“I never expected na mapupunta sa akin. Never in a million years,” said Billy Crawford who got chosen over Ogie Alcasid to be the TV host of ABS-CBN’s newest talent/variety show, Little Big Shots, premiering on August 12 and 13.
Little Big Shots is a that originated in the U.S. and became an international franchise distributed by Warner Bros.
It was ABS-CBN’s business unit head, Louie Andrada, who explained that it was Warner Bros. who picked Billy among the celebrity hosts who auditioned for the show.
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Based on the advance screening of the pilot episode of Little Big Shots, Billy did establish good rapport with the kid performers aged 3 to 13 years old.
For his part, the 35-year-old TV host-singer explained that he makes an effort to get to know the kids before they perform on stage.
“Pag nagte-taping kami ng Little Big Shots, I ask the staff right before we take kung puwede ko makausap yung mga bata, just to have a warm-up period.
“Kasi ‘pag may in-introduce silang anak sa ‘yo, ang unang gagawin ng bata, normally, is tatalikod, yayakapin ang mommy at daddy nila.
“So, I have to base my relationship as a big brother, as a clown, kung ano man yung connection na puwede ko ibigay sa mga bata.
Billy spoke to entertainment reporters at the launch and advance screening of Little Big Shots, held at ABS-CBN Dolphy Theater last August 8.
Still talking about getting to know the kids, the TV host-singer continued, “Yun ang ginagawa ko with every single kid. Pagpasok ko, I study the lines. After that, I go straight to the kid sa likod bago i-reveal.
“Kikilalanin ko siya. That’s my connection so they become more comfortable pagdating sa stage.”
At the same time, Billy admitted that some of the kids recognize him as a mainstay from Kapamilya noontime show, It’s Showtime.
“Sa totoo lang ang laking tulong na nakikita ako sa Showtime. Maraming kabataan ang nanonood ng Showtime.”
NOT A COMPETITION. What sets apart Little Big Shots from other talent/variety shows is the fact that the kid performers are not competing for a prize.
Billy explained, “This is what we’re proud of. Hindi siya competition at all.
“These kids will just be in the show not just to show their talent. Not all of them have a special talent especially for three and four-year-olds na hindi pa nila alam kung ano’ng needs nila.
“Pero lahat welcome—the cutest kid, the brightest kid, yung gustong magpakita ng talent.
“This is a showcase kung ano ang batang Pinoy.”
At the advance screening of Little Big Shots’s pilot episode, among the stand-out performances was a three-year-old kid who easily identified foreign flags and maps.
There was another cute girl who was able to beat Billy in deboning danggit.
Billy's banter with a little boy who has a crush on child star Xia Vigor was also an entertaining segment.
Another little girl also showcased her expertise in pole-dancing.
PERKS FOR KID PERFORMERS. What are the perks of joining Little Big Shots?
Louie, the show’s business unit head, answered, “Of course, we give them something. Pero habang naghahanap kami [ng performers] at kinakausap namin ang mga magulang, especially yung mga bata, isa lang naman ang sinasabi nila, e, ‘We want to make our family proud. We want our parents to be proud of us.’ Yun lang sapat na sa kanila yun.”
At the same time, outstanding kid performers may have the chance to travel and be part of certain franchises of Little Big Shots abroad.
Louie elaborated, “Ang maganda dito, yung entire franchise niya sa buong mundo, ‘pag nagustuhan sila, like si Ella, nagustuhan siya sa America. Now, pupunta siya ng Israel, pupunta ng Spain…
“So, now yung tinake naming episode, meron dung tatlo nang napili. Kasi nung nagte-tape kami, nandito yung consultant from Warner [Bros.].
“Nag-identify na siya, ‘We wants these kids sa America.’ Meron nang mga na-identify.”
ABS-CBN’s TV executive went on to say that a certain Tawag Ng Tanghalan contestant, who joined Little Big Shots, caught the attention of the Warner Bros.’ consultant.
“Yung Tawag ng Tanghalan kid na fineature namin, inaayos na yung mga visa ng mga bata, kasi magte-tape na sila sa U.S. Tapos yung iba kinukuha sa U.K.
“So, malaking tulong sa kanila. It’s not about really the monetary. Gustong maging proud ng mga bata yung mga magulang nila.”