FIRST READ ON PEP: "Pinoy Dream Academy" Season 2 picks its new scholars



ABS-CBN's Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA) formally opened its doorearlier tonight, June 14, as 15 aspiring singers were chosen as scholars toundergo rigid training to fulfill their dreams of becoming the next singingsuperstars.

From thousands who auditioned, 32 potential scholars werepresented to the televiewers with their background stories from June 9 to 13.They were later trimmed down to 25, from which the mentors chose who would enterthe Academy after re-examining their past performances.

The faculty who will serve as mentors to the scholars areRyan Cayabyab (Headmaster), Joey Reyes (Media Performance Mentor), KitchyMolina (Overall Voice Mentor), and Monet Silvestre (Voice Mentor).

The scholars who made it to the second season of PDA areHansel Nichols (The Cancer Survivor); Michelle Belmonte (The Stand-upComedian), 25; Jay "Bugoy" Bogayon (The Farmer's Son), 18; Van Louelle Pojas(The Young Heartthrob), 18; Jun Ross Dio (The Stylist's Son), 25; CristinaPastor (The Singing Interior Designer), 21; Miguel Mendoza (The RomanticCrooner), 18; Beatrice Muñoz (The Sweet Chanteuse), 18.

Also in the list are Chivas Anton Malunda(The Student Husband), 22; Ma. Liezel Garcia (The Pride of Puerto Galera), 23;Apple Abarquez (Different Couple's Daughter), 18; Christian Alvear (Small BoyWonder), 25; Rafael "Iñaki" King (The Stage Performer), 18; and Laarni Losala (TheIndependent Woman), 22.

Some of this season's PDA scholars—mostly 18 years old—arefamiliar faces and have interesting stories.

Hansel, who was diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer, used to be a member of an all-male group (Showboys) that used toperform in GMA-7's SOP. This is also his second time to join PDA; last year hewas part of Top 30 but failed to enter the Academy.

Miguel was a fourth-placer in ABC-5's Philippine Idol, whereMr. C (Ryan Cayabyab) was one of the judges. His real-life girlfriend,Beatrice, also made it; they have been together for three-and-a-half years.

Another couple that made it this season are thehusband-and-wife tandem of Chivas and Jovannie. They already have a son.

Bugoy used to be a canteen sweeper who sang to his carabaoand the grasses. Christian may look like a little boy but he is actually 25 years old; he has a condition that prevented him from growing. Iñakiis the nephew of ‘80s singer Juan Miguel Salvador.

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Originally, the scholars should have been 16 but one of them, Consuelo, backed out. The Headmaster decided that the last slot would be contested by the four wait-listers who have the highest grade after the Top 15. The four wait-listers are Hera "Banig" Redoblado (The Fighting Davaoeño), 21; Ranjit "Jet" Singh (The Videojock), 25; Catherine "Poy" Palma (The Obedient Daughter), 22; and Lamberto Reyes (The Singing Engineer), 23.

The wait-lister who will get the highest text votes by tomorrow night will join the 15 scholars who have already entered the Academy.

Five other female aspiring singers failed to make it in the final list.

Teacher Monet had been tasked by Headmaster Ryan Cayabyab to live with the scholars—until they are expelled through text votes and the mentors and judges' grades—inside the Academy, which used to be Big Brother's house.

Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 is hosted by Toni Gonzaga,Nikki Gil, and Billy Crawford.

Last year's winner is singer-composer YengConstantino.


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