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

Bet ng Bayan: A Future Flop in the Making?

Auditions for GMA’s upcoming reality talent show ‘Bet ng Bayan’ are currently ongoing. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Despite the clear signs of decline on the part of the GMA Artist Center, the network remains defiant in its attempt to hone new stars.

Thus, another attempt at a reality talent show was conceptualized.

Enter ‘Bet ng Bayan’, GMA’s latest attempt at finding new artists and performers. The upcoming reality program will be hosted by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and Alden Richards, and it will premiere either this August or September.

Auditions for ‘Bet ng Bayan’ are currently ongoing in various parts of the country, and will run until the first week of August.  The show will feature solo, duo, and group singers, dancers, and novelty performers over 15 years old.

Let’s face it, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ is essentially a copycat of ABS-CBN’s ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ and TV5’s ‘Talentadong Pinoy’. While GMA claims that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ is an original concept of theirs, it is clear that they borrowed several aspects of ‘PGT’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy’ into their reality talent program.

It is also clear that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ is just another move by GMA to replenish their weekend lineup. Already decimated by numerous lineup changes and four movie blocks, they now hope that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ will be their saving grace to their weekend woes. But with ABS-CBN continuing to impose their will on the opposition, it will be an even tougher task for ‘Bet ng Bayan’ to achieve, considering that GMA’s previous weekend reality talent show ‘Protege’ failed to attract viewers during its two-season run.

The producers of ‘Bet ng Bayan’ are definitely under pressure to make the series work. And with GMA’s current roster of artists struggling to stay relevant, they hope that fresh blood will come with this program. However, it remains to be seen if ‘Bet ng Bayan’ can really deliver ‘the next big star’.

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cartoon, comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, reality show, Sports, talk show, television

What Happened to Jack TV?

In my previous post I talked about the problems facing Solar Sports in recent years, and the need for a rebrand. But while Solar Sports is suffering from lack of content, fellow Solar network Jack TV is facing an identity crisis, something that needs to address as soon as possible.

Originally launched in 2005 as a block-timer to Solar USA, Jack TV achieved full-time network status the following year. At first, its programming ranged from sitcoms, animated comedies, wrestling programs and game shows to reality programs, gag shows and talk shows. However, in the last two years Jack TV began to reintegrate drama, suspense and action series inspired from its days as Solar USA, in anticipation of the launch of its sister network Jack City.

The resulting concoction left a bad taste in the mouths of some viewers. But perhaps the biggest damage to Jack TV’s reputation was when Solar let go of WWE programs in 2011, presumably due to high expenses. The loss of the WWE was devastating to Jack TV, as it provided wrestling fans with live pay-per-views along with full broadcasts of WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown.

Jack TV definitely needs to rebrand, period. They should start by dumping its animated comedies like The Simpsons and Family Guy, since Fox Asia currently air them. They should also get rid of sitcoms and place it on 2nd Avenue. And bring in more reality programs, such as The Biggest Loser. In short, better rename the channel or revert to the name Solar USA.

Jack TV, originally a male-dominated channel, now attracts females and high school youth. Having said that, a shift of audience also means a shift in programming, and Solar executives should begin the process of rebranding as soon as possible.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television, United States

Third Survivor Season in the Philippines

Survivor: Blood vs. Water was taped in the Palaui Island in Cagayan, marking the third consecutive Survivor season taped in the Philippines.

For the third consecutive season, the hit American reality series ‘Survivor‘ was taped in the Philippines. The new season was dubbed ‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’, and it featured returning castaways pitting against their relatives or their loved ones.

While the last two seasons of ‘Survivor’ were taped in Caramoan, Camarines Sur (‘Survivor: Philippines‘, ‘Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites’), the new season of ‘Survivor’ was taped in Palaui Island, Cagayan. The new season will mark the return of the popular ‘Redemption Island’, albeit in a different format where any of the remaining contestants may choose to switch with their partner if he/she is at Redemption Island. The duration of the series is expected to last 39 1/2 days, thanks to the addition of ‘Day Zero’, where the pairs spend the night in an undisclosed location before they were divided into two tribes named ‘Galang’ and ‘Tadhana’.

The returning castaways in the game include four-time Survivor veteran Rupert Boneham, previous winner Aras Baskauskas, Tina Wesson, Gervase Peterson, Candice Cody, Tyson Apostol, Laura Morett, and three ‘Survivor: One World‘ castaways in Kat Edorsson, Monica Culpepper and Colton Crumbie. Joining them are their immediate family members, who will experience first-hand the harsh life in a deserted island, only relying on survival instincts to stay in the game.

The new season of ‘Survivor’ is being aired in the Philippines on the cable network Jack TV every Thursday afternoon, beginning with an airing of the previous episode before the airing of the latest episode. As with every season, expect a whole lot of alliances, mind games, betrayals and tears throughout every episode.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Pinoy Big Brother Returns Soon

‘Pinoy Big Brother’ returns to television in a few months, after taking a year off to make way for ABS-CBN’s other franchise outfits.

Last night, during the live results show of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’, ABS-CBN aired a teaser for the upcoming season of the successful reality seriesPinoy Big Brother‘. The series, which emerged as ABS-CBN’s most profitable and popular reality program, has been off the air for over a year, mainly due to commitments with other franchises (e.g. The X-Factor Philippines, Masterchef Pinoy Edition, Pilipinas Got Talent). However, after a lengthy absence, ‘Kuya’ and his housemates make their long-awaited return to Philippine television.

As seen in the teasers, the upcoming season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will be its fifth as a franchise. This does not include the Celebrity and Teen Editions, thus this season will only include housemates of at least 18 years of age and with various backgrounds not related to the entertainment industry. Details for the upcoming auditions have yet to be revealed as of this writing.

