This time, it was Oprah Winfrey's turn to be charmed by the Philippines' Charice Pempengco.
With her Ellen DeGeneres appearance still lingering in the memory of her countrymen, young singing sensation Charice pulled off another stellar feat when she graced the highly-popular U.S. talk show Oprah, hosted by Oprah Winfrey.
Charice shared with The Buzz yesterday, May 4, that the influential American host and media mogul deliberately skipped watching her rehearsal because she wanted to be surprised during the actual taping.
"Kahit po siya hindi niya po ako kilala," said Charice to hosts Boy Abunda and Ruffa Gutierrez.
"Kumbaga, talaga pong gusto niya po ma-surprise sa talent ko so nag-perform po ako nandoon po siya sa gilid," she added, while obviously still reeling from the entire experience.
Throughout the performance, Oprah silently watched in one corner as Charice exhibited her vocal power along with other young talents.
"Nasa gilid po siya nanonood po, so kinanatahan ko po siya," recounted the 15-year-old belter from Cabuyao, Laguna. "Medyo naluha po siya tapos sinabi po niya sa akin nung after po ng performance ko, sinabi niya sa akin na hindi daw po siya makapaniwalang ganoon kagaling ang mga Pinoy."
WINNING FANS ALL OVER THE GLOBE. Oprah's enthusiasm with Charice's extraordinary talent isn't entirely new. Since placing third behind eventual champion Sam Concepcion in the local singing tilt Little Big Star in 2005, Charice's singing career skyrocketed, mainly through video postings of her performances in YouTube.
Prior to Oprah's show, Charice had been invited by some foreign programs after seeing her perform in South Korea's Star King. E! which later on cited Charice in its "The Daily 10" segment under the banner "A Star Is Born." The "Hollywood Royalty Segment," on the other hand, acknowledged the young singer with a headline that read "A Queen Is Born."
Unknown to Charice, American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres had been keeping an eye on her after watching her sing in YouTube. Ellen even showed clippings of Charice singing and went on to imitate her gestures before issuing an invitation to the Filipino talent to grace the show.
On December 19, 2007, Charice accepted Ellen's invitation and performed two songs on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The young singing sensation also had the chance to personally meet esteemed American composer David Foster during her short U.S. stay.
Last April 8, 2008, Charice once again conquered the international stage, this time as a guest performer in London's Paul O' Grady Show. Charice dished out her two signature cover songs: "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," taken from the movie Dreamgirls, and Whitney Houston's 1992 smash hit "I Will Always Love You." Charice received two standing ovations from the audience.
Charice was also featured in various news programs abroad, like CNN and France News.
But nothing still beats the euphoria of meeting and, much more, sharing the spotlight with the unrivaled Oprah Winfrey.
"Sa studio po, nung nag-guest po ako... So siyempre before po ako mag-perform, nung rehearsal po, ipinakita po sa akin ‘yong studio. So sabi po nila, tingnan mo na, diyan ka kakanta bukas," she recalled being told by the staff.
Just the thought of stepping inside the Harpo studio was enough to excite Charice. "So parang hindi po ako makapaniwala na ‘yon na ‘yong studio ng Oprah tapos sabi umikot ka diyan, tumalon ka... Tumalon po ako kasi talagang ‘yon po ‘yong pangarap ko—makapag-guest sa show na ‘yon," she confessed to Boy and Ruffa.
On May 12, the entire world will witness the realization of that dream.