Sunday, September 30, 2012

Choose Philippines! -- El Gamma Penumbra makes me proud to be a Filipino

Last Saturday night on the X Factor Philippines, El Gamma Penumbra gave a breathtaking performance on the show, and danced and shadow-played to the tune of Choose Philippines.

The crowd, and I - while witnessing the performance on television, could only scream in amazement.  I had goosebumps all over my body, and it has been quite a while since I had those.  The group, which I believe I first saw perform on ABS-CBN's Showtime, makes me proud to be a Filipino.  

Choose Philippines! Always. 

X Factor PH Update: Top 3 Finalists at last!

Allen Jane Sta. Maria has just been booted out of the greatest musical event in the country this year, The X Factor Philippines.

That leaves the following on the Top 3 slots:  KZ Tandingan, who this time, surprisingly found her way on the bottom 2, Gabriel Maturan, and Daddy's Home.

All roads lead to the PAGCOR Grand Theater in Paranaque next week for the Grand Finals of the 1st Season of X Factor Philippines.  

Good luck, Finalists!

To us viewers, another musical experience to look forward to. 

The Battle for the Top 3: Road to the Grand Finals of X Factor PH

It's been a while since I wrote a review about the X Factor Philippines.  

Inspite of my silence, I continued to watch the show, and silently rejoiced when I knew that finally, Kedebon Colim was given the boot.  (A sigh of relief inserted here.)  A great relief at that because in a popularity show like this where twists are inherent - just like any other popularity show -  the balance could tip in favor of Kedebon and he could have been the First Grand Winner of X Factor Philippines.  Everybody would know that if that happened, I mean Kedebon winning the grand prize, the X Factor that he has would not necessarily be the talent of singing which is the major quality being searched for in this contest.  It could be something else other than that and I leave that to you.  (Evil laugh inserted here.) 

Now it's down to the Top 4.  Owning the Top 4 spots are (in random order): KZ Tandingan, Daddy's Home, Allen, and Gabriel Maturan.  KZ and Allen are both Charice's mentorees, Daddy's Home is Gary V's only surviving group, and Gab is Martin Nievera's last man standing among his boys.

Last night's Performance Night was the most crucial since it leads the road to the Grand Finals of X Factor Philippines which will be next week, also to be held at the PAGCOR Grand Theater in Paranaque.

As for the performances last night, one could tell that the competition has gone even more tough, with each contestant giving his or her or their all.

KZ Tandingan sang Chris Brown's Forever.  It was something new for this favorite especially that this time, she had to dance and do rap, aside from her usual chore of singing.  As a rookie in this department of talent combo's, KZ did satisfactorily.  I could feel she had to go out of her way to maintain her breath and I saw that the power of her voice was diminished in some way since she had to move around while she danced.  The rapping part was also new to her I guess and although it was a breath of fresh air both for her and the viewers, it was evident that, yes, it was new for her.  Inspite of that, KZ still remains to be my best bet to be this first season's Grand Winner.  

Daddy's Home sang Open Arms, a hit by Journey.  Surely they are the masters of voice blending and they also have a say when it comes to belting.  They are entertaining enough, yes, but I almost have enough of these guy's style.  Surely they have a lot of potential to become  the prime male singing group of the country more likely after the show ends this season, in line with respected male groups such as The Tux, NeoColours, to name a few but I'm about to say ho-humm.  It's the same singing style every night and it would have been better if they showed the audience something new last night, something they don't usually do.  In that department, where all the other finalists really worked hard for -- thinking out of the box and stepping out of their comfort zone -- this group failed.  A strong contender for the Top 3 and even for the Grand Winner, this group will still have a chance on Grand Performance Night.  I hope they make the most of that chance, if they indeed grab a spot in the Top 3.

Allen, the youngest among the finalist sang Willow Smith's Whip My Hair.  For her age range market, it was quite a performance but for young adults and for those who belong to the older age bracket the song may be forgettable and not really a strong weapon to make her grab a slot in the Top 3.  This girl has more than enough raw potential, with some parts really ripe for the taking.  If she is mentored more, and longer, and very well at that, this girl could go to places.  

Gabriel Maturan or Gab as he is fondly called on the show, surprised everyone when he sang his own version of Justin Bieber's Boyfriend.  Gab said he considers Bieber as his musical hero and I could see that he did his best to give justice to Bieber's hit.  I agree with Martin when he said that this is Gab's best performance yet.

My fearless forecast, Allen Sta. Maria should go.  However this young lady maintains a strong following from her fans and so, if she does survives the axe, it is time for Daddy's Home to go home.  It is very possible that the voters will send out the older guys leaving the younger ones behind.  In that case, it will be more fun I guess.  Raw talent, raging hormones, nurtured dreams yet to be embattled, and convictions at their strongest -- all those will come into play on the grand finals night, if the young ones will be left behind to fight for the crown.  Actually, that's not bad at all.  That's for sure.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Want It That Way by the ABS-CBN News Anchors

I'm sharing this just in case you haven't bitten by the bug that caused this viral video

It's quite entertaining and refreshing at the same time to see our news anchors share their wacky side, even for just a few seconds.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Joan Da Survives the Axe: X Factor PH 5th Performance Night and Results Show

For those who have been waiting for my review of the 5th Performance Night and Results Show of the X Factor Philippines, please excuse the slight delay.

