All the while, akala ng marami ay si Enzo Pineda ang nangunguna sa text votes sa StarStruck V dahil sinasabing siya ang pinakamayaman among the survivors. Pero marami ang nagulat during the last elimination held last February 14 nang i-announce ang accumulated text votes ng Final 6 mula Week 1 hanggang Week 9. It turned out na ang 23-year-old Steven Silva ang may pinakamaraming votes mula sa viewers, making 50 percent of the total votes.
Steven got a total of 548,692 text votes sa loob ng nine weeks. Malayung-malayo ito sa boto ng second-placer na si Diva Montelaba, who got 375,413. Bagamat hindi kasama rito ang My5 votes ng viewers last week, it is safe to assume that Steven was also the highest vote-getter based on the votes he got from the first nine weeks.
Isang gabi pagkatapos ng announcement ng Final 5—which includes Steven, Enzo, Diva, Rocco Nacino, and Sarah Lahbati—muli silang humarap sa entertainment press for a grand press conference held last night, February 15, at the 17th floor of GMA Network Center. Sa one-on-one interview ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Steven tinanong namin, nagulat din ba siya na siya pala ang may pinakamaraming text votes magmula nang magsimula ang StarStruck V?
"Talagang hindi ako mag-expect I had the most votes. Para sa akin, like hindi [ako] masyadong marunong mag-Tagalog. Tapos sinabi ng mga tao, parang hindi Pinoy ako, like my face... Akala ko kagabi, my votes siguro in the middle or sa bottom. Pero I probably had the highest so sobrang thankful ko. Kasi siguro po, maraming supporters para sa akin. So, I'm just thankful that they're supporting, voting for me," sagot ni Steven, who is still trying his best to speak in Tagalog.
Sa palagay niya kaya ay magiging advantage ang pagkakaroon ng pinakamaraming text votes on his way to the Final Judgment na gaganapin sa February 21 sa Araneta Coliseum?
"Opo," sagot ni Steven. "Kasi kung may maraming supporters para sa 'yo, siyempre you have an advantage. Pero para sa akin, ayoko po manalo just because of the text votes. Gusto ko, I wanna win because I did the best or I have the talent. Pero at the same time, I'm happy that I have supporters. Kasi if you have a bad performance, kung wala kang suporta, you can't go on. So, if you have a lot of support and you have a bad week, they can help you."
Kung si Steven ang may pinakamaraming text votes, siya naman ang may pinakamababang score among the male contenders mula sa StarStruck Council members na sina Lolit Solis, Iza Calzado at Floy Quintos. Steven had an average score of 37.9 percent compared to Rocco's 38.4 percent and Enzo's 38.1 percent. But as with the viewers' votes, these scores cover only the first nine weeks of the competition.
Having the highest viewers' votes and lowest average from the StarStruck Council, ano ang gagawin ni Steven to balance this?
"Yung focus ko ngayon, sa Sunday, yung number ko, parang I do my part sa performance. Kasi yung text votes, it's already there," sagot niya.
Is he nervous about the Final Judgment?
"Opo. Yung final Judgment, it's been three or four months in the making. If I can't win, talagang sayang yung effort, yung energy ko. Kasi I wanna win."
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH. Did he expect na mapasama sa Final 5?
"Dati, hindi po. I didn't expect really," pag-amin ni Steven. "Kasi I'm still trying to adjust here, and at the same time, mahirap ang mga challenges dito sa StarStruck. Kagabi [Feb. 14], every time they call somebody's name, 'Sana ako, sana ako, sana ako...' When they called Enzo, Rocco, it didn't really affect me. Parang, 'Ngayong there are only two spots left, sana ako. I hope it's me.'
What did he feel nang tinawag na siya as one of the Final 5?
"Last night, all I can think about was yung first audition sa Davao...yung mga flashback. And feeling ko, dati sa Davao, I would never have expected, now I'm here sa Final 5," sabi niya.
Dagdag pa ni Steven, what made the night more memorable was the presence of his aunt who told him about the audition of StarStruck in Davao.
Sa tingin niya ba ay deserving lahat ng nakasali sa Final 5?
"Opo," mabilis na sagot ni Steven. "When I see them all, they all have the talent, they all have the right attitude. Kasi dati, sa Top 100, Top 60, other auditions, people I see, they take it for granted. Parang it's a joke, like StarStruck is not so serious for them. Pero ngayon sa Final 5, I don't see that."
Sa palagay niya ba ay deserving siyang manalo as the Ultimate Male Survivor?
