This is it! Twelve previously undiscovered talents are battling it out in Araneta Center to become the first ever Grand Champion of Pilipinas Got Talent. The whole country is tuned it to witness this grand event, our family included.
Unfortunately, the opening number was atrocious. If I had a buzzer, I would have buzzed Ai Ai de las Alas out of the stage. Her Lady Gaga number was just horrible. She didn’t know the lyrics and she sounded breatheless throughout the entire number. She didn’t show any talent at all except guts. I wonder what the director has been thinking. Billy Crawford should have opened the show.
Anyway, here’s my personal recap of the performances:
- ALAKIM – He turned rose petals, balls, and playing cards into butterflies. He also made two girls appear out of nowhere. The climax of his performance was when he disappeared from the stage and appeared in the middle of Araneta! That’s some distance! Kris Aquino and Ai Ai de las Alas gave him a standing ovation. All the judges agree that he is indeed a world class act.
- SHERWIN BAGUION — While they were running his video before his performance, I noticed that his speaking voice is different from his singing voice. This was more apparent when he sang “Tayong Dalawa” with the orchestra. That was definitely a good song choice because this is a theme song of one of ABS-CBN’s top rating operas. As for his performance, he had me teary-eyed and made me think of Gary Valenciano. There was no standing ovation from the judges but the hosts were definitely impressed. His fans, the Sherwinizers, were showing him full support.
- MARKKI STROEM – Let’s admit it, this hunky dude got in partly because of his good looks. He looked a little awkward as he sang Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” on stage. But he did display his musical talent with his piano and saxophone playing. He’d make a fine addition to the Star Magic’s roster of talent. FMG commented that Markki outdid himself. I thought it was a very Glee performance but that’s not a bad thing. Right Markkiholics?
- EZRA BAND – I have been a fan of this band from the get go and this performance proved that this loyalty isn’t misplaced. The group took it to the next level by having Kaye, the lead singer, sing a female song. They performed “Runaway” by The Corrs. I liked the fact that the band remained true to their acoustic roots and gave a very cool, relaxing performance. Both the female judges focused on Nor, the keyboardist, in their comments but FMG said that this performance was the best ever by the band. This drew shouts from the Ezralites and Ezraberx.
- VELASCO BROTHERS – These four brothers really had the audience screaming! I really couldn’t classify their performance as dance because it felt more like an acrobatic performance more than anything else. Kris Aquino invited the group to dance on Noynoy Aquino’s inauguration on June 30. Her invitation had the Velascans, the brothers’ fan group, screaming for more.
- JELINE OLIVA – This 13-yeard old musical genius from Bicol played three out of the 12 instruments she can wield, namely the violin, drums, and a grand piano. True, that was some talent but the piece she played was unfamiliar. She would have made more of an impact if she played a familiar song.
- BAGUIO METAMORPHOSIS – Karen and her co-dancers once again entertained the crowd. Their dance is truly a work of art and reminds me of the cancan dance in Moulin Rouge. Let’s hope some generous soul will fund the group’s fare and allowance to the World Hip Hop competition to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15.
- JOVIT BALDIVINO – Even before he took the stage, Araneta was in mayhem. You can barely hear his father’s message because the Jovitnatics were screaming their hearts out. This screaming continued as he sang Too Much Love Can Kill You and as the judges made their comments. Like FMG said, he is unbelievably good and hopefully this translates into text votes.
- RUTHER URQUIA – Master puppeteer Ruther and his puppet Titoy wowed the crowd once again with a very special Independence Day skit. It was heartwarming to see that fellow grand finalist ALAKIM is supporting Ruther. What I liked about his performance is the fact that it shows the values that every Filipino should have, which is respect for elders and nationalism. Ruther and Titoy would be perfect for children’s TV show akin to Blues Clues.
- INGRID PAYAKET – Another Filipina to be proud of! She sang the a popular Broadway song “On My Own.” It was a beautiful performance but sadly I don’t think it will propel her to be the Grand Champion of PGT. Hopefully, she wil still get a big break and do us proud on stage. Wonder what Lea Salonga will say about her.
- KEITH – He performed Santana’s Smooth. His guitar playing is amazing! Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing for his voice. He needs more vocal training but he will get there. Like Markki Stroem, he will be a find addition to Star Magic’s roster of talents.
- LUNTAYAO FAMILY – Philippines’ own Von Trapp singing family. They sang “The Impossible Dream.” It wasn’t one of my favorite performances of the night; I didn’t like the arrangement of the song. If I were to choose a song for this group, I would have chosen “Climb Every Mountain” from the Sound of Music.
Who will I vote for? Hmm… I’ll definitely be voting for EZRA BAND, RUTHER URQUIAN, ALAKIM, and SHERWIN BAGUION. I am still undecided whether I will vote for MARKKI STROEM; his eyes captivate me.