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

Pinoy Boyband Superstar to End This Weekend

It all comes down to the final weekend.

This Saturday and Sunday night, ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ will reveal the five aspirants who will compose the next great Pinoy boyband. The seven remaining heartthrobs will have a chance to impress the judges and viewers one last time, with the opportunity to either take the first spot on Saturday, or earn the other four spots on Sunday.

The seven singing heartthrobs of ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ are as follows:

  • Ford Valencia, 21, the Hunky Haratista of Valenzuela City
  • Joao Constancia, 19, the Party Prince of Macau
  • Mark Oblea, 21, the Kwelang Bad Boy of Bacoor
  • Niel Murillo, 17, the Kanto Boy Next Door of Cebu
  • Russell Reyes, 18, the Fil-Am-azing Boy of Illinois
  • Tony Labrusca, 21, the Bad Boy of Vancouver
  • Tristan Ramirez, 23, the Buff Balladeer of Bulacan

The five winners of ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ will earn exclusive Star Magic contracts, One Music recording contracts, Yamaha motorcycles, and P5 million in cash. Not only that, the name of the boyband will be revealed, along with their first single.

Since its premiere on September 10, ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ has constantly ranked among ABS-CBN’s most-watched weekend shows. The reality/talent show averaged better than 30% (according to Kantar) during its four-month run, easily outperforming GMA’s counterpart shows.

The ratings performance of ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ is also miles better than GMA’s own boyband search show ‘To the Top’, But considering that the latter aired on a different timeslot than the former, it could be unfair to judge ‘To the Top’ just by comparing it to ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’.

Still, it remains to be seen if the new boyband from ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ will outperform ‘To the Top”s Top One Project. This up-and-coming boyband from ABS-CBN’s star-making factory should have high expectations on their shoulders, and for good reason, since Star Magic has had a reputation for churning successful talent.

Come this weekend, five will be left standing. Find out who among the seven singing heartthrobs will take their place as the Philippines’ next great boyband.

‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar: The Grand Reveal’ airs this Saturday after ‘Home Sweetie Home’, and this Sunday after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, on ABS-CBN.

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entertainment, live events, Philippines, television

A Look Back at the First and Only GMA Artist Center Ball

Remember the first and only time GMA held the Artist Center Ball?

On November 8, 2011, the GMA Artist Center staged its own ball at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati. A majority of Artist Center talents attended the event, each of whom showed up in their most elaborate attire.

The GMA Artist Center Ball was presented in response to the growing glamor of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic Ball. At the time it was held, the Star Magic Ball had been staged five times since its inception in 2007.

The theme of the 2011 event was about the launching of the short-lived Profiles magazine. It was supposed to be GMA’s answer to the annual Star Magic catalogue magazine, but it only had one catalogue before it was shut down that same year.

Unfortunately, the 2011 Artist Center Ball marked the last such event for the network. Lack of funds, declining television ratings and programming concerns were too much for GMA to handle, and they have not produced a ball since.

On the contrary, ABS-CBN’s Star Magic Ball continues to put on a show for all of its talents. In fact, the tenth edition of the ball will take place tomorrow night, which should only add insult to injury for GMA’s Artist Center and even to Entertainment department head Lilybeth Rasonable.

Five years after the last Artist Center Ball, there are still questions of what might have been. Regardless of the unfortunate circumstances, Kapuso faithful can only hope for the best, as GMA tries to make sense of their ongoing dilemmas.

For those who may have forgotten the last GMA Artist Center Ball, Pep.ph has some interesting photo galleries to show for. Click the following links and look back at a time when Kapuso stars used to show up in their glamorous dresses and suits for this occasion.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Koreanovelas Return to ABS-CBN

What’s going on, ABS-CBN?

In an extremely unusual move, the Kapamilya network decided to bring back Koreanovelas after an eight-month absence. Their newest Koreanovela, ‘My Love Donna’ will air starting this Monday, and will replace ‘And I Love You So’ on the Kapamilya Gold block.

‘My Love Donna’ stars Joo Jin-Mo and Kim Sa-Rang. It will be the first Koreanovela since ‘Let’s Get Married’ and ‘My Lovely Girl’ to air on ABS-CBN.

