Sunday, September 30, 2012

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.



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