Last week's battle round performances at The Voice Teens Philippines feature worth-replaying moments like coach Sharon Cuneta singing the ballad "Sana'y Maghintay Ang Walang Hanggan" with a contestant being sent home and coach Sarah Geronimo cutely reacting to teasing from host Toni Gonzaga.
Of course, there were the spirit-lifting steals of unpicked hopefuls and coach Lea Salonga's distinctively excited actuations while a performance is ongoing.
Here are my top 5 among the performances seen among the June 24 and 25 episodes. Another holiday Monday followed so lots of The Voice Teens viewers had a whole day discussing about the performances, some of which did not make make it to this list.
Coach Bamboo Manalac picks Emarjhun de Guzman over Andrea Badinas ("Hallelujah")
Both singers are of equal footing in terms of expressing emotions by way of their character-brooding voices. To use an analogy: if they were in a basketball game, they would have to go through overtime. Emarjhun may have the upper hand in getting our quick attention, but Andrea got in the game just in time before the buzzer.
Thus, we heard Lea saying their "hearts are both so into it" and Bamboo appreciating the two for stepping up and for the "emotions na ibinigay." Bamboo was seen standing and clapping during the performance and even asked for a group hug after getting his pick. Later on, Bamboo even showed his dance moves with Andrea since he wanted to cheer her up. That's effortless good TV.
Andrea did make Sharon say "we both soared" and Sarah, who stole her eventually, noting "ginulat ako ng batang ito." The Popstar Princess admitted that she was heartbroken when Andrea didn't pick her during the blind auditions but the young girl eventually joined team since Sarah decided to "steal" her during this round.
Lea picks Felipe De Leon over Mia Flores
("Killing Me Softly With His Song")
While it was clear that Felipe upstaged Mia with his antics and vocal adventurism, the latter's singing proved to be one that you'd rather hear over and over for its intrinsic touch, never banking on extra gestures. Felipe's performing style might get one hooked immediately, yet it has the tendency to lose its appeal the more it is repeated.
Well, without batting an eyelash, there's something irritating about the way Felipe moves or sings. He was showing off too much. Or trying to be extra cool. Better to have that balance of high-energy confidence and subtle shyness on stage.
Lea certainly bought Felipe's goods, and she showed it with loud approval. But some regular fans will find Mia more relatable because Felipe is too loaded with confidence while most bathroom singers don't even have an ounce of it.
In fairness to Felipe, when he approached his dad after being chosen, and sobbingly told him, "Mahal na mahal ko kayo," he quickly transformed into a tame young boy with a noble dream. I wanted to see that boy on stage.
Sarah picks Jona Marie Soquite over Chloe Redondo
("Sana'y Maghintay Ang Walang Hanggan")
It was a class act that Sharon went over to Chloe after the teen was booted out. She did to sing with her the classic OPM track. The move appeared sincere and with conviction, the fact that the Megastar even pointed out that "this is not a steal." The moment they sang the heartbreaking chorus melody, viewers could have been moved to tears.
She told Chloe, "You deserve your own spot."
Jona soundly outmatched Chloe vocally but yes, it's not too much of a lead. So Chloe did deserve her TV moment.
Lea praised both for "power and control" and their "lalim ng emotions," while Sarah said that she saw in Jona the girl she heard during the blind auditions. That reasoning is airtight, Jona had all the right to move up.
Still, it was Bamboo who had the poetry for a comment that favored the chosen one: "I could see in your eye the way you're in it, Jona."
Bamboo picks Angelo Go over Paul Asi Gatdula
The unplugged rendition fitted the night so well it helped both singers shine the way they could. There's something unsettling in the way Angelo appears in flesh, but his voice settles the issue. He sounded more wounded, and it's a fresh wound.
That's another way of telling Lea's take that she's going for the "smaller young man with a very intense voice."
Sarah simply described the song's arrangement as "kagwapo," obviously referring to the vocals of Paul. The more veteran Sharon thought Paul and Angelo's timbre and interpretation were different. And then he also picked and eventually stole Paul.
Bamboo had the last say, saying Angelo was readier to advance.
Sharon picks Zyra Peralta over Ashley Go
("A Very Special Love")
No contest. Zyra beat Ashley by a mile. Chances are Zyra didn't push her voice further because she felt she could overpower her opponent without a sweat. Small wonder Sharon did say she's thankful that Zyra was stepping on the breaks from time to time, or in her words, "di umover sa adlib."
Good thing the two battling it out seemed to have developed a close friendship that it didn't matter who advances. They just wanted to sing together on The Voice stage. That's their special love, or as Bamboo noticed, "Good job guys, you're BFFs."
Lea picked the phrase "laki ng galing" while Sarah chose the word "standout" when describing Zyra's skills.
The Voice Teens host Toni slipped in to tell everybody: "Alam niyo very special ang awitin na iyan sa puso ni Coach Sarah."
The Popstar Princess giggled as she said, "Ewan ko po."
The kilig moment came in for everyone to witness, all in Sarah's signature grounded girl expression that her fans should have found classic.
Coach Sharon also joined the fun by commenting, "Ang lumabas lang yung nai-imagine kong parang she really found a special love in him, like you." She then pointed at Sarah G who simply smiled.
It will be recalled that "A Very Special Love" is the theme song of the Sarah-John Lloyd Cruz 2008 movie with the same title. The AshLloyd love team went on do two more follow-up films: You Changed My Life (2009) and It Takes a Man and a Woman (2013).
Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial staff.