The Pinoy Idol stage was filled with the relaxingtunes of the classics last week as the country's premiere balladeer BasilValdez mentored the reality singing competition's Top Six contestants. Theremaining Idol finalists rendered their own interpretations of songspopularized by the legendary music icon, and received professional advice fromBasil as well as from Pinoy Idol's very own judging panel—Ogie Alcasid,Jolina Magdangal, Wyngard Tracy.
First on the Idol stage was 21-year old Jayann Bautista whosang "You"-the lone English song for the night. During a one-on-one rehearsalwith Basil, she was given pointers on how to improve her performance—advicethat she clearly took to heart.
"Maganda nga na you took my word sa first stanza," praisedBasil after her performance, referring to his advice on giving extra attentionon the first few parts of the song. "Natumbok mo yung notes," he added.
Wyngard seemed to have the same opinion and remarked, "Iliked the version. Medyo mababa lang ng onti yung pitch, pero I liked it verymuch. Ibang-iba. Not the usual version that Mr. Valdez did."
Both Ogie and Jolina, however, thought that there were toomuch vocal stylings going on. "Dahil nilagyan mo pa ng mga style, parang gumulolang sa akin ng konti," observed Jolina. Ogie agreed and added, "It startedreally good. Smooth...and then, kung ano-ano na ginagawa mo," he told Jayann."Jolina's right," he pointed out. "You should've sung it simply, but from yourheart."
Kid Camaya interpreted "Paano Ba Ang Mangarap," a song whichthe 24-year-old Idol hopeful admitted to have memorized by heart along withother Basil Valdez classics. During rehearsals, Kid was surprised to have beenapplauded by the music legend himself.
After his performance, all four judges were impressed. "Alamko na ang dahilan bakit ka pinalakpakan ni Mr. Basil Valdez," observed Wyngard."That was very, very good." Jolina agreed and added, "Alam mo yung kanta nayan, sobra-sobrang ganda. Pero nung kinanta mo, mas lalo siyang gumanda."
"Ang gusto ko sa 'yo ngayon, nakikita ko lumalaban ka na,e," praised Ogie. "At kumakanta ka na. I have to disagree with Wyngard. I don'tthink it was just good. I think it was excellent."
As for Basil's comment? "Kaya kita pinalakpakan, talagangmahusay ka," he told Kid.
Pinoy Idol's resident rocker Ram Chaves opted to takea different route this time and sang a reggae-inspired version of "Ngayon atKailanman." He dedicated the song to his wife and to his Dubai-based father,both of whom were seated in the audience.
Basil liked Ram's interpretation and thought that therocker's happy reggae approach was very different from all the other recordedversions. "I recorded that song 31 years ago," Basil recalled. "Pero yung[version mo], kakaiba kasi gumaan ‘yung kanta. Nag-enjoy ako."
Like Kid's performance, Ram's performance was also lauded bythe three judges who praised the Cagayan de Oro local for injecting a livelyenergy into the performance.
"Pero next time na mag-perform ka at gawin mo yung song nayun, siguraduhin mo lang na kinakantahan mo rin yung mga nagbayad. ‘Wag langasawa mo," Wyngard advised. "But that was very good," he added.
Twenty-year-old Gretchen Espina interpreted "Gaano KadalasAng Minsan." Gretchen clearly sang the song with much heart, and was teary-eyedafter her performance.
Ogie lauded her interpretation and said, "I think you're showingmaturity in your singing. Ang ganda-ganda. I really liked it. Ngayon hindi namagalaw yung mga kamay mo. I'm so proud of you. That was really well done."
Jolina also praised Gretchen by pointing out the singer'semphasis on the emotional parts of the song. "Nagustuhan ko doon, mga bitaw mona...yung pagkaka-diin mo sa ibang words na dapat talaga dinidiinan dahil ‘yun‘yung emotional doon sa kanta na ‘yun. Maganda yung pagkaka-bitaw mo. Verygood!"
Even Wyngard, who always seems very hard to please, wasimpressed. "That was very good. Basta lagi mo lang aalalayan or aalagaan yungpapaano mag-teterno yung pagkanta mo at pag-arte. Pero it's okay, you'regetting there. Very good."
Basil's comment clinched the night for Gretchen. "Sa akin,it's all right to get carried away sa mga ganyang awitin. Maramdamin yangkantang yan. Bagay sa'yo. Pero congratulations, okay ang interpretation mo."
The 21-year old Daryl Celis sang "Hanggang Sa Dulo Ng WalangHanggan" but unlike previous weeks, he seemed to get mixed comments this week.
"Mas kinilig ako last week," remarked Jolina. "Pero hindipangit yung ginawa mo. Maganda rin ‘yang ginawa mo. ‘Mas nagandahan lang ako‘yung last week mo na performance.
After praising Daryl for showing emotion and being emphaticin his singing, Ogie also shared his advice for the Idol hopeful. "For you tostay in this contest, you really need to brush up on your singing. Tamaan moyung mga nota mo lagi. Sana maka-abot ha, sana makahabol ka pa."
Wyngard admitted that the song was a hard piece to sing, andcongratulated Daryl for being able to pull it through. "Hindi mo ginaya si Mr.Basil Valdez. You've been very consistent lately. I-improve mo pa at pagpatuloymo lang."
"Ganun nga, mahirap talaga yung kanta," agreed Basil. "Dahilnapaka-simple niya, mahirap. Pero nagawan mo ng sarili mong [version]," he toldDaryl. "Ingat lang ng onti," he advised.
The twenty-five-year-old Warren Antig received some of theharshest comments given out that evening. He sang "Kung Ako'y Iiwan Mo," aperformance that garnered criticisms from the panel.
"I think this is your most nervous performance," observedOgie. "Nagkawatak-watak lahat ng nota. You were really out of tune. I don'tknow what you did to that classic," he said gloomily. "Nahirapan ako doon. Ireally had a hard time listening to you."
"Yung umpisa, natuwa ako kasi naririnig kita, e. Yung stylena gusto mo, yung paos, lahat nandoon, yung rocker," Jolina pointed out. "Peronung tumatagal na, nawawala na. Ayokong isipin na baka hindi mo lang naririnigyung sarili mo. Pero ‘yun ‘yung narinig ko. Nawala na sa tono totally."
Wyngard seemed to agree with his fellow judges and toldWarren, "Maging handa ka because mukhang ito magiging dahilan para matanggal kabukas," he predicted. "Pinaka-hindi magandang performance na ginawa mo ito.Sinira mo yung song. Parang hindi mo pinag-aralan at hindi mo naiintindihan anglyrics nung kanta. If you get voted out tomorrow, wala kang dapat sisihin kundiang sarili mo," he said frankly.
"Nakakalungkot lang," added Basil.
During the results night, Warren Antig, indeed, got votedout of the competition just as Wyngard predicted.
Next week, the pressure mounts as it was revealed that twoof the remaining five contestants—Ram Chaves, Gretchen Espina, Kid Camaya,Jayann Baustista, and Daryl Celis—will be eliminated.
Pinoy Idol host Raymond Gutierrez also announced thaton August 17, the remaining Top 3 contestants will have to go head-to-head inpursuit of the first Pinoy Idol title. This shall serve as the Finals Night forthe show.
Don't miss the upcoming episodes—Saturday for theperformances and Sunday for the results—as the remaining Top 5 finalistsshowcase their Greatest Idol Performances with their very own song choices andarrangements.
Catch Pinoy Idol after Pinoy Records onSaturdays, and Kap's Amazing Stories on Sundays, only on GMA-7.