Bringing back Koreanovelas on ABS-CBN doesn’t make sense. They already have the resources and technology to produce more local programming, so why do they still need to import foreign series when in fact interest in Koreanovelas are declining and there are some Star Magic artists who are waiting for opportunities to shine.

In addition, ABS-CBN is infamous for cutting a lot of good scenes when it comes to foreign dramas, so much so that their runs are shorter than originally indicated (remember ‘Ana Manuela’?). The fact that these dramas are short-term in nature doesn’t help ABS-CBN at all, and it only hurts their viewership whenever they are present.

By bringing ‘My Love Donna’ to Kapamilya Gold, ABS-CBN has made the wrong decision and the wrong time to bring back a Koreanovela. On the same day ‘My Love Donna’ premieres, GMA will bring in a new teleserye, the Andrea Torres-starred ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, on the very same timeslot (more on that this Monday).

Remember, the Kapuso network only airs Koreanovelas in the morning and evening slots, and on Mondays to Thursdays as well. The presence of ‘Wowowin’ and longer teleseryes means that there is no place for them to add Koreanovelas in the afternoon.

That said, expect ABS-CBN to lose in the ratings with their newest Koreanovela. This is a definite mismatch for the Kapamilya network, and thus, it won’t help them at all.

What was thought to be the ‘end of an era’ for Koreanovelas on the network turned out to be false hope. Yes, ABS-CBN brought back a Koreanovela, but it won’t be long before they stopped airing them anew.

Other Notes: Speaking of Koreanovelas, GMA will have Korean movies every Monday to Thursday at 10:00 p.m. as part of the ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ series. It will replace ‘Temptation’ starting March 14.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Homecoming for Jolina and Maxene That Further Hurts GMA

Jolina Magdangal returned to ABS-CBN after 12 years with GMA. Magdangal blossomed as a Kapamilya artist during her teen years. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN Official Facebook)

It only gets worse for GMA and its roster of artists.

Yesterday, ABS-CBN confirmed that homegrown star and former Kapuso talent Jolina Magdangal has rejoined the network for a reunion project with fellow ‘laking Kapamilya’ Marvin Agustin. Their project, ‘Flordeliza’, is expected to premiere on the first week of December as a late-morning romantic series.

This was after Magdangal teased a return to her original network back in July, when she visited the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City.

Magdangal blossomed under the watch of Star Magic’s Johnny Manahan, appearing in shows such as ‘Ang TV’, ‘Gimik’, ‘Labs Ko si Babe’ and ‘Arriba Arriba’, and in movies like ‘Hey Babe’, ‘Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang?’ and ‘Gimik: The Reunion’. Her initial team-up with Marvin Agustin became highly popular among adoring fans.

But after departing ABS-CBN for GMA in 2002, Magdangal was gradually reduced to a mere bit player. While she was given major roles in shows like ‘I LUV NY’, ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Iglot’, she was increasingly upstaged by GMA’s own homegrown artists, particularly those who blossomed after ‘StarStruck’.

This was in contrast to another returning Kapamilya artist, who will be seen in an upcoming project late this year.

For Maxene Magalona, a return to ABS-CBN opened a new opportunity. After all, while she began her career as an ‘Ang TV’ kid, it was on GMA where her career truly blossomed, beginning with the long-running sitcom ‘Daddy Di Do Du’.

Maxene later proved her worth as a villain in various Kapuso teleseryes, particularly in the afternoon block. Her last project with GMA was ‘Mga Basang Sisiw’, which aired for much of last year.

Her recent guestings on shows like ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘The Singing Bee’ were simply a hint of things to come, though she has yet to specify which project she will work on.

The departures of both Magdangal and Magalona proved to be another blow on the part of GMA’s artist roster. For a network who’s becoming increasingly overdependent on its older but still serviceable stars, this is a bitter pill to swallow, considering the lack of development among its younger artists.

That said, expect more of GMA’s disgruntled stars to leave and find opportunities in other networks. And for the leadership group in both the entertainment and talent divisions, it is time for a change, all in hopes of regaining lost credibility among loyal viewers.

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drama, entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

New Projects for Former Pinoy Big Brother: All In Housemates

Upcoming projects on ABS-CBN await the likes of Jane Oineza and the other ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ housemates. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Sam Milby, Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jason Gainza, Melai Cantiveros, and Jason Francisco.

