After the four-week workshop phase, the reality singingcompetition Pinoy Idol moved on to a bigger stage at the SM Mall of Asiawhere the audience was larger, and the pressure, greater.
Last Saturday and Sunday, Pinoy Idol workshopsofficially ended and the much-anticipated gala stage started. The Top 12finalists would have to put their best foot forward during their thematicperformances in order to retain their slot in the competition.
One finalist will be eliminated per week until the final twosingers emerge. Last week's theme was titled "My Greatest Performance" andshowcased songs from the Top 12's best performances.
The performance night held last Saturday was a red-carpetaffair, and had an elegantly dressed Rhian Ramos touring the new Idol home,ready to spice up the gala night with her very own account of the event. Shehappily reported the goings-on at the red carpet to Pinoy Idol hostRaymond Gutierrez.
But still more noticeable than the classy red carpet and thevivid lighting surrounding the Idol stage was, to the judges, an improvement inthe looks of all the finalists.
"I'm so impressed by the transformation of everybody,"commented judge Wyngard Tracy, seemingly lifting the spirits of the contestantsas the gala night kicked off. "Gulat na gulat ako [kasi] mukha sila lahatstars. So, in-e-expect ko, ganoon din yung performance niyo," he reminded theTop 12 as he wished them good luck.
Among the guests who came to watch were Tessa Prieto-Valdesand Dulce as well as Pinoy Pop Superstar alumni Jonalyn Viray, GeraldSantos, and Maricris Garcia.
Gretchen Espina interpreted Aretha Franklin's anthem "Respect," Warren Antiggave a lively performance with "Shout," Jayann Bautista crooned "You Make MeFeel Like (A Natural Woman)" and Toffer Rei chose the song "Honestly" to bringout his best side.
Kid Camaya once again sang the song "Ordinary People," which he performedduring the June 18 press conference of the Top 12 at the Music Museum. Theaudience could hear the yearning in the voice of Daryl Celis when he sang"Superstar."
The Alanis Morisette song about a ruined relationship titled"You Oughta Know" was performed by Mae Flores while the power ballad "Alone"was chosen by Penelope. Ram Chaves gave an enthusiastic performance of the song"With Arms Wide Open" while Robby Navarro gained excellent comments from thejudges for his interpretation of the song "One Last Cry." The young contestant,Sue Ellen sang "Survivor" of Destiny's Child but her barely survived this roundwhen she was grouped into the bottom three along with Kid Camaya.
Jeni Rawolle performed the sultry song "Inseperable" by Natalie Cole but hereffort was obviously not enough for the viewers to support her until the end.During the results night last Sunday, the 20-year-old lounge singer was voted out ofthe competition.
The Top 11 who made it through the first elimination nightof the gala stage were: Daryl Celis, Kid Camaya, Gretchen Espina, JayannBautista, Mae Flores, Penelope, Ram Chaves, Robby Navarro, Sue Ellen, TofferRei, and Warren Antig.Catch another exhilarating gala night as the searchfor the next Pinoy Idol continues on GMA-7.