Philippine Idol changes rules on voting; Jeli and Arms now out

Fremantle [Idol franchise owner] and ABC-5 have implemented new rules on voting for Philippine Idol. Instead of allotting 22 hours to the voting period, Idol fans now only have two hours—from Sunday night right after the performance show until 12:30 AM—to vote for their favorite Idol. This is the same format used by other Idol franchises, including American Idol.

In a text message to YES! Online, ABC-5 director for entertainment Perci Intalan explained that despite the many "surprises" that has happened in the show, the competition remains even for all contestants. "I think that at the end of the day, the contestants went through the same conditions. When the telcos [telecommunication companies] had problems it affected all of them. And when the voting went to two hours, it was the same for all too. So it is still a level playing field."

With this in mind, the nine remaining finalists performed last October 29 in an episode dubbed as "A Night to Remember." The guest judge last weekend was Luke Mijares, former vocalist of the band South Border.

Cinema 3 of SM Megamall was transformed into an intimate "lounge" with a spotlight focused on one side of the stage where a grand piano was placed. Idol finalists were asked to choose songs that have a special meaning for them at certain times in their lives, allowing them to share details about their personal lives.

Incidentally, Jeli opted to sing "You Don't Know Me" by Ray Charles, her audition piece for Philippine Idol at the PICC. This would turn out to be her last piece as well for ABC-5's reality talent search when she was voted out of the competition last October 30.

Even Arms Cruz's heartfelt rendition of Patti Austin's "If I Believe" during the performance night was not enough to save her from elimination. A surprising development happened that Sunday night at the end of her song, Reymond Sajor, who was recently eliminated, went up onstage to give Arms a single white rose.

Guest judge Luke was moved to tears by Mau Marcelo's rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" during the October 29 performance night. This prompted him to say: "I will guest [Mau] next time sa next album ko. Sayang yung second album ko ngayon, patapos na eh. So hindi na mahabol."

The two contenders who were voted off remain optimistic about their life after Idol.

"I am glad I have made it this far. I have no qualms about leaving tonight. I expected everything. I learned [several] things here in the competition: No guts no glory; What won't kill you will make you stronger; and Try and try until you succeed and God will always be there for you. I am very happy that I've gone this far. I'm sure there are other things outside that are waiting for me to explore," shared a teary-eyed Jeli.

Arms, who's looking at prospects for a solo-recording deal and a modeling stint, was happy with her experiences in the show. "One thing I will never forget—‘yung bonding naming top twelve, at saka yung [sa] CCP. Pumayat ako! Nakita ko yung VTR-My God! Ang taba ko sa CCP!" she gushed.






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