In this day and age, a viral video is all it takes for budding singers to get discovered.
It has made some an overnight success. It has become a stepping stone for the others to go mainstream.
But the popularity of singing contests have not waned a bit, according to Regine Velasquez, who is poised to host GMA-7’s The Clash.
In an interview during the show's Manila leg audition held last March 17, in SM North EDSA’s Skydome, Regine told the press, "Alam mo, although everyone can be discovered in social media. Ang dami nang ano ngayon, e, platform.
"They still join singing contests.
"All over the world itong phenomenon na ‘to, ha, even in China.
"Pero siyempre tayo, panahon pa ni kopong-kopong, nagko-contest na tayo.”
Regine herself was a product of singing contests.
Winning the grand prize at Ang Bagong Kampeon in 1984 became her ticket to showbiz. She also won the Asia-Pacific Song Contest in 1989.
To this day, singers still find the value of joining a singing contest because of “prestige."
The Asia’s Songbird continued, “Kahit alam na ng mga kabataang ito na puwede namang sumikat via YouTube or whatever, they still try their luck on joining singing contest.
"Kasi, I think iba rin yung prestige na naibibigay sa pangalan mo na you’re a winner of such contest. Iba rin, e.
"Also, it makes them ano, parang you stay longer. I don’t know for some reason kasi alam nila na you’re a legitimate artist, na you’re a legitimate singer…"
WANTED: SINGERS. The Clash—which already held auditions in Cebu, Davao, and Baguio—is looking for “magaling na singer."
Regine remarked, "Hindi nga sila naghahanap ng superstar e na puwedeng mag-artista, hindi daw, e.
The show will initially gather 60 singers, then the judges—Ai-Ai delas Alas, Christian Bautista, and Lani Misalucha—will take charge of the elimination.
Since, the Kapuso network is looking for real singers, is “texting” going to play a role in determining the grand winner?
"Ang hirap kasi sa text, hindi ka nakakasiguro minsan.
"Hindi ka nakakasiguro na yung magaling talaga yung nakakapasok, e. Yes, ano siya, e, popularity contest ang text, e. Pag sa atin, ha. Hindi kagaya sa iba na talagang mananalo yung magaling.
"Pero dito sa atin medyo may power texting or may, we play favorites, ganun talaga.
"Kahit favorite na lang. Favorite siya kahit di siya kagalingan. Gusto ng tao, favorite siya, may ganun, e.
"So we wanna make sure first na pasok talaga yung magagaling.
"Then maybe, we can do texting. Pero it’s probably gonna be 50 percent, meron pa ding voice yung judging as it should be...
"Dapat talaga pinakamagaling yung nanalo.”
REGINE COPYCATS. Some contestants, for sure, will imitate Regine's birit style.
Does she mind each time singers try to copy her?
Laughing, her reply to the question of entertainment editor Jojo Panaligan was: "'Don’t copy me?' Sinasabi ko ‘yan sa sarili ko.
"'Don’t copy me.' Ako na lang sinasabihan ko.”
Kidding aside, she sees no problem with contestants who are Regine copycats.
"Hindi, normal yun, e. I actually…I feel very flattered whenever they sing my song, whenever they try to imitate me or emulate me,” she paused, trying to find the right word, then quipped, “…Ito magaling sa words, e."
Singers, she said, go through a lot of phases.
"I feel very flattered. Pag nag-uumpisa ka, talagang hindi mo pa kasi alam yung sound mo, e.
"Later on, as you get older, and, you know, experience will teach you a lot of things, then you will figure out what you are and what your own sound is.”
She reiterated, "So okay lang yung gumagaya.
"Pero sa ngayon nga, sa panahon ngayon, marami akong mga amateur singers na nakikita or nadidinig na hindi nagka-copy, e.
"Oo, meron na sila agad sariling style, e.
"Pero sa akin, hindi kabawasan yun sa pagiging singer nila if ka-copy sila.
"Kasi maski ako nung nag-uumpisa ako, ginawa ko rin yun. Kasi ganun talaga, bata ka nun, e, then later on, hindi na. You discover your own sound.”
Who was her peg then?
"Si Dulce…She has a very powerful voice. And Didith Reyes, same. Ang liit-liit na babae pero powerful voice.”
Among Dulce’s famous hits was "Ako ang Nasawi, Ako ang Nagwagi,” while Didith sang one of Regine’s favorite songs, “Bakit Ako Mahihiya.”
What can she say that, for the past three decades, she has been the peg of singers?
"Ako na yung pinakamatanda? Parang 100 years…" she replied with a laugh.
Then turning a bit serious, she resumed, "Siguro dahil ako yung galing sa singing contest, parang konti lang yata kaming nag-stay sa industriya after winning, e, so, parang siguro ako na yung na-peg kasi ang tagal [ko na]…"