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.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, religion, television

GMA Goes Value-Oriented with ‘Nino’

The new GMA Telebabad offering ‘Nino’ will begin on May 26.

With ‘Carmela’ about to finish its run this Friday, GMA decided to take a more simple approach in creating their teleseryes. The new series, titled ‘Nino’, is GMA’s latest attempt towards creating teleseryes that focuses on optimism, hope and good values.

This type of teleserye is not new to viewers. In fact, ABS-CBN  has capitalized on child stars such as Zaijan Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat, and Raikko Mateo to create simple yet heartwarming teleseryes that were embraced by the viewing public. These usually consist of stories of faith (‘May Bukas Pa’), humility (‘100 Days to Heaven’) and honesty (‘Honesto’), and in each of the shows, the child star was the lead protagonist who sets the tone for the duration of the series.

Not to be outdone, GMA has attempted this formula a few times. However, the remake of the Julie Vega classic ‘Mga Mata ni Anghelita’, starring a young Krystal Reyes, and the Barbie Forteza-Joshua Dionisio starrer ‘Pilyang Kerubin’ failed to click with viewers. They decided to abandon this concept, that is, until the project ‘Nino’ came along.

The upcoming series centers on a mentally challenged teenage boy named Nino, portrayed by Miguel Tanfelix. Throughout the series, Nino will guide people to a journey towards inspiration, hope and optimism amid all challenges. And with the help of his ‘Tukayo’, played by David Remo, Nino is determined to change the life of his town through miraculous means.

The series will also introduce the ‘Naynay Commandments’, a series of values and good manners that teaches people the importance of integrity and honesty in everyday life. It also inspires parents to become responsible in raising their children.

‘Nino’ will also feature an all-star cast that features Tom Rodriguez, Katrina Halili, Lotlot de Leon, Neil Ryan Sese, German Moreno, Dante Rivero, Bianca Umali, Gerald Napoles, Ces Quesada, Luz Valdez, Gloria Romero, Renz Valerio, Julian Trono and Vincent Magbanua.

GMA executives should be optimistic about ‘Nino’. Having seen its rival ABS-CBN succeed with this type of teleserye, there is no question that ‘Nino’ has the potential to attract a big number of viewers. Still, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Nino’ will pull GMA’s fortunes back on the green side.

Nino is slated to air this Monday, right after ’24 Oras’.

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