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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concerts, entertainment, live events, Philippines, television, variety show

1995 Flashback: APO Out, ASAP In

Some of the ‘ASAP’ logos that were used throughout the show’s run. (Logos courtesy of ABS-CBN)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

This week will mark the 20th anniversary of the longest-running Sunday afternoon variety show in the country.

‘All-Star Sunday Afternoon Party’, better known as ‘ASAP’, debuted on ABS-CBN on February 5, 1995. The show was created in the wake of predecessor ‘Sa Linggo nAPO Sila”s move to weekdays as ”Sang Linggo nAPO Sila’ following the move of TAPE, Inc.’s ‘Eat Bulaga’ to GMA.

‘ASAP’ did not follow the precedent of its predecessor ‘Sa Linggo nAPO Sila’, which in many ways was an extension of ‘Eat Bulaga’ up to this point. Instead, it was conceptualized as a ‘concert party’ on Sundays, which means that the performances of ABS-CBN’s contract artists would dominate the show.

For the first two years of its run, ‘ASAP’ competed against ‘GMA Supershow’, then the top-rated show on Sunday afternoons. But on February 2, 1997, ‘SOP’ replaced the latter, setting off a heated rivalry between the two shows that lasted 13 years, mostly resulting in ‘SOP’ winning the ratings battle.

In 2003, ‘ASAP’ was renamed ‘ASAP Mania’, in response to ‘SOP”s rebrand as ‘SOP Rules’. A year later, the two competing shows launched their own spinoffs in ‘ASAP Fanatic’ and ‘SOP Gigsters’, during the height of popularity between rival talent search shows ‘Star Circle Quest’ and ‘StarStruck’.

‘ASAP Mania’ then reverted back to ‘ASAP’ in 2005, and other than the minor name changes such as ‘ASAP Rocks’ and ‘ASAP (year/anniversary)’, the show retained the ‘ASAP’ name for the remainder of its run.

The rivalry between ‘ASAP’ and ‘SOP’ came to an end on February 28, 2010, when ‘SOP’ aired its final episode. By then, ‘ASAP’ had taken over the No. 1 spot, and it would stay there for good despite the best efforts of GMA to replace ‘SOP’ with ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’.

Today, ‘ASAP’ remains the benchmark to which all Sunday afternoon variety shows are measured. With a run of 20 years and counting, it easily surpasses former rival ‘GMA Supershow’ in that regard, and remains atop the ratings game thanks to their mix of high-energy performances and top-notch studio sets.

Now what happened to ”Sang Linggo nAPO Sila’? The reformatted weekday show only managed to air for another three years, after which it was replaced by ‘Magandang Tanghali, Bayan’. The APO Hiking Society, for whom the show was named after, then returned full-time to the music industry before disbanding in 2010.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, reality show, television

When Kids Take Over Showbiz

TV programs such as ABS-CBN’s ‘Bet On Your Baby’ have shifted their attention to young children making an impression in front of a television audience. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

The age requirement for people entering the world of showbiz is getting younger. Some years ago ‘Starstruck’ and ‘Star Circle Quest‘ were responsible for extending their hand to teenage talents looking to break into the entertainment world. Now it’s the turn of ‘Bet On Your Baby’ and ‘Anak Ko Yan’ for encouraging even pre-teens and elementary school youngsters to make their mark.

The two talent departments in GMA’s Artist Center and ABS-CBN‘s Star Magic have the responsibility of finding diamonds in the rough, regardless of age. However, in recent years the trend is on preschool and grade school children getting their seat warm. Last night ABS-CBN introduced another child wonder in five-year-old Raikko Mateo in the new teleserye ‘Honesto’, continuing what has been a hot trend for young children to enter the world of showbiz. And it has also extended to programs such as ‘Bet On Your Baby’ and on GMA’s ‘Anak Ko Yan’.

ABS-CBN’s ‘Bet On Your Baby’ focuses on toddlers trying to win various challenges in order to win the top prize of P 1,000,000. The game show proved to be a ratings hit in its first three weeks on the air, peaking after Dello Gatmaitan won the top cash prize of P 1,000,000. ‘Bet on Your Baby’ has been praised for its fresh format and its positive handling of toddlers during the show, and with the high ratings and reviews, it looks like ABS-CBN has found another winner in its long tradition of acquiring franchises of foreign shows.

GMA’s ‘Anak Ko Yan’ follows in the vein of prior reality talent search programs, where young children showcase their talents in hopes of becoming the ultimate winner. The format is nothing new; ‘SCQ Kids’ and ‘Starstruck Kids‘ have used this approach in the past. However, ‘Anak Ko Yan’ also pays attention to the children’s parents who will play key roles in guiding their children in every challenge. The series, while billed as a ‘fresh take’, has not been able to capture most viewers’ attention since it is basically reusing a tried and tested format from older reality series.

Both networks have found a new outlet in discovering talent from the preschool/grade school group. However, the talent centers remain the source of finding new talent. With the exception of a Ryzza Mae Dizon who became an instant celebrity simply by winning a noontime talent competition, most top child stars today came from the talent centers, and were extensively trained by experienced actors and directors. An example of that training is on the ABS-CBN comedy show ‘Goin’ Bulilit‘, whose priority is to prepare young children into more prominent roles later on.

It is not bad for children to become famous early in their lives. However, a little guidance and growth is needed to sustain that level of fame as they get older. And of course, education will remain a priority.

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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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