Sharon Cuneta has three upcoming TV shows this year: Star Power and The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition on ABS-CBN, and Sharon at Home on the Lifestyle Network.
Of the three, she's most excited about Star Power, a reality show searching for female superstars, which will premiere on October 10.
The Megastar talked about her experience in Star Power during a presscon for the three shows held September 9 at ABS-CBN.
"This season, it's all girls," said Sharon. "Every season, there is a different kind of contest. So magkakaroon ng mga lalaki, magkakaroon ng komedyante, magkakaroon ng mga kids. Ngayon, inuna namin yung search for a female superstar na pop singer, 15-21 years old."
The Megastar said they already picked the show's 12 finalists, collectively called the "Star Power 12," from thousands of auditionees from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
"Wala na nga po kaming tulog lahat, e," she said.
Sharon's role in the show is all-encompassing: She's judge, mentor, and host, all-in-one.
She said being a judge was "one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do." While ABS-CBN executives helped her in the judging panel, she always felt bad when a contestant was sent home.
She explained, "All in all, 37 ang napili from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. They auditioned from among thousands. Napakahirap to narrow them down to 37. So pagdating namin do'n, ang hirap kasi they were already the best. Sabi nga ni Mr. M (Johnny Manahan of Star Magic), it was such a good crop of talents. Ang hirap pumili, yung pag pinasok mo lahat, puwede. Kaya lang, we had to really pick 12.
"I could not stand seeing yung mga bata opening the boxes. Nagtatago ako sa likod e. Kasi pag binuksan mo yung box, at may nakita kang note, and/or iPod, pasok ka. Pag wala, uuwi ka. Some of them came all the way from Mindanao or Visayas. Tapos naghihintay yung mga loved ones nila sa garden... tapos paglabas mo, parang ang sakit."
Sharon jokingly added, "Napakasakit naman ng show na ito! Baka next time, puwede iba na lang mag-judge, magho-host na lang ako!"
However, she was excited about mentoring newly-discovered talents.
"Excited na excited ako i-mentor yung iba. Kasi ang kaibahan ng show na 'to compared sa napakaraming talent shows spread all over many stations is that ako yung magme-mentor sa kanila. In over 30 years, I think I've been everywhere and I've done everything. It's really time to give back to a group that I think has been supportive of me. These kids should be given a chance."
She explained the mentoring process. "Every week, merong mae-eliminate. Then we will choose five. Yun talaga yung out and out mentoring namin, dun sa kanila babagsak. In the end, isa dun yung magiging pinaka. Pero hopefully silang dose, may career sila after the show."
Sharon said she aims to inspire kids to be more confident. She told the story of a contestant who had regained her confidence with her help.
"We have one na parang nasiraan na ng loob kasi sumali na sa isang major contest noon," she narrated. "Natalo siya at inapi-api siya ng members of her family... hindi siy na kinausap. So yung bata, kitang-kita mo [nakayuko]. Sabi ko, look at everybody here. They're all winners like you. Kagabi, nakita ko siya, nakataas-noo na siya! I was so proud!"
Sharon added, "Pag natapos na yung season, sana may naiwan ako sa kaluluwa nila, sa puso nila na hindi matitibag ng kahit sinong maninira sa kanila. Meron lang sana akong maiwan na konting strength, konting peace na galing sa Diyos, konting fighting spirit. May maiwan lang akong ganun, I think I would have done my part very well."
ON WILLIE REVILLAME. Since Star Power will premiere on October 10, this will be be pitted against Willie Revillame's upcoming show, Willing-Willie Kami.
Sharon pointed out: "10.10.10 (October 10, 2010) is a very auspicious date. I'm just an employee of a very big broadcasting company. Hindi ko alam 'yan."
During the press conference, the Megastar opened up about her previous tiff with Willie, the host of ABS-CBN's now defunct noontime show Wowowee.
Last year, she was promoting her movie BFF (Best Friends Forever) when she appeared as a guest on Wowowee. In that particular episode, the Megastar asked Willie to invite her on his yacht. The TV host replied: "Ayoko nga. Baka lumubog."
In her September 9 presscon, Sharon admitted: "Hindi naman sikretong may tampo ako sa kanya. Ang akin lang ay gusto kong makausap ang Willie na kaibigan ko.
"Minahal ko siya as a friend. Siyempre naman, nami-miss ko siya... Siyempre iba na rin ang buhay niya ngayon. I'm happy for him pero I miss my Willie."
Sharon at Home will air 6:30 p.m. starting September 18 on the Lifestyle Network. Star Power premieres on October 10 and The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition will be shown next year on ABS-CBN.