DUBAI, UAE — TV5’s reality talent search program, Talentadong Pinoy, capped off its Middle East edition in style.
Qatar-based contestant Haina Uddin was able to beat five other contestants to bag the top plum during the grand finals held last June 7 at the Boracay Club in Asiana Hotel, Dubai.
The 16-year-old singer brandished her vocal talent through a rendition of Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best.” Haina’s performance totally negated her wildcard slot and her failure to win in the qualifying round staged previously in Qatar.
Finishing as runner-ups were the Watawat dance group and 10-year-old belter Kesiah Eunice Ariteo from Saudi Arabia.
Aside from bagging the cash prize of USD 10,000 (Php 423,000), Haina will also have a chance to compete against Talentadong Pinoy’s Manila winners.
“It was totally unexpected. Everyone deserves to win,” said Haina, who was still in disbelief when PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) caught up with her after the awarding.
Haina and her family have plans to allot part of the cash money to a charity institution while another percentage will be used to fund a small business in the Philippines.
BEST FROM THE MIDDLE EAST. Talentadong Pinoy’s Middle East visit was part of the program’s plans to showcase the talents of millions of Filipinos residing abroad.
The production team scouted talents from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and hundreds of Filipinos auditioned to participate.
Trimming down the number of participants was not easy and the production team had to go through a huge amount of VTRs to determine the list of names who will be called to compete in the quarterfinals.
True to the show’s nature, the talents showcased by the participants ranged from the expected to the unusual—making the judging more complex and complicated.
“It’s always very hard to judge talent shows na variety yung talent. ‘Yong singer sa singer madaling i-judge. ‘Yong tono sa tono. I guess hindi talaga ako naiinggit sa mga scouts, sa trabaho nila, lalo’t ngayon grand finals. Champion na sila [the contestants] sa kanya-kanyang lugar tapos pinagsamasama mo pa,” said main host Ryan Agoncillo.
“It’s really about kung ano ‘yong nag-move sa ‘yo for the day. Kami dun kami proud—‘pag oras mong kuminang, ‘yong stage ng Talentadong Pinoy bukas ‘yan sa lahat.”
PASSION AND DEDICATION. For the celebrity judges tasked to grade the contestants, there isn’t much difference when it comes to the talent being shown by the international contestants to the Manila-based competitors.
“The amount of talent is not surprising,” mentioned comedian Arnell Ignacio. “The passion is the same but what touched me are their stories. It’s not easy to be far away from your loved ones and we can’t help but feel for them.”
Marvin Agustin, on the other hand, expressed admiration for the dedication showed by all of the contestants.
“Hindi naman kasi ito talaga yung ginagawa nila. They’re here doing different kinds of jobs and hindi madaling humanap ng oras para makapag-ensayo pero still they find time para lang maipamalas yung talent nila,” explained Marvin.
GOING WORLDWIDE. The success of the show’s Middle East stopover might be a sign of bigger things to come in the immediate future.
“First things first, we have to look for our fourth grand champion, our ultimate Talentado so that’s in August,” according to Ryan.
“After that, were not sure yet on what are the plans of the station. Pero maraming usap-usapan, I’ve heard talks about going to the U.S., I’ve heard talks about another round here in the Middle East and other Asian countries, maraming posibilidad.”
For now, Ryan simply wants to cherish another milestone in Talentadong Pinoy’s colorful history.
“Masarap ‘yong feeling kasi nakapag- international kami before but that’s for an audition. First time 'yong tayo yung pumunta sa bansa na may mga Pilipino like Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai—and dito, ‘yong competition hindi lang audition.
“It took us a little more than 4 years to do this. It’s always been one of our dreams to do this. And we’d like to thank TV5 International for making this possible.”