You think Philippine Idol can just happen without me saying anything?

Think again.

So it has finally begun. The performance/audience voting nights on Philippine Idol. More than anything, I was excited to see how it looks on TV. For months I've prayed for it not to look like ABC 5's Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud and The Price Is Right. Remember the styro with glued glitters set? Remember the plywood backboards? Let's pause for a while and shudder.

Ok so a very tiny Ryan Agoncillo tells us something about... I forgot what he said. I was so excited haha. He's saying something with the Idol theme playing in the background already. Then Idol theme ends abruptly, Idol OBB begins, then ends abruptly, then a pause, then Idol theme again. This is very jarring. Very very bad transition. Then a very very distorted Philippine Idol logo appears on screen. Looks like somebody "transform-scale"d it without holding the shift key. The distorted logo will appear throughout the show so fans of "constrain proportions" may not watch anymore.

A very tiny Ryan introduces the 12 remaining boys, some of them tiny and most of them towering above the very tiny Ryan. They run on stage while their names are being called. Some of them making pa-cute popstar poses. How much is one char gen? Why can't they flash the contestants name on screen?

Oh! I forgot. The stage was kinda more than I expected. I assume this will be the same one they'll use for the final rounds. The requisite center video wall was there. So were the lounges and the monitors at the sides. The metal bars, check. But no smoke machine. The centerstage Idol seal was there. One very important thing is missing though. HDTV BROADCAST QUALITY! How can we mass upload this show on YouTube when it looks so sad? But anyway, they made me more than happy with a more than OK stage. Coolio.

And then the judges. Apparently they have nicknames. Francis Magalona aka The Man From Manila aka Mr. Cool aka FrancisM (no space) is now FM. Pilita Corrales aka Asia's Queen of Songs aka Monching's mom is Mamita (I first heard this from Jaya). And Mr. C is Mr. C.

And then the performances. First up is Nikko Smith.

Nikko applies for a Filipino citizenship and he is now in the Philippines joining Philippine Idol and he is in search of his father. Nikko learns tagalog and just like on American Idol, becomes the very first Top 24 contestant to perform. He sings Rico J. Puno's Macho Gwapito, better remembered by the younger audience as the theme song for the Star Cinema Pops-Binoe movie, Karaoke King.

One friend comments that he sounds like a nasal Gary Valenciano, which should not be because he is supposed to sound original. During the auditions, the judges raved about his "original" rendition of a Gary V. song in his Gary V voice doing Gary V. moves. Very original. So ok Nikko's performance ends without the voting instructions flashing during the performance. I liked the energy. I shall now call him Mr. Kind Of Pure energy. I also like the choice of song because what I hate the most is sucking up to Pilita Corrales and choosing very Tanghalan Ng Kampeon songs. This song choice is brave, fun, out of the box, which all Idol song choices should be like. The nice judges give Nikko very good reviews, all in the spirit of fun, and goodwill, and bunnies and rainbows and flowers and all things good. I give Nikko B+.

Oh wait. It isn't Nikko? Oh it's Freddie Cabael. I'm sorry.

Then speaking of Tanghalan Ng Kampeon, next contestant Robert Bernadas should be packed in a time machine, sent back to the nineties and be made to win Tanghalan Ng Kampeon because he sings some song called "Take A Look Inside My Heart," a song he chose because he said we should always look what's inside the heart. And because this is Festival of NIce and Good-Mannered judges, they all like Robert and Mr. C goes as far as saying that this Robert guy is his bet. Ok? So you don't need my rating now, after all, you are Mr. C's bet. Rating: null

Ken Ken Ken. Is that Dingle as in Jingle or Dingle as in Ding-leh. Ryan says it's Ding-leh so Ding-leh it is. Our messy haired friend Ken here (who quit his job in Australia to join Idol) sings the very infectious and LSS-inducing Ayala Center jingle (Dont' say that! Dahil SMART tayo!). Ok he dances. He screeches. But pleasant screeches. He sure knows what he's doing. And because I am a fan of anti-amateur singing contest song choices, I give messy haired Ken Ken an A-. I don't quite remember what the judges told him. But i assure you it's something pleasant. Much like what your uncles and aunties will say to you after your performance in a family gathering with your WEW! The best selling magic sing!

Then comes Drae. Ok. I'm starting to notice the hair trend here. Do they always need to sport that 'do? Is it a requirement? Should they always color some parts and faux-hawk it up? Is it cold im Megamall that they all need layered clothes? Do they always have to look like me? Hahaha. Yeah I've been in a faux hawk phase as well but I grew out of it already. But my clothes layering in this tropical country days aren't over yet. Ok. Drae sings one of them songs in the American Idol song book and does a technically OK delivery. Problem is, he seems to lack connection though he tries to infuse some theater-like hand gestures and facial expressions. I give him a B.

Then Onyx. Hi Onyx! We were classmates in STS class remember? We were groupmates even. We used to do study groups in La Vista? Ok, so you don't remember me? Fine. People rarely remember me. I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. So law student Onyx sings something about Windmills and Minds. He says this song is about someone like him, a free thinker. Because Onyx is my classmate, I will just dwell on a part of Mr. C's comment: It is a beautiful song. My rating: Secret.

Gian Carlo comes breathing Philippine Idol. Wait a minute. Is his workplace overly familiar or what? The conference room! The projector! The whiteboard! The gray and blue cubicle dividers! Oh my God! Gian doesn't want to waste any of his precious time so he sings Footloose from the musical he once participated in, Footloose. He works the crowd. The camera lingers on his girlfriend Aiza Marquez. He dances with a random girl. This to me is the first real-world music performance of the night. Real world meaning ASAP or SOP.

