QTV-11 has come up with another exciting reality show, The Debutante, which aims to discover young girls who have the potential to be the next "IT" girl.
"The Debutante is the search for the ultimate ‘IT' girl," described Melo Esguerra, the program manager of QTV-11.
From hundreds of girls, whose ages range from 15 to 21 years old, only 18 girls made it to the final cut. Their journey of "becoming a woman of substance and style" will formally start on Monday, April 14. TV host Marc Nelson will be there to guide and monitor their progress in the coming days.
QUALITIES OF A "DEBUTANTE." Aside from beauty, which is a must for an "IT" girl, the staff of The Debutante also looked for other qualities that would make the contestant one of the finalists of this search.
Gigi Santiago-Lara, assistant vice president for Alternative Productions, explained during the press conference prepared for the show, "They have to be beautiful, that's a given. They were all also chosen based on the other things that go on with their life or the other things that they have done so far at a very young age.
"As I've said earlier, not all of them are in school. Some of them are models, working students, some of them are trying out in showbiz so they have to do workshop, some them are Manila's Five Loveliest and do charity work, and some of them are trying to pursue a singing career.
"By ‘IT' girl we're not just talking about the regular party girl, but maybe those who are well-rounded, who think of other people. Ang basis, kailangan hindi ka lang student, dapat mayroon ka ring iba pang nagawa sa buhay mo. I guess that's the best way to describe it."
THE CHALLENGES. Although Melo did not give detailed information about the challenges that they have prepared for the "debutants," he assured that the girls will go through a lot of exciting challenges and discoveries along the way.
He added, "Each test is a test of character, a test to show how well they are able to cope, not exactly statistical but it's both their EQ [emotional quotient] and IQ [intelligence quotient] that will be challenged in the entire series."
Melo narrated what will happen in its pilot episode. "[There will be] a dining experience for all the girls. But it was not a test of eating, but it's a test of how well they can carry a conversation when a certain topic is being brought on the table, not just about the lobster.
"Again, a lot of twists in the entire series. We have also tests on how friendly they are with the others and how well they are able to manage stress, and how well they present themselves in public and how different it is from they are by themselves.
"So, totally, it's a very unique and very exciting experience for the girls. In the beginning I already told them how happy I was for them. Going through the entire series will be a very good experience for each one of them."
JUDGING PROCESS. Aside from the challenges, the contestants also have to impress the judges—Vivienne Tan, Dr. Marites Gozon-Viterbo, and Abigail Arenas-de Leon.
Melo proudly said, "Our prestigious panel of judges led by Ms. Vivien Tan, the famous judge in Bb. Pilipinas and an ‘IT'girl herself; another is Fortune Ledesma, she is a philanthropist and very active in raising funds for charities; one of the Manila's Five Loveliest, Dr. Marites Gozon-Viterbo; and our beauty queen judge Abigail Arenas-De Leon.
"Actually we're very proud of the judges that we've chosen because they know better, because they themselves are considered ‘IT' girls of their time."
Unlike other reality shows, the elimination process of The Debutante will not be based on text votes but on the judges' decision.
Melo stressed, "This reality show is not prize-centered, meaning, it's not our hope to make them enjoy the experience. But definitely there are exciting prizes that await our winner."
However, he also revealed that the grand winner will become part of the QTV-11 family. "Either as a deejay and a segment host of our primetime shows," said Melo.
ASPIRING "IT" GIRLS. The girls hoping to the ultimate debutante are Schinina Juban (The Sassy Cheerleader), Danielle Lee (The Dynamic Heiress), Sophia Abdullah Ahmed(The Coffee Princess), Samantha Gamboa (The Lively Ballerina), Bianca Bauer (The German Pinay), Joy Velasco (The Teenage Beauty Queen), Bea Candaza (The Cheerful Baby), Mishi Casal (The Petite Performer), and Kate Bautista (The Fierce Mannequin).
Joining them are XC Hollman (The Charming Sister), Bebs Hollman (The Dutiful Guardian), Istara Bon Gundry (The Vegan Activist), Miki Hahn (The-Sultry Singer), Mlchelle Paloma (The Independent Model), Aby Adao (Miss Beauty and Brains), Cecilio (The Cover Girl), Denisse Oca (The Chick Flicks Fanatic), and Rachel Tan (The Feisty Artist).
The show's host, Marc Nelson, will welcome the girls on April 14, 7:00 p.m. on QTV-11.