Richard Gomez, Bench's image model for over 20 years, just laughs off the intrigues surrounding the recently concluded Blackout: The Bench Denim and Underwear Fashion Show held last July 25 at Araneta Coliseum.
Richard related to Allan Diones of Abante Tonite an anecdote about the top young actors-modelsPiolo Pascual, Richard Gutierrez, and Dingdong Dantes.
"Nagkakagulo silang tatlo—si Piolo, si Dingdong, at saka siRichard kung sino yung lalabas bago mag-finale," Richard said. "So, sabi ni Ben [Chan, owner of Bench], ‘Kung ganu'n na nagkakagulo kayo, tanggalin na yungtatlo!'"
Richard also revealed that the trio indeed got booted fromthe show but the managers of the three resumed talks with Mr. Chan. "KnowingBen na mabait, pinagbigyan naman," Richard remarked.
PIOLO'S ABSENCE. Richard also shed light on why Piolodid not attend the fashion show. According to him, Piolo did not want to getinvolved in the ruckus about who was going to go last in the fashion show, so heopted not to join.
The good news is that the issue was resolved with Dingdonggetting the finale for the "Lesley Mobo" segment and younger Richard, the "Blackout"segment.
ANNABELLE'S RANT. Annabelle Rama made a statementabout her not being too happy with what happened to son Richard during hismoment on the catwalk. Annabelle said that aside from Richard not having his ownvideo, the overhead TV also didn't flash his name—one of the reasons why theaudience was not able to "recognize" Richard and their not-so enthusiastic reaction tohim.
"Wala talagang pangalan kahit sino, e!" Goma exclaimed whenhe heard about Annabelle's statements. "Ako, hindi ko alam, ha? But angpagkakaalam ko lang, all the numbers were presented to them, how it will bepresented, doon sa mga meeting-meeting nila. In fact, during the rehearsal night,nandun sila para makita nilang lahat. Actual rehearsal yun. Kung ako angtatanungin mo, dapat noon pa lang gabi [rehearsal] nakita mo na, nakorek mona if ever you wanted to make some changes."
GIMMICKS WORK. Goma, on his reaction onAnnabelle's rant about her son not getting any applause has this to say: "Whoare we to say na palakpakan n'yo ako o hindi? Who are we to blame? At saka pagdating talaga sa stage, pagdating sa modeling, lalo na yung mga big show naganun, mga gala, alam mo, kanya-kanyang gimik ‘yan!"
Stressing his point, Goma added that people on the catwalkshould create their own gimmicks to get noticed. "Ano'ng ginawa ni Jake [Cuenca] kaya napansin siya? Ano'ng ginawa nung isa [PBB housemate Kian Kazemi], naglagay ngrose dun sa ano niya? Si Dingdong, what did he do? He took his time, tinanggalniya yung pantalon niya nang dahn-dahan, nag-build ng excitement. Gimiktalaga!" he said.
FAIR ON BOTH SIDES. Goma, who watched bothDingdong and Richard's performances on the catwalk, said that both had theirtime onstage and both were alone. Goma also said that he was not going totake sides since both Dingdong and Richard were good friends of his.
"Mas marami akong time with Richard, kasi nung bata pasiya, kasama ni Tito Eddie [Gutierrez], kasama ni Tita Annabelle. Magkakaibigankami. And then some of his projects, si Douglas [Quijano, Goma's manager] angnagha-handle. So, parang he's part of our family also."
PASSING ON HIS CROWN. If ever the time comes forRichard Gomez to pass on the ultimate Pinoy hunk or the Adonis of localshowbiz, whom will he give it to? Richard, Dingdong, or Piolo?
"Kahit kanino. To anybody deserving," Goma said to Allan. "Sa pogifactor, lahat naman sila mga pogi, e! But I'm really happy for them. I'm happyfor Richard, Dingdong, even from the other station like Piolo, because he'salso a Bench member."
On a parting note, Richard said, "Lahat sila, naghirap,nagtiyaga. Siyempre, hindi madaling sumikat, di ba? Ang mahirap is how tosustain it, at i-maintain ‘yung popularity mo, eh!"