entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television, variety show

Star Circle Quest Returns as Segment of It’s Showtime

‘Star Circle Quest’ returns soon as a segment of ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’. (Screenshot and logos courtesy of ABS-CBN)

Remember ‘Star Circle Quest’?

Before ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ became the so-called ‘instant ticket’ to stardom for some of ABS-CBN’s top stars, there was the reality talent search show called ‘Star Circle Quest’. Between 2004 and 2011, two teen and three kids editions of SCQ were produced, and several of its alumni made their mark in the business.

While ‘Star Circle Quest’ proved to be no match for ‘StarStruck’ in terms of popularity and star factor, it was nevertheless credited for discovering stars that soon became mainstays on ABS-CBN programming. Here is a look at some of the network’s most memorable personalities whose careers began as Questors on the show:

  • Sandara Park
  • Joross Gamboa
  • Roxanne Guinoo
  • Melissa Ricks
  • Michelle Madrigal
  • Nash Aguas
  • Sharlene San Pedro
  • Erich Gonzales
  • Jason Abalos
  • Arron Villaflor
  • Bugoy Carino
  • Izzy Canillo
  • Xyriel Manabat

Six years after its last edition aired, ABS-CBN announced that ‘Star Circle Quest’ will be revived as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. Auditions for the segment commenced last month, with teenagers aged 13 to 19 years old trying to impress the judges with their dancing, singing and acting skills.

As SCQ will now be relegated into a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’, reality show elements will be minimized due to the live nature of the program. Nevertheless, for the many people who became fans of SCQ from the beginning, the prospect of its revival is an exciting one to say the least.

ABS-CBN has yet to announce the start date of the competition, so stay tuned for further updates.

In a related development, a kids’ edition of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ will take the place of the just-concluded adult edition starting today. Auditions for the competition were well underway, and will follow the same format as the original.

And finally, a second installment of ‘Funny One’ will also begin soon. Auditions for ‘Funny One’ began last month alongside SCQ, with the aim of discovering the country’s next great comedian.

The resurgence of ‘It’s Showtime’ following the Pastillas Girl-Kalyeserye debacle is a breath of fresh air for ABS-CBN. And following the success of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, expect a lot more from the show once it unveils ‘Star Circle Quest’, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids’ and ‘Funny One’ to its menu.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

More Villainous Roles for Jennylyn Mercado

Villainous roles should be a welcome shift to both Jennylyn Mercado and the GMA Network as the viewing habits begin to change.

The upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Rhodora X’ will be the most challenging to date for Jennylyn Mercado. The series will feature Mercado portraying a mentally insane character with a split personality, and as the teasers show, it appears that playing the villain may be more appealing to her these days.

In recent years, several actresses showed their versatility by playing heroic characters in one series, followed by a villainous role in the next, and vice versa. For example, both Julia Montes and Melissa Ricks initially played the villain and hero in ‘Mara Clara’ and ‘Nasaan Ka, Elisa?’ respectively, but when the two were cast in ‘Walang Hanggan’, their roles were reversed. And Maja Salvador, who will play the villain opposite Angel Locsin in ABS-CBN’s ‘The Legal Wife’, played a heroic sidekick character with Kim Chiu in ‘My Binondo Girl’ before playing ‘kontrabida’ against her in ‘Ina, Kapatid, Anak’.

If Jennylyn Mercado wants to evolve and mature as an actress, she needs to prove her worth by playing the bad girl. ‘Rhodora X’ is a good opportunity for her to showcase a different facet in her acting. And if GMA is dead serious in returning to the win column, they need either one of their veterans to play ‘kontrabida’ against upcoming young talents, and Mercado is a perfect fit.

With their primetime programs currently shackled by ABS-CBN’s, a change in philosophy is needed for GMA. And transitioning Jennylyn Mercado to a ‘kontrabida’ may help reverse their doldrums.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television, United States

Honesto Debuts, The Gift Still Uncertain, NBA Season Begins

ABS-CBN will have a new teleserye debuting tonight. The drama series ‘Honesto’ focuses on a child named Honesto, whose recurring nasal allergies were a result of telling lies to others. The lead character’s willingness to remain honest and truthful amid the lies and conflicts surrounding his friends and family will be the main theme of the series, which airs tonight after ‘TV Patrol‘.

‘Honesto’ will be topbilled by young child actor Raikko Mateo, and playing supporting roles are Paulo Avelino, Maricar Reyes, Eddie Garcia, Janice de Belen, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Angel Aquino, Nonie Buencamino, Joel Torre, Joseph Marco and Melissa Ricks. The series replaces the highly-rated Coco Martin starrer ‘Juan Dela Cruz’ which ended last Friday.

Meanwhile, the airing date of TV5’s ‘The Gift’ is still being determined. The series was supposed to start last October 14, but due to the then-ongoing PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, it was rescheduled for a future air date. The shelving of ‘The Gift’ forced the reshuffling of the network’s ‘Everyday All the Way’ primetime lineup, with ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ airing at 7:00 p.m. followed by ‘Madam Chairman’ at 7:30 p.m. As of today TV5 management have yet to make an announcement regarding ‘The Gift’.

And for basketball fans in the Philippines, the 2013-14 NBA season gets underway this Wednesday morning. The Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers square off to begin the NBA season at 7:00 a.m. on Basketball TV. Over at Studio 23, the defending champion Miami Heat will raise their banner and begin their quest for a third straight title against the returning Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls at 8:00 a.m. And at BTV, the Hallway Series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers concludes opening night at 10:40 a.m. Both the Heat-Bulls and Clippers-Lakers matchups will also be aired live on NBA Premium TV.

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entertainment, news, Philippines

Who is Neri Naig?

Chito Miranda and Neri Naig back in happier times.

This past week, a private sex video of Parokya ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda and his girlfriend Neri Naig was leaked over social media. Miranda would apologize for this unfortunate incident, saying that his hard drive was stolen and thus the video was leaked to YouTube and other websites. Everyone knew who Miranda is, but anyone remember Naig?

Nearly a decade ago, ABS-CBN launched their answer to GMA’s ‘Starstruck’. ‘Star Circle Quest‘ was created to add new talent to ABS-CBN’s ‘Star Circle’ roster of artists. The first batch featured the likes of Hero Angeles, Sandara Park, Roxanne Guinoo, Joross Gamboa, Melissa Ricks, Michelle Madrigal, and Naig. Of the original batch, only Ricks and Madrigal remain involved in showbiz and have also posed for FHM. Park returned home to Korea to form the K-Pop group ‘2NE1’. Angeles, Guinoo and Gamboa returned to relative obscurity after a few years in the limelight. SCQ would become a relative failure and this led ABS-CBN to launch the now-successful ‘Pinoy Big Brother’.

But back to Naig. After SCQ, she had a few projects with the Kapamilya network, but most of them were bit parts in various teleseryes. She retreated out of the spotlight by 2008, but five years later, her name resurfaced thanks to this infamous sex video, which unfortunately was spread like wildfire to all forms of social media.

The Miranda-Naig sex video was not the first time that a private sex video was leaked on the Internet. A few years ago, the infamous Hayden Kho-Katrina Halili sex video was leaked over the Web and made headlines for several months. The government has been cracking down on leaked private celebrity videos following that incident, but it seems that a few evil minds continue to do this exploitation, whether by intent or by accident.

Regardless, this should be a lesson to learn, that any exploitation of private stuff should be tolerated. As for Miranda and Naig, their reputations have been damaged by this incident, and it may take a while before they can be restored.

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