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Because Idol Watching is a Serious Matter (Notice how Ryan sends us to bed after every show?)

So we scored some tickets care of one of the Angel Locsin-endorsed Idol presentors. Ang Saya! 2 FX-rides after, I was already in line beside the red carpet leading to SM Megamall Cinema 3 where I’d see Kristel Astor and MC Monterola pass by 5 times.

Fast forward to 15 minutes later and we were already inside the Philippine Idol Theater. WEW! (The best selling magic sing) ABC-5’s broadcast quality doesn’t give justice to the ambience inside the theater. Anyways, I’ve already raved about the stage several posts before so let’s skip that again, shall we? Ang Saya!

Although we were seated sa taas (“dalawang taas nga,” that’s what you tell the SM cinema ticket booth girls, right?), my seat’s position was very strategic since it is located DIRECTLY in front of the oval video wall. Ang Saya!

Recap starts now:

Floor director tells the rules. We practice cheering, clapping, waving the banners and the band does its sound check. They play Suey’s happy song. The band sounds so much better live. Paging Mr. Tony Boy who’s inside the theater, please provide stereo broadcast sound to ABC 5, thank you! Then a boy band with F4 hairstyles enters and sings. They’re there to check the mics so no one gets Reymond Sajor’ed again.

A ghostly figure in white enters the theater. It’s Mr. Agoncillo. He’s still sporting his headset mic, probably to get help from Mr. Director when he needs it. He practices his audience-host-interaction-during-off-air-times skills. And the wildcard qualifiers enter! And my head goes:

“WEW (The best-selling magic sing). Out of these wonderful contestants, only 4 will get through. But they look more top 12-like than the ones already sitting on their comfy SM Cinema seats.”

But that’s just me.


Stef “I am a Mom and I miss my daughter who crawls up my chest when I’m sleeping” Lazaro sings Total Eclipse of the Heart. She goes all-out slash desperate with her performance and does everything in her power to sing her butt off. (Note: Turns out, this is a night of all-out slash desperate performances slash circus of gimmickry slash appealing to the emotions slash sucking up to the judges slash pleading to the hometowns so Stef is not the only one). She shakes her head, she kneels, she messes her hair up with her hands, a gesture I liked so much but FM apparently dislikes. Yes, it’s strange that something as mundane as that will get FM’s attention. It’s her head! It’s not like she touched Mel Villena’s or one of the back-up singers’ head and derails the performance. Anyway, Stef sings so well and her voice suits the song so much that I got mesmerized and I forgot to look where the voice singing the “Turn Around…” part is coming from.

Gian Carlo “I am the best guy vocalist in this competition so why didn’t you vote for me?” Magdangal shifts gears and picks lately by Stevie Wonder. He looks confident and he looks like he’s already doing this for a long time. *Silence* It’s a joke. Didn’t get it? Me neither. Ok so Gian delivers, performing like a veteran. *Silence* Haha. Ok seriously. If people are looking for talent and are expecting a really entertaining final round, they must vote in Gian now! Otherwise, this time could be goodbye. But as our beloved teachers beautifully put it, “Other hands please? Let’s give chance to others.” But… again, that’s just my opinion.

Ting “There’s no talent drought in Davao, Pilita” Otero follows Mr. C’s The Swan advice and extreme makeovers herself with a red dress and a girlier hairdo and sings Sana’y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan. Spunky Ting sings almost hauntingly but there’s something lacking. It appears as if she doesn’t completely understand the words she’s saying. There are emotions but not the right ones, in the right times. But overall, It’s an OK performance. See it’s already the third singer and they are all good so far. Good batch, I must say, good batch.

Onyx “I’m the law student and I bored you the first time” Culala becomes a living proof that song choice makes a big difference by singing a good song this time that showcases his voice and finally gets him noticed. Wildflower saves Onyx from just being an obscure Idol contender.
Mr. C says it could be too late though and I say Mr. C could be right.

Ira “I’m not Sosh-Sosh-Sha-Lerrh-Ah” Marasigan struggles with the word “Sosyalera,” a word that can only be pronounced correctly by people who are not sosyaleras. Apparently, Ira has a knack for picking songs that has the word “melody” in it. She picks In My Life by Patti Austin and it doesn’t help her claim that she is not sosyalera. Classy Ira sings melodically but it looks like she lost the spark she generated in her Mr. Melody dance-o-rama last week. Her star appeal is slowly fading and I don’t think choosing this forgettable song is going to help her. But Mr. C is right. The industry needs more people like her who are educated and well, classy.

Joseph “Twilight Dancer” Astor wants to help his family but he’d rather use his vocal abilities so using his giling-giling abilities is not an option. He sings “Marya Marya” (sic) and he makes an effort to deliver a song and dance entertainment number. He moved around the theater. He tries to work the crowd and make them dance on their feet but as expected, only his fellow top-24 finalists obliged. I think his dancing overpowers his singing. And oh, I now hear the Gary V. comparison they are all talking about. Pilita tells Joseph that he will be the kilabot of both guys and girls. Hahaha. There’s your niche. Use it. And help your family.

I wish Ken “Messy-haired no more/I look like Jeffrey Hidalgo/I left my career down under for idol/Sick Boy Ken Ken” Dingle could get into the Top 12 cause I thought of a slogan already – “Because Ken Ken Can!” (Chanted with Fatboy Slim’s Can Can). The very nervous and very sick Ken Ken very carefully sings A House Is Not A Home. He’s got some good moments with his runs and glory notes but the bad moments are too many to be not noticed. And the beautiful song suddenly turns into a sub-par performance. And Ken Ken knows it. Sigh. He kinda accepts defeat, delivers an almost farewell speech, bursting into tears. Ryan does his job and tells him it’s not over yet.

Ramirr “I’m a rockstar but I can go diva too if you like” Grepo hits the high notes and makes the crowd go wild. Obviously, the audience hasn’t recovered from the Pinoy singing contest tradition that it’s all about the high notes. In fairness to Ramirr, you know he worked on his song cause he sings it with much comfort. I could say he owned the song but that will not be totally true cause just like the first time we saw him, his performance has the word KARAOKE all over.

Sweet and lovely Suey “We don’t have cable in Marawi” Medina breaks the monotony and reminds everyone that this is not just any other Pinoy singing contest – this is Idol. She picks Best of My Love, a song that showcases both her performance skills and the band’s. I love the Idol band! I love Suey!

Mau “Parang awa n’yo na, Iboto n’yo ako” Marcelo must have spent a long time deciding which of her black clothes should she wear for the night. And the long decision-making pays off cause she looks like a star for a night. Hahaha. Maureen sings national heartbreak anthem Till My Heartaches End and does what she does best, effortlessly Soul-ifying songs. She can sing Buchikik and it will still sound soulful. Must be the genes.

The contestants watch themselves on the video wall during the video recap/voting instructions. Ryan reminds us to vote and the show is over. Idol theme plays and I immediately head home cause it’s already 11 a.m. and I have to be at the Rajah Sulayman park the next day at 5 a.m. for a marathon. And that deserves another blog entry.

And tonight we finally get to know the complete TOP 12 we completely deserve.

Nice semi-finals everyone.