Are You the Next Big Star? picks its Circle of 16

Shown above are just five of the 16 contestants hoping to say, "Yes, I am!" at the end of this season's Are You The Next Big Star? Tyros and veterans will mix it up for 10 weeks to find out who goes home the champ, with two talent contracts, 1 million pesos and a condominium unit.

(Clockwise, from top left) Shane Tarun, Alexa Ortega, Christine Allado, PJ Gonzales and Justin Francis


Last night, June 13, bago ang airing ng Are You The Next Big Star? sa GMA-7 after ng Pinoy Records, ipinakilala sa entertainment press ang masasabing pinakamasuwerteng 16 contestants—8 girls and 8 boys—na napiling makasama sa Circle of 16.

Ang 16 na ito ang nakakuha ng pinakamataas na boto mula sa jury at sa judges ng Are You The Next Big Star? na sina Danny Tan, Mon Faustino, Annie Quintos, Randy Santiago, at Pops Fernandez.

Ang mga nakapasok sa Circle of 16 ay sina Jay Perillo (20 years old) Manila; Camille Cortez (19), Antipolo; PJ Gonzalez (18), Pasay; Alex Castro (23), Bulacan; Alexa Ortega (19), Quezon City; Cara Quiapos (17), Batangas; Franchescka Farr (16), Las Piñas; Anton Cruz (16), Quezon City; Shane Tarun (16), Isabela; Geoff Taylor (23), Cagayan; Rachel Gabreza (16), Cebu; Justin Francis (19), San Francisco, California; Zyrene Parsad (23), Las Piñas; Greggy Santos (22), Quezon City; Bobby Solomon (16), Manila; and Christine Allado (18) Quezon City.

Sa Circle of 16, lima sa mga lalaki ay masasabing artista na or may karanasan na sa limelight. Others have already appeared in movies and some have joined other TV reality searches from other networks. Ito ay sina Alex, na lumabas na sa ilang pelikula ng Regal; Jay, na naging finalist sa Star In A Million ng ABS-CBN; si Geoff, na nasa Batch 1 ng Pinoy Dream Academy ng ABS-CBN; si Greggy, na segment host ng Livin' It Up ng QTV 11; at si Justin na lumalabas-labas na rin sa ilang shows.

Among the girls, si Alexa Ortega ang sinasabing Marian Rivera look-alike. May acting experience na siya on stage dahil naging part siya ng Trumpets Musical. She is the eldest sister of Cheska Ortega, once a mainstay of TV5's Lipgloss and Sam Concepcion's partner in High School Musical.

The others ay talagang first time nilang magkaroon ng TV appearance. Hindi isyu sa Are You The Next Big Star? kung dati nang artista or napapanood ang isang contestant, umpisa pa lang ng pa-audition ay naging open na sila sa lahat ng puwedeng possible contestants.

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Magkaganunman, mismong ang mga nakapasok sa Circle of 16 ang nagsabing wala ring merit kung artista or singer na sila dati. Sa Are You The Next Big Star?, kung ano raw ang performance na ipapakita nila ay dun lang din sila idya-judge.

10 WEEKS OF CHALLENGES. Haharapin na ngayon ng Circle of 16 ang sampu pang linggo ng iba't ibang challenges at dito na magkakaalaman kung sino sa kanilang 16 ang matitira at makakapag-compete na Top 6 for the grand finale.

Kasama na rin sa mga activities ng Circle of 16 ang pagkakaroon ng iba't ibang shows sa ilang SM malls, una na rito sa SM Valenzuela on June 20. Part din sa Are You The Next Big Star? ang pagsasailalim sa kanila sa iba't ibang workshops (singing, acting, dancing) and personality improvement.

Marami lang ang nakapansin during the press presentation na sana raw, in terms of styling and outfits, mas bigyang pansin pa ito ng stylist ng show, especially as it adds more confidence and star aura sa isang contestant.

Ayon naman sa tatlong judges na present last night na sina Mon, Annie at Danny, nahirapan daw silang lahat sa pagpili at naging malaking challenge daw for them to judge. Since they are looking for the next big star, hindi lang dapat maganda ang boses kundi nasa kanya ang total package in terms of performance, personality and looks.

Ayon pa sa mga judges, sana raw ay hindi magalit at huwag masamain ng mga contestants kapag kini-criticize nila dahil, in the end, mari-realize rin ng mga ito na para rin sa ikabubuti nila ang pamumuna.

Beginning next week, iri-reveal na rin ang voting details sa Saturday's episode ng show. A percentage of the votes will come from the public and the others from the judges.

This time, sa walong lalaking napili at walong babae, tig-isa sa kanila ang tatanghaling Next Big Star at mag-uuwi ng GMA exclusive management contract, GMA Records recording contract, 1 million pesos in cash from SM Supermalls, and a condominium unit from Avida Land Corporation.

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