Internet denizens, including the PEPsters, went wild after Laarni Losala—together with Miguel Mendoza and Apple Abarquez—was named as one of the three probationary last week in Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2. No doubt one of the season's more controversial figures, Laarni received the fourth highest score last week for her rendition of "Di Ko Kayang Tanggapin" and was even praised by the judges for her duet with Poy Palma. Yet the mentors saved Bunny Malunda from probation although she got the lowest score during the 7th Gala Night.
So when host Toni Gonzaga announced that it was either Apple or Laarni who received the text vote percentage of 72.74 percent during the 8th Gala Night last night, August 9, at the PDA Concert Hall in Quezon City, it was clear that Apple who was first scholar eliminated from the Headmaster's List of Ten. Apple received 13.30 percent of the text votes, only slightly lower than Miguel's 13.96 percent.
When "The Different Couple's Daughter" from Cebu performed Anita Baker's "Sweet Love," she received praise from resident juror Louie Ocampo and guest judges Leah Navarro and Jim Parades. The two guest judges are no stranger to the reality show—Leah was a frequent judge during the PDA's first season, while Jim was the previous Headmaster of the Academy. Although Leah criticized Apple's glitch during the start of her song, she liked how the expelled scholar sang her swan song. Incidentally, Iya Ginez of PDA Season One was also eliminated after singing the Anita Baker song.
Likewise, the two probationary scholars received their share of criticism and praise. The beginning of Miguel's performance was flat, according to Jim, but said the musicality of the song was good. "It was quite a moving experience watching you sing that song," he said of Miguel's "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life." Although Louie acknowledged "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a difficult song to pull off, he said Laarni did a fair job.
But Miguel and Laarni are not out of the woods yet, as they received the bottom three scores this week. Joining them in the bottom group is Hansen Nichols. According to Leah, Sen was hesitant during his performance of "Hold On" and gave him an "A for effort." Although Bunny, singing "Lady Marmalade," managed to impress Leah, she was included in the bottom four for getting the lowest grade for their midterm exams.
Meanwhile, Jay "Bugoy" Bogoyan was named Star Scholar this week. He got a score of 9.60, the second highest grade for a solo performance this season. Louie was all praises for Bugoy's rendition of "As." "Kanina pinipikit ko yung mata ko, akala ko napakikinggan ko yung kapatid ni Stevie Wonder," he said. Poy and Liezel Garcia were also named as part of top three. Jim was impressed with Poy's "Piece of Sky." Louie said Liezel did well with her performance of "Best of My Love," but he felt the singer was straining. He also gave Liezel a warning: "It was a good performance. But a word of warning, the others are catching up."
Van Pojas managed to recover after last week's mediocre performance with the song "Tatsulok." "Sa wakas, nagustuhan ko ang ginawa mo," Louie said. Iñaki and Cris also impressed Jim with their songs "Spain" and "Tattoo," respectively. Jim said Cris' rendition of the Jordin Sparks song was clean and almost flawless, while he commended Iñaki's creativity when he adlibbed some parts into the difficult song.
Who among the four scholars will be placed on probation? And do the scholars—particularly Laarni and Liezel—deserve the grades they received? Stay tuned from Monday to Friday to Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 Uberture, 5:30 PM, and Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 Primetime, after My Girl on ABS-CBN. Viewers can also watch the PDA scholars everyday on Studio 23, 12:00-2:00 PM.