Controversial TV host Willie Revillame surprised everyone when he agreed to an exclusive taped interview on TV5's Paparazzi aired last Sunday, May 17.
Willie has been on indefinite leave from his noontime show in ABS-CBN, Wowowee, for almost two weeks now. The TV host's decision to take an indefinite leave was caused by Jobert Sucaldito's negative comments about the previous batch of contestants in one of Wowowee segments.
In the TV5 interview, Willie admitted that he has not yet decided on whether or not he will return to Wowowee. He said, "Pinag-aaralan ko lahat, pinag-iisipan ko lahat. Kumbaga, kinakausap ko rin sarili ko. Dapat kausapin mo rin. Ano ba ang gusto mong gawin? Ano pa ba ang gusto mong gawin sa buhay mo?" (CLICK HERE to read related article,)
It may be recalled that during the last sortie of presidential aspirant Manny Villar, Willie was quoted as saying: "Natatakot akong mawalan ng trabaho? Pag magaling ka, may bilib ka sa sarili mo, at mabuti kang tao, 'wag kang matakot. May kukuha sa 'yo. Ba't ako matatakot? Isa lang ba ang channel?" (CLICK HERE to read related article.)
After these statements and his interview with Paparazzi, many observers started speculating that Willie might move to TV5.
WILLIE IS NOT TRANSFERRING. In an exclusive phone interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) yesterday afternoon, May 18, TV5 head for Creative and Entertainment Perci Intalan said these talks have reached their office. However, he denied that Willie is transferring to their network.
"Of course, people have been speculating, naririnig din naman namin 'yon," he said. "Pero marami namang nag-i-speculate kung sino-sino ang lilipat sa amin, di ba? Right now, we're very flattered kasi people recognize now that we're a major player. Pero wala rin naman kaming contact kay Will 'til that point, noong interview na 'yon."
Intalan also expressed gratitude to Willie, on behalf of TV5, for giving them the exclusive interview.
"Parang we feel honored that he allowed us to interview him na exclusive, na pinagkatiwalaan niya kami to be the network that airs his first interview after the issue, di ba? But you know, to be fair rin sa kanya, he knows it's a sensitive issue. 'Yong interview lang na 'yon ang contact namin sa kanya."
GETTING THE INTERVIEW. Intalan also clarified that Willie's interview on Paparazzi was not meant to create speculation. It was conducted so they could connect it to the new segment they created for TV5's musical-variety show, P.O.5. (Party On 5).
Intalan explained, "When we were able to get an exclusive interview with Willie, malaking pasalamat namin. From way back, nagko-conceptualize na kami ng bagong segment called 'Musikat' [for P.O.5] kung saan babaliin namin yung arrangement ng mga sikat na songs to get a different version. Kasama dito sina Jay Durias [musical director of P.O.5], Bituin Escalante, Jan Nieto, Apple Chiu [a former contestant of Philippine Idol], among others.
"Naisip namin, okay si Willie kasi sikat nga yung mga songs n'ya. Tapos sabi namin, 'Why don't we try to interview him and do a feature on Willie to set the number up?' Tapos nangyari ang issue na 'yon. So, nagbakasakali kami...since hindi naman siya ganun ka-busy sa election..."
This led to seeking the help of Paparazzi host Cristy Fermin, a close friend of Willie.
Intalan recalled, "Humingi kami ng tulong kay Cristy Fermin and maybe she could do a feature on Paparazzi, di ba? 'Itong P.O.5, may bagong version ng mga kanta ko.' Parang ganun, parang endorsement lang. We were fortunate na close si Cristy at saka si Willie, so pumayag siyang magpa-interview. Doon na 'yon, na-interview namin siya."
Is TV5 planning to meet with Willie in the future?
Intalan said they haven't contacted Willie after the interview. "He went away rin naman kasi...parang pumunta siya ng Macau. And, of course, we can't really do anything unless ma-resolve 'yong situation ni Willie sa ABS-CBN," he added.
The executive added that TV5 is aware that Willie is still with ABS-CBN.
"As far as we understand, he still obviously has a contract with ABC-CBN. So, nirerespeto naman namin 'yon. So, beyond the interview, wala na rin kaming contact," Intalan said.
To clear the issue, Intalan reiterated that TV5 has not made any offer to Willie. He also hopes that the issue between the TV host and his home network would be resolved soon.
"Sa ngayon, wala naman kaming contact with each other. We don't even know kung gusto niyang mangyari 'yon [transfer]. Kami, ang alam namin, may kontrata siya [with ABS-CBN] and alam mo naman sa showbiz, may mga di pagkakaunawaan and after a week of two, mare-resolve rin naman. The point is, we were granted an interview and ang alam ko nag-uusap na sila [Willie and ABS-CBN executives]."