In addition, the ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ house at the Eugenio Lopez Drive in Quezon City has been renovated in preparation for the new season. The gates and parking lot near the PBB house are currently used by the ABS-CBN Foundation as a warehouse for relief goods, and will vacate the premises once the new season begins.

The ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ series has made celebrities out of Gerald Anderson, Kim Chiu, Sam Milby, Matt Evans, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Zanjoe Marudo, and Ejay Falcon, among others. The series has been dubbed as the ‘Teleserye ng Totoong Buhay’ (Drama of Real Life), and its popularity depended on the housemates’ interaction, the duties, advices and penalties being given to by ‘Kuya’ (Big Brother), and the unscripted display of emotion among the housemates, whether inside the PBB household or after their eviction. Given PBB’s unscripted nature, it’s no wonder why several housemates went on to become celebrities in their own right.

The fifth season debut of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will be revealed as soon as the auditions conclude. Meanwhile, tune in for more updates regarding the nationwide audition schedules.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Sunday All Stars: Reality Show or Variety Show?

Sunday All Stars is an entirely new concept, mixing the aspects of reality television and variety show into one.

GMA 7‘s ‘Sunday All Stars’ has been on the air for over a month. However, as the show’s run went along, I wondered if ‘Sunday All Stars’ really qualify as a reality show or a variety show. Here’s how I found out.

Sunday All Stars: The Reality Show

According to Wikipedia, reality television is a type of television genre that presents unscripted situations, documents actual events and usually features unknowns instead of professional actors. Reality shows emphasize on drama and personal conflict, and also features interviews by the subject that doubles as a narration. Such elements are a fixture on competition-based reality shows, which includes the elimination of a contestant in each episode, a panel of judges, and the winner receiving immunity in the next episode.

Some aspects of reality television is featured on ‘Sunday All Stars’, from backstage drama and conflict, contestant interviews, rehearsals, ‘live’ performances and judge reviews. However, the elimination concept is not used, although the immunity concept for winners is emphasized.

Sunday All Stars: The Variety Show

Variety shows feature performances from various individuals or groups, introduced by a host or a group of hosts. ‘Sunday All Stars’ is an example of this format. Of course, they could have not been viable to Sunday afternoons without adopting this format.

The format of ‘Sunday All Stars’ is a novel one: a variety show with hints of reality television added to it. In the past, variety shows on Sundays are exclusively about performances by artists, as seen on ABS-CBN’s ASAP and GMA‘s former programs SOP and Party Pilipinas. However, ‘Sunday All Stars’ introduced viewers to a new type of variety show, adding a twist of drama and behind-the-scenes footage of the groups involved. Whether or not it will interest audiences remains to be seen. 

Right now ‘Sunday All Stars’ is still on the infancy stage. If they succeed in gaining audiences, the show’s run will last more respectably than Party Pilipinas; otherwise GMA will need a different approach in Sunday programming.

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entertainment, music, television, United States

Why American Idol Fizzled?

 

American Idol

Season 12 of American Idol was the show’s lowest rated ever, but contestants were not the only reason why. (Title card courtesy of FOX Broadcasting Company)

For 12 years, American Idol was the premier singing competition in the US. However, the show is facing a lot of competition from related reality programs such as The Voice and The X-Factor. In season 12, Idol’s dominance seem to completely fade.

 

There were some factors considered on why American Idol suddenly became stale and boring. First was the change in judges. For most seasons, the judges consist of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. The chemistry of the three judges, along with Cowell’s outspoken remarks regarding the contestants, boosted Idol’s popularity and critical acclaim, to the point that it became one of the top-rated shows in the country. However, from Season 8 onwards, constant judge replacements, namely Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, caused Idol to lose some of its audience, while retaining its ranks among America’s most watched programs.

 

Season 12 was the least-rated Idol season in the show’s history, owing to the lack of chemistry among the judges. It didn’t help that Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were involved in a reported feud, and that Randy Jackson announced that he was leaving Idol. The ‘boring’ state of Idol caused its downfall from a top-rated show to an afterthought, constantly beaten and scarred by NBC’s The Voice.

 

Also hurting Idol were unexpected eliminations. Angie Miller, a fan favorite, was eliminated in the penultimate results show. Miller had been a constant front-runner for most of Season 12, even receiving an overwhelming response to her performance of ‘You Set Me Free’. In the end, she was eliminated despite performing a passionate and poignant rendition of ‘Never Gone’, causing fans and critics alike to call it a ‘shocker’ and a ‘surprise result’.

 

Miller would’ve won American Idol if not for the judges. Not surprisingly, only a few viewers tuned in to watch Candice Glover win. Glover’s performance wasn’t bad by any means, but not good enough to help Idol’s cause in terms of ratings.

 

Finally the lack of creativity and appeal caused Idol’s downfall. Their song setlist has always been limited at best, thus whenever songs heard on previous seasons were sung again, audiences would tune out. Also, judges tend to pick some contestants who ‘couldn’t’ sing but can hit the high notes, regardless of whether they look pretty. Finally the predictability factor comes to play. While The Voice continues to churn out new notes in every season, Idol’s ‘tried and tested’ formula from auditions to the finals proved repetitive and lacked a new wrinkle.

 

With the disaster that is American Idol Season 12 now in the rear view mirror, the producers of the program would have to think of new ways to make the show a hit again. From new judges and themes to more attractive and silky-smooth contestants, producers would have over five months of preparation and tinkering in the hopes of making Idol a hit again. For now though, American Idol’s most disappointing season in its history will always be remembered and vilified for its issues and off-stage remarks that characterized it.

 

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