But still, better late than never, so here it goes.

Admittedly, it is a bit frustrating that the finalists whom we think have the X Factor are actually those who find themselves in the bottom of the list and are threatened to be kicked out from the show.  Probably that is one of the reasons why I dilly-dallied in writing this entry.  Well, again, we all  have to keep on reminding ourselves that that is the way the show goes and we all must have the fluidity to go with the flow.

The unexpected twists are both sources of thrill and at the same time, disappointment, actually not an unusual combination at all, but something that does not really leave a pleasant taste in the mouth. 

For the second time around, Joan Da, found herself in the bottom two along with boy band-wanna be, Take Off.  She had to sing again for survival, this time with her version of Bruno Mars' Grenade, and had to prove her worth, that she deserves to stay in the show, more than the male group does.  Indeed, she proved it.


The 5th Performance Night was dedicated to Original Pilipino Music (OPM) and Joan Da sang Join the Club's Nobela.  Though the song was only a little familiar to me, I could say still that her performance was superb.  The voice was great.  It sounded like an original to me, actually the challenge that she had to beat when she chose this song.  This may be a cliche but if you compare the original version, you might even say, Joan's version is better.  Joan Da did it again, and injected her own personality and style into the song.  


Nobela by Join the Club, now beginning to be one of my new OPM favorites.

I realized that Joan Da's talent could actually match that of KZ's.  KZ's edge is that her being at home on the performance stage is so palpable that you could almost touch it on your television screen.  

Still, Joan Da is one of my bets for the Top 3 along with KZ Tandingan.   I believe she will stay longer on the show if she goes on taking time and caution in choosing her songs ( I observed that her chosen pieces suffer from popularity, a big determinant for the voters to trust the finalist with their votes), and if she strives to boost her confidence on the stage every time. 

The all male group, Take Off sang an APO Classic, Yakap sa Dilim.  How can one go wrong with a song by the APO Hiking Society? I could say that was the group's best performance yet since the start of this premiere season.  I loved the vintage feel of the whole performance and I just loved those suspenders! Apparently the vintage effect and the suspenders were not enough, I found myself shortchanged, I wanted the boys to show to give the audience something more particularly in their singing.  Still, I commend them for having the best among their performances so far, before taking a bow and leaving the show.  Their last performance made me smile, cradled me for a while, and for a second made me wish they never had to go.


Again there was a deadlock of votes among the mentor judges, 2 favoring Joan Da to stay, and the other 2  wanting Take Off to stay.  The text votes results were opened this time favoring Joan to stay on the show.  I particulary appreciated how Charice explained her choice.  She wanted Take Off to leave the show, considering that this is the third time that the group is on the bottom too and it was only right this time to heed the clamor of the text votes and let the group go.  Judge Mentor Pilita, Joan Da's mentor, did what she was expected this time, unlike what she did last week when she voted against her own mentoree, Mang Modesto.  Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera both wanted Take Off to stay, saying they can do a lot with a group of boys rather than with a solo singing act.  Short of saying there is strength in numbers, but I dont think that's where the strength lies in right now.  A group of boys just trying to nail some notes, and banking on their appeal is not actually a match to a solo act with real talent.

Daddy's Home (see video above) again did well that night, singing Smokey Mountain's Paraiso, and tagging along their kids with them. 

KZ Tandingan expectedly blew the house down with her version of the well loved classic, Eraserheads'  Ang Huling El Bimbo.  To say that  I was in awe while watching her sing is definitely an understatement.  KZ is on the verge of mastering her craft at such a young age.  She is totally off the roof when it comes to performance.  This lass from Digos City indeed knows how to build momentum in her performance, she knows how to tease the audience a little bit by not really giving what they expected but giving them something pleasantly outrageous,  thus leaving all of us wanting for more.  You can only shake your head in amazement.  I was practically screaming!  What a performance!

Her outfit however had residues of the past week's rock theme and she looked like Amy Winehouse who came home in the morning after partying all night long.  But that does not really tarnish the wonder that is KZ Tandingan.


I think I already know what you will say next.  Yes, Kedebon is still in!  And, yes, after murdering Gary Valenciano's Kaliangan Kita, it was almost like a massacre openly shown on Philippine television.  If I were Gary V., I would have already covered my face with my two hands out of shame and disgust. 

C'mon this is the X Factor, guys, and the show does not need anybody's (most especially Kedebon's) monkey antics to keep the ratings up.  A talent show that truly showcases talent,  will itself attract the viewers to stay glued to the television during weekend nights, will keep the advertisers flowing in, and will make the ratings soar higher.  

So Kedebon, be careful, your time on X Factor PH is almost up.                   

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