These are just some of the former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ housemates that went on to become established players in the Star Magic roster. And just like in previous years, there are new opportunities that await the latest batch of PBB housemates.

Immediately after ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’, ABS-CBN decided to give several of its housemates acting projects. These projects were first unveiled in a recent Kapamilya All Out trade concert.

Jane Oineza, ‘All In”s third-placer, is given a lead role on the upcoming teleserye ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’. The ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ alum is no stranger to lead acting roles, having been nominated in the 2013 New York Festival for her portrayal of a rape victim in an episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’.

Fellow housemates Joshua Garcia (‘All In’ sixth-placer) and Loisa Andalo (‘All In’ fifth placer) will join Jane in the upcoming series.

Twins Fourth (‘All In’ ninth-placer) and Fifth Pagotan (‘All In’ eighth-placer) were also given an upcoming project via the series ‘Nathaniel’. The twins will play supporting roles to the series’ up-and-coming child actor, whose name is yet to be determined.

As for grand winner Daniel Matsunaga, he has yet to commit to a long-term deal with ABS-CBN’s Star Magic. However, a lineup of projects outside ABS-CBN await the long-time freelancer.

In a recent interview, Matsunaga indicated that he will star in two upcoming films, one of which will be the latest sequel to the Metro Manila Film Festival mainstay ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’.

And for the rest of the ‘All In’ housemates, there are other opportunities to explore. In fact, the doors of GMA Network will always be open to former housemates who look to become the next Tom Rodriguez and Sam Pinto.

That said, there will be always be life after ‘Pinoy Big Brother’. And who knows what will happen next.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, movies, music, Philippines, television

The Decline of the GMA Artist Center

Aljur Abrenica and other GMA Artist Center talents have seen their careers take a dip in recent years, owing to the problems that surround the GMAAC. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

Low ratings, financial struggles, and futile programming changes. These attributes have become the standard of the GMA Network in recent years.

And the GMA Artist Center is sharing a part of the blame.

While the Artist Center has been known for making stars out of Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Carla Abellana, Dennis Trillo and others, they also had a fair share of missteps along the way. Missed opportunities, underdeveloped and disgruntled talents, and even poor acquisitions have played a role in the GMAAC’s recent history.

For instance, Jolina Magdangal’s recent visit to ABS-CBN has hinted reports of a possible return to the network. Once one of the most promising talents to come out of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic, her career gradually went downhill after moving to GMA in 2002.

The Artist Center also acquired other former Star Magic talents such as Heart Evangelista, Christian Bautista, Michelle Madrigal and Claudine Barretto. But while Madrigal became a full-fledged star with GMA, the same cannot be said of the careers of Evangelista and Barretto, who were on the decline by the time they signed with the GMAAC. This despite the likes of Tom Rodriguez receiving a career boost with GMA after lingering under Star Magic.

On the contrary, several former GMAAC artists blossomed under Mr. M’s watch. For example, Cristine Reyes, Jake Cuenca, Coco Martin, Paulo Avelino, and more recently Ellen Adarna were considered raw and underdeveloped talents on GMA, but upon transferring to ABS-CBN, their careers were given a new lease on life.

Even several established former GMAAC stars managed to maintain a high profile after moving to ABS-CBN. Angel Locsin, formerly the lead star of ‘Darna’, ‘Mulawin’ and other fantaseryes, gave a good account of herself with a critically-acclaimed performance on ‘The Legal Wife’. Ditto recent Kapuso-to-Kapamilya transferee Iza Calzado, who currently play the lead role in ‘Hawak Kamay’ after starring in several GMA series such as ‘Encantadia’.

If GMA wants to get back on track, look no further than the GMA Artist Center. Since Ida Henares resigned as head of the GMAAC in 2012, the agency is currently run by various personnel, neither of which share the multi-faceted vision and mission of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic. The GMAAC clearly needs a multi-purpose leader, not a by-committee leadership group with clashing personalities, in order to develop and manage talents well.

In the end, much of GMA’s fortunes will begin and end with the GMA Artist Center. The success and failure of the network depends on how the GMAAC manages their talents. But right now, the GMAAC is a mess, and its sudden and gradual decline mirrors that of GMA’s. Time to fix a wrecked system, otherwise things will only get worse.

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