will suffer, maasive brain drain ahead

  3. JRDV says:

    Ratings-wise, for sure, mas popular pa rin ang TVK 2. For the new GMA show, good luck sa ratings.

    BTW, GMA is now getting more desperate with GMA News producing this show. Mawawala na ang tiwala ng tao sa GMA News if they keep to produce the entertainment shows. Sayang lang ang mga Peabody Awards ng GMA News.

  4. James Ty III says:

    And Iya Villania is doing Chika Minute on 24 Oras, a GMA News program. Many say Pia Guanio did a better job.

    • Still, they’re blurring the lines on the characteristics of a showbiz segment host. Tingnan niyo, Gretchen Fullido never had acting experience beyond hosting TV Patrol’s Star Patrol segment. So does MJ Marfori of TV5. And even before that, Phoemela Barranda. Only GMA has the audacity to hire Chika Minute hosts who have acted before, like they did with Iya now. Again, a very blurry situation going on.

  5. James Ty III says:

    GMA is relying more on blocktimers. Eat Bulaga producer Tony Tuviera is producing a new Sunday noontime show for the network titled Sunday Pinas Saya which will start airing next month with Ai ai de las Alas and Marian Rivera.

    Willie Revillame is also another GMA blocktimer on Sundays.

    Desperate times indeed for the Kapuso Network.

      • “to help” is never the producers’ intention. Look at what happened with Eat Bulaga, they have built an empire on GMA grounds. GMA can’t produce a decent noontime show because of this. The EB Group will now takeover the Sunday Slot, they are also managing GMA’s biggest star Marian. Ever wonder why GMA films fail? Its because they are housing a competitor MZET productions who by the way is an MMFF juggernaut. Vic Sotto and the gang’s loyalty is not with GMA but with MZet and APT. So before you say blocktimers help GMA to be on track again, think again. EB has been with GMA for decades now and look where the station is now. Blocktimers like EB are one of the reasons why GMA is failing. GMA become relax and dependent resulting in a brain drain among their entertainment and variety depts and now the public affairs group has to step in. GMA execs never had the foresight on the long term effects of blocktimers.

      • For a station with so many weaknesses, it’s no secret why GMA can no longer afford to expand their repertoire. And if To the Top fails to deliver against The Voice Kids, then it’s their responsibility to see what’s wrong.

  6. NRVB356 says:

    Sunday Pinas Saya will replace Sunday All Stars.

    And did To The Top’s staff watch Korean reality talent competition shows to get some inspiration?

    MJ Magno composed the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2014 entry ‘Simpleng Tulad Mo.’

    > Willie Revillame is also another GMA blocktimer on Sundays.
    But his show is promoted less than GMA’s dramas.

    • Better wait for the teasers first before any truth on SPS is confirmed. As for the staff of To the Top, we’re definitely uncertain if they watched Korean reality talents shows.

  7. Bebots1 says:

    Its a new concept, refreshing unlike the other shows this kids are all housed and well trained by the countries biggest, greatest performers and leading the pact is non other than Mr. C! (Ryan Cayabyab). The kids came from all walks of life bringing there talent like singing, dancing, composing and arranging music and mold them into ONE! Soon we will all watch and they develop into The countries first and truly Boy Band!

  8. James Ty III says:

    NRVB356, Willie’s show is only for one hour kaya it’s not promoted that much. Also, GMA is not promoting Wowowin primarily because of its current time slot. Pero once Sunday Pinas Saya begins airing, Wowowin will surely change its time slot at mas maraming interesadong manonood.

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