Is Gian the KFC extreme Hot Shots dude? Anyway, let's stop recapping what the judges said cause non of them matters anyway cause we get to vote. (Which is scary cause Sandara almost won because of overwhelming text votes and Gerald won because he's got more votes than Aicelle). I give Mr. Magdangal an A.

Constantine. The mystery that is Constantine. Well Constantine has the advantage of being the most memorable since he refuses to fit into the faux hawk, layered clothes pop star mold and not necessarily because everybody loves a non-conformist. Ok so he says he's a rocker. And his band kicked him out. He already used this storyline on American Idol. How many times should his band kick him out? Once for Idol, once for Elimidate, Once for Deal or No Deal and once for Family Kwarta o Kahon? Constantine sings Bed of Roses and I have one word for this performance. A word so oftenly used and abused on American Idol: KARAOKE. No rock. just impersonation. And that speaking voice. Wow. I've no words for it. I give Constantine a B-.

Oh sorry? His name is Ramirr? He is actually Ramirr. Rocker Ramirr. Ok I'll remember that.

And then there's John Stevens. John Stevens is the youngest yet the tallest of the bunch. His revealing outfit is so distracting. John Stevens has been known to pick offbeat songs, songs he is not mature enough to sing. This time he chooses to do a song about Highways and Life, a song he didn't know. Well who picked this song? Why didn't you pick something everyone knows like Achey Breaky Heart or Narda. Ok so John Stevens sings and because this is a night of uncomfortable transitions, he does just that on his falsetto-normal voice crossovers. I'm so scared for this young man. I wish he started with something easier. Well he could easily get the young PasaLoading crowd so I think he might not have problems getting votes. Plus, I heard he's got the backing of our Taft friends in green. I rate John Stevens... what? Miguel Mendoza? Ok so I'm always inaccurate? Ok I give him a B.

Hah! This is so long already. When will this end? This is blogging time ladies and gentlemen. Sometimes you don't have it. Sometimes you have nothing but it.

Reymond Sajor. Another one of our faux-hawk, layered clothes friends. Little Reymond is already 27 and he reminds me of LA Lopez. I never really remembered him during the previous rounds. But now, i'm sure the rest of the country will remember him for being given the time to perform on a dead microphone. Panic at the disco! The back-up singers don't know what to do. SHould they sing Reymond's parts already? Tito Mel Villena looks horrified. A very tiny Ryan gives him another mic, but it's still dead. Panic! Reymond looks like he's not on Idol but on Iya Villania's YOU CAN DANCE! Reymond didn't stop dancing and singing to his Tell Her About It. Then after the last note, the song repeats as if it's placed on loop. Reymond's microphone works this time but the 27 year old singer-dancer looks tired and pissed already. He doesn't want to repeat his exact choreographed choreography. Ok I'll give Reymond here an A. the circumstance helped him. Without it, I couldn't have remembered him again.

Kristel Astor's bro, Joseph is up next. In the official Idol photo releases, he's the one always in shirts and jeans and sneakers while all the rest are in their coats and high collars and leather shoes- and that's right - layered clothes and faux hawks. He mumbled his way through the first parts of Rannie Raymundo's only hit Why Can't It Be. But he picked it up during the high parts and it's funny to see this dusky cross between Sam Milby and Piolo Pascual singing a love song in front of the video wall showing atomic models. Very different. The first guy who you can actually feel that he's not impersonating anyone. problem is, I really can't understand anything but "why can't it be" and "at the wrong time." nevertheless he gets from me a big fat A-.

Mandisa gets a total transformation and decides to spread her message of faith and hope to the Philippines. She constantly points to the heavens and gives praises to the powers above. And during her performance of "Have I Told You Lately," she inserts the name of the revered here and there to basically give the message that the Almighty eases her troubles. Very bold. You know the faithful ones are always like that. They are not afraid to spread the message. They are not afraid to accept a mission and bring the good news to everyone. What? He's a he and his name is Christian? I know. I will not rate him.

Finally. Jan Kurt. Bridge Over Trouble Water. Sings in front of the mic stand. Hmmm very familiar. Where's the choir? It could have been another non-event in my uneventful evening but then Jan Kurt gives the first ever televised "piyok" on Philippine Idol. sadly, no one noticed it but me. I'm too lazy to rate anymore. And my ratings aren't real anyway. i just pull them out randomly.

Ok so who did I vote for? I put in several for Reymond cause he's the one I remembered the most. I gave some to Ken Ken for the LSS. And since it's a 24-hour voting window, If I find the time today, I'll vote for everyone except Ramirr.

It's because the judges like him already.

Tonight, the results. Next week, the girls plus Pao.

Elvin, Out!

P.S.: What's this? The band is actually playing and singing the Idol Theme. Interesting.

And oh. For all things PI, don't forget to drop by Philippine Idol Updates .


Anonymous said...

hahaha this is the best recap/review i've read about the show this week! good job farm boy elvin! i think i should bookmark your blog!

Anonymous said...

hey farm boy...thanks about your complement for my bro ken...i hope and pray he makes it to the next round...good narrative blog, very well done...regards...markie

Unknown said...

I liked the recap coz you made it interesting but I hope you get complete details next time.

Anonymous said...

by the way our last name is pronounced here in australia similar to "jingle bells" but with a "d"..and kapag nasa philz kami it is pronounced ding-leh... =)

Anonymous said...

very funny post.. i agree that ken ken and joseph should be in the top 12!!!

Anonymous said...

i love the recap! :D hehe. saw your url at the phil idol blog. :) i totally agree with all your comments, though i would've given lower grades for some of the performances. hehehe