"Para sa akin, I deserve to win. Out of the other boys, I've been through so much. I mean, dati sa StarStruck, hindi ako marunong mag-Tagalog, wala talaga. Pero ngayon, meron na. Feeling ko, meron akong potential," he confidently said.
Dagdag ni Steven, "I'll keep trying to improve. Yung feeling ko minsan, I'm the underdog kasi hindi masyadong marunong mag-Tagalog. Parang I have to always keep trying my best. Kung hindi, I'll be gone. Wala nang chance."
What are his plans after StarStruck, win or lose?
"Talagang gusto kong mag-workshop sa acting, sa singing... I have to improve and be more ready. I really wanna make an album, maybe in the next one or two years."
Bakit hindi singing contest ang sinalihan niya?
"Kasi dati, wala po, there was none. Kasi dati sa Davao, meron po yung The Next Big Star, pero it was already done, tapos na yung audition. StarStruck was there so I took the chance," paliwanag niya.
DIVA MONTELABA. Dahil ten weeks nang magkakasama ang StarStruck V finalists, hindi maiiwasang ma-develop ang feelings nila para sa isa't isa, lalo na noong tumira sila sa isang condo unit. Very vocal naman si Steven sa pagsasabi ng nararamdaman niya para sa Cebuana beauty na si Diva.
Pero during the February 13 episode nang humarap ang Final 6 sa Avengers, o yung mga unang natanggal sa competition, parang itinanggi ni Diva na there's something special going on between her and Steven. Nagulat din si Steven sa sinabi ng Avangers na parang ginagamait lang siya ni Diva para mas maging popular.
So, kumusta na ba sila ni Diva?
Isang matamis na ngiti muna ang ibinigay ni Steven bago siya sumagot. Sabi niya. "Before the Valentine show, talagang close kami. Parang there was some tsismis, some of it hindi totoo. Pagkatapos nung shoot, we had kind of a problem, we didn't really talk.
"Kasi sinabi nung mga Avengers, 'Siguro si Diva, she's a user.' Kasi dati, close siya kay Sef [Cadayona]. Kasi at that time, yung feeling ng mga tao, he was really popular. Tapos, she was close to me. Then lately, parang close siya kasama si Enzo. Kasi people are always saying si Enzo, sobrang popular siya, tapos maraming pera siya. Siguro it could help if they are a love team, they could really be popular and have a lot of support.
"We talked about it. Parang yung mga issues, hindi totoo. So I asked her, 'Did you really say na parang wala?' 'Oh, I did not say that... I'm not a user. I would never do that. Kung gusto ko maging user, I would have done that in the beginning, not now 'cause it's too late, di ba?'" kuwento ni Steven.
NINA KODAKA. What about his issue with Nina? Very vocal kasi si Nina sa pagsasabing naiinis siya kay Steven dahil wala raw itong masyadong ginagawa sa condo unit nila. Sabi pa ni Nina, kumikilos lang daw si Steven pag may nakaharap na camera.
Ano ang masasabi ni Steven dito?
"Kasi yung first week sa condo, I had a fever. I can only stay in bed so I can't really do anything. Tapos, there was one day where meron yung challenge kami. Ako, si Enzo saka si Diva, we were going to buy groceries; tapos si Nina, si Sarah and Rocco, they were gonna clean.
"So nung dumating kami sa condo, parang yung kitchen, hindi masyadong malinis. Akala ko, they didn't do their job. I just talked to them and they blew up. It was something mas malaki than it actually was. Alam ko I did something wrong, I was a little angry. So I apologized and I felt like we should talk," paliwanag niya.
On the other hand, marami ang nagsasabing bagay silang pagtambalin ni Nina dahil uso ngayon ang "Koreanovela look" bagamat parehong walang dugong Korean sina Steven at Nina. Si Steven ay may dugong Chinese samantalang si Nina naman ay half-Japanese.
"Okay para sa akin," sagot ni Steven nang tanungin ng PEP kung payag siyang ipareha kay Nina. "At the beginning, yung Final 14, we were at the hotel together. Dati sa States, I studied Japanese, so we speak Japanese every day. So, parang meron yung connection. I'm really okay with Nina."
Did he feel bad for Nina Kodaka when she failed to make it to the Final 5?
"Siyempre, pero it's a competition. Yung feeling ko, I don't want anybody to be eliminated. Pero at the same time, I don't wanna be eliminated. In the end, better than me, then you, di ba?" saad niya.