ABS-CBN TV Production Head Laurenti M. Dyogi openly talked about the controversies facing the Kapamilya reality show Pinoy Big Brother.
There are have been persistent rumors indicating that PBB housemates are already pre-selected and scripted, and that only one or two among those who auditioned make it to the final list of contestants.
This 2018, the new season of Pinoy Big Brother is included in Star Hunt, ABS-CBN's two-day event for aspiring celebrities who plan to audition for Kapamilya reality shows.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked Dyogi during the press con of Star Hunt about the controversy regarding the pre-selection of housemates.
The Kapamilya executive said, "I will admit that iba-iba ang paraan para makapasok sa showbiz.
"Mayroong through the reality programs where you audition, mayroong through some managers, kasi marami naman talagang reputable managers and some recommendations.
"The Star Hunt and the general cattle call auditions is giving the public the opportunity kung wala silang paraan para makapag-audition sa amin internally. We're actually opening it through these public auditions. It's fairness to everyone, e."
Dyogi used to be the business unit head of Pinoy Big Brother before he was promoted as TV Production head in 2013.
This is the reason why he is already used to hearing these kinds of rumors.
However, he pointed out, "Wala naman po kaming pinangako na lahat ng contestants, manggagaling lang sa auditions.
"The auditions is one way of joining the contest, but everybody who's recommended, either by katrabaho namin, iba pang managers, lahat 'yan, pinag-au-audition namin.
"Ang integrity namin is kept in, ang importante sa amin is yung makakabuti sa programa, bagay ka ba na maging housemate, bagay ka ba na maging contestant nito?
"So yun lang po ang lilinawin ko, I think this is a good opportunity.
"Yung audition is one way of joining the contest.
"Kung meron kang makita na talent scout, of course, kung we feel na you can be a star, we cannot turn you down just because you were recommended by a certain person.
"Even online, even on my own social media accounts, I get recommendations from other people and I pass it on to my team and say, 'Tignan niyo nga ito, baka.'
"Because sa mundo natin, yung iba nga diyan, sa jeep nakikita lang, hindi naman nag-audition, 'Uy, pwede siguro yun.
"You know, when you're looking for a star, you look for that person anywhere by all means and in any place.
"So I think the public auditions like the Star Hunt is giving everybody at least equal chances that you have a venue to present yourself and to be seen by the team of ABS-CBN doing the program."
ABS-CBN TV Production Head Lauren Dyogi answers controversies about Pinoy Big Brother.
13TH YEAR OF PBB. 2018 marks the 13th year of Pinoy Big Brother on television, spawning several seasons with different editions.
In a span of 13 years, PBB has faced various controversies.
Aside from the rumors about the show pre-selecting housemates, there were also speculations that the PBB team was favoring some housemates to win the reality show by manipulating votes.
In response, Dyogi pointed out that PBB wouldn't have lasted for 13 years if these speculations were true.
He said, "With all the questions, with all intrigas and what-have-you, I could tell everybody, straight to the face, we held our integrity intact.
"We won't last 13 years kung mayroong pandaraya, panloloko na ginagawa sa any of our reality shows.
"For 13 years, Endemol would have been the first one to say, 'We won't give you the license because you don't have integrity.'"
Endemol is the Dutch-based media company that owns the format of the Big Brother franchise.
Dyogi continued, "Sa lahat ng hinarap naming controversy, I've always said, we were true to our core na we're doing this with all honesty and buong integrity.
"So lahat ng nanira sa amin, lahat ng ano, nakatulong lang yun, e.
"Hindi siya nakasira, nakadagdag lag siya sa interes ng tao.
"People were curious, ano ba yung pinag-uusapan nilang 'yan sa PBB? I think that triggered.
"The first season was the most controversial, napagod ako humarap.
"I think nakilala ako ng tao because lagi akong nasa TV Patrol explaining all the controversies we were facing!
"But again, management stood by us because we were not doing anything that wasn't truthful, and Endemol would be the first one to say na bawiin ang franchise namin sa format kung meron kaming ginagawang hindi maganda.
"Thirteen years is a proof that we are doing something right in this program."
STAR HUNT. The reality team of ABS-CBN is gearing up for the audition caravan called Star Hunt.
The event will be held on April 20 and 21 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Kapamilya network is looking for those who are talented in singing, dancing, or simply those who want to share inspiring stories and might make it to reality shows such as The Voice of the Philippines, I Can See Your Voice, Tawag ng Tanghalan, Dance Kids, Pilipinas Got Talent, Little Big Shots, Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK), Pinoy Big Brother, and the upcoming dance competition World of Dance Philippines.
How did they conceptualize this audition platform?
Dyogi narrated, "We actually did parang a dry run already a couple of years before.
"We were calling this the audition caravan in the past.
"Napansin kasi namin, lahat ng programa namin, nag-o-audition nang nag-o-audition.
"So inisip namin, yung mga tao, minsan, ilang beses din sila bumabalik.
"Like if you're coming from a faraway place and you want to audition kunyari, sa The Voice.
"Pupunta ka sa audition ng The Voice, mamaya pupunta ka na naman sa audition ng Tawag ng Tanghalan ng ibang araw.
"Meron kang gastos, meron kang, yung oras mo.
"So we were thinking to better serve the public by a one-stop shop as big as Star Hunt na isang beses sa isang taon, tuhog mo nang lahat.
"Pwede kang mag-audition kung magaling kang magsayaw, pwede ka for Dance Kids or sa World of Dance, pwede ka rin naming isipin, ah, pwede ka sa Showtime.
"So isang punta mo, marami ka nang pwedeng pag-auditionan.
"So I think makakatipid ang mga tao natin, ang ating mga kapamilya, yung oras, and yung timing din kasi at least you don't audition only for one.
"You audition for all the properties and programs of ABS-CBN, yung present and yung pinaplano pa namin."
Star Hunt will accommodate auditionees aged 3-17 years old on April 20, and auditionees aged 18 and above will be accommodated on April 21.
Auditionees who will showcase their unique talent or talents in singing or dancing can come as a solo act or as a group.