GMA-7's "Pinoy Idol" premieres on April 5


The judges of Pinoy Idol are (from left) Ogie Alcasid, Jolina Magdangal, and Wyngard Tracy. They are joined by the show's host Raymond Gutierrez (behind). This talent search from FremantleMedia will premiere on April 5.



The long wait is over. Pinoy Idol will start presenting the aspiring Idols starting April 5. See those who were lucky enough to survive the three-month auditions that had 25,000 Filipinos auditioning in eight cities nationwide.

Pinoy Idol is the Philippine version of the widely popular talent search show in the U.S., American Idol. And with a show this big, GMA-7 made sure that they did everything to do justice to this talent search from FremantleMedia .

Darlene de Jesus, AVP for magazine, talk and variety of GMA-7, told the press during the media junket prepared for Pinoy Idol, "Ito pong show na 'to, sa lahat po ng mga show namin, ito ang pinaka-extensive ang preparation na ginawa namin. We had been doing pre-production since July of last year before we were able to make our announcement in December 31, that's when we're going to hold our first audition.

"There were about 25,000 people who came to the different venues all over the country to audition. And around 8,000 people were actually put in front of the judges. For the great work, we've got everything working for us and we are very positive that we'll be able to bring the audience a very good program—something that would stop next to the American Idol of the U.S.A."

Ms. Darlene revealed, "Ito ang pinakamahaba naming ni-negotiate na show since we were negotiating this since 2006. Right now we are excited to let you know that we are having our first airing on April 5."

The show's director, Louie Ignacio, also added, "Ito po ang pinakamahirap, pinakamaraming equipment na ginamit naming sa tanang buhay ng entertainment, pinakamaraming staff na gumalaw at nagsulat dito sa programang ito."

STEPS TO BECOME A PINOY IDOL. As said earlier, 25,000 people who tried their luck when GMA-7 called for auditions, which was the first stage of becoming an "Idol." The auditions were held in eight provinces around the country—Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Batangas, Davao, Iloilo, Dagupan (Pangasinan), Clark (Pampanga), and Metro Manila. Out of the 25,000 people, 8,000 aspirants were picked to show off their singing talent in front of Pinoy Idol judges—singers Ogie Alcasid, Jolina Magdangal, and talent manager Wyngard Tracy.

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The second phase is the eliminations, wherein the judges will give away golden tickets to 179 Idol hopefuls. During the three-day eliminations, the 179 short-listed singers will be trimmed down to 80 singers on the first day, then, 40 on the second day, and the final 24 will be chosen on the last day.

These 24 hopefuls are still unsure of making the cut since they all have to undergo a workshop. Each participant will have to perform onstage at the Cinema 6 of SM North EDSA. Two of them would be eliminated each week until there are 12 finalists left in the competition.

The last phase is called a gala. Every week, the 12 finalists will have to showcase their best performances, which will be held at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Aside from pleasing the three judges, they will also have to please the live audience. Each week, the aspirant with the lowest text votes will be eliminated until two Idol hopefuls are left.

THE JUDGING. Ms. Wilma Galvante, senior vice president for entertainment TV, clarified that the Pinoy Idol judges have nothing to do with the selection of the first Pinoy Idol.

She explained, "They [judges] will not actually vote. Sila lang ang mag-iimpluwensya ng public, sa atin, kung sino ang mas magaling. It's an important role pero hindi yung sila yung magdya-judge, 'tapos ia-average yung scores, ' tapos yun ang panalo. This is texting all the way. This is the voice of the public, the audience.

"The mechanics of the contest took care of how we will really monitor and look at the votes and be able to come up, to choose, the best singer na may star potential. Take note of that."

When asked how they chose the hopefuls who will compete in the competition, Ogie answered, "Hirap sagutin niyan, 'no? Siguro siyempre premium talaga yung talent. Kailangan magaling talaga, may presence, may dating, kahit walang masyadong experience.

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"And yun, para sa akin kasi, hindi yung physicality. For me, yung dating ng tao, e, yung charming, yung sex appeal na hindi mo maintindihan. It appeals to your senses—to your eyes, to your ears, and maybe to your nose. Someone that I will be, personally, a big fan of."

For Jolina, she followed four guidelines during the auditions. "Sa akin, doon sa paper ko, sa listahan ng names, lagi kong sinusulat doon sa clipboard—number one, voice; number two, looks; number three, personality; number four, story. Istorya ng buhay niya kasi siyempre kailangan nating ikuwento ang buhay niya," said Jolina.

She continued, "Pero sa akin number one pa rin yung voice 'tapos yung looks and thin line lang between voice at saka looks kasi, para sa akin, yung totality, e. Parang ang pangit na binoto lang nila dahil sa istorya or dahil sa boses, kailangan lahat. At saka after ng Pinoy Idol, susubaybayan pa rin siya."

Wyngard, on the other hand, said that as judges, they are aware that their comments would affect the opinion of the voting public. "Actually, nakataya yung credibility naming tatlo," said the talent manager. "Kailangan kasi mapaniwalaan kami sa sinasabi namin, yung mga comments namin pakikinggan—yun yung influence na sinasabi.

"So, kami we have to be very, very careful na talagang pinapanood namin, pinapakinggan namin mabuti yung lahat ng contestants. Kasi yung konting mali doon, you know, hindi maganda. Kung puwedeng magkamali, it not good. Yun lang, yung credibility namin is at stake here, so pinagbubutihan namin ang pag-judge," said Wyngard.

PINOY IDOL EXTRA. For its initial episodes, Pinoy Idol will be aired every Saturday, starting April 5. During this period, various audition tapes will be shown to the televiewers.


However, there will be a change of schedule for the succeeding episodes, said Ms. Darlene.


She explained, ‘Yung iba-ibang stages may iba't iba siyang schedules. Meron time na magiging twice a week, three times a week. Aside from that, we're going to air also the Pinoy Idol Extra every night, araw-araw yun, Monday to Friday, and Sunday. That is supposed to start sometime in May and will end around three to four weeks before the finals."

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