Claire dela Fuente bonds with former singing rival Imelda Papin in new talent search

Claire dela Fuente is the manager of Sam Pinto and Bela Padilla. Naging protective ba siya kay Sam nung kinukuwestiyon ang pagkapanalo nito as FHM’s Sexiest Pinay for 2011?

"How can I even be bitter about it... yung mga bagay na yan, because alam ko, sila yung bitter... She’s [Sam] a runaway winner! Ang kalaban niya got 3 million something votes, she got 6.9 million votes," Claire says.


Dating rivals bilang Jukebox Queen sina Claire dela Fuente at Imelda Papin. Ngayon ay nasa iisang show sila for the first time bilang mentors sa Protégé ng GMA, ang pinaka-star-studded na singing competition sa telebisyon.

"Ah yung show talaga, as in series, oo, oo, first," unang pahayag ni Claire nang nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa launch ng Protégé last Friday night sa Studio 7 ng GMA Network Center.

Kumusta ang bonding nila ni Imelda?

"Okay naman kami, wala naman kaming problema. Kaya lang siyempre, aasahan mo din na whether or not we’re friends e, we’re going to do our best to really win, you know.

"Like siyempre pinagbubutihan namin yan, e, the reason we’re here is to compete as mentors and to choose the protégé na dapat manalo, so para rin kaming mga contestants dito, hindi naman kami talaga mentor-mentoran lang, e."

Bukod kina Claire at Imelda, mentors rin sa Protégé (na ipapalabas na sa September 4) sina Jaya, Janno Gibbs, Jay-R, Rachelle Ann Go, Joey Generoso, Aiza Seguerra, Gloc-9, at Rey Valera.

So, paano siya napapayag?

"Yeah, actually nung sinabi nila sa akin yung concept... they said they were pitching [the concept] and my name came out. It was actually an honor [that they were] thinking of me.

"Siyempre naisip ko naman, oo nga pala, mentor, kasi siyempre talent manager ka, so naisip nila na siyempre, kaya mo.

"And when you think about it... we’ve been here in show business for like, 30 years, more than 30 years.

"E, siyempre inisip nila kami, yung may karapatan talaga na mag-mentor. Kumbaga nalampasan na namin, nadaanan na naming lahat yun. So kumbaga, parang it’s actually a test of what you know and what happened all those years and how you put them into use now.

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"And alam mo naman ako, lahat ng challenge, tinatanggap ko."

Ano ang pinakana-challenge siya?

"Actually choosing! It’s very hard to choose, grabe talaga! I mean everyone sings very well and when you think about what will happen, when you reject them, if they’re good...

"Merong iba dun nanalo sa mga international world championship tapos iisipin mo, ’Oh bakit sa yo, hindi mo siya makakasama?’

"Kasi there are some criteria na hindi niya na-meet and I hope that she understands, mga ganun. And other people na sobrang tagal, na sobrang depressed yung buhay, you want them to have a second chance," ang sabi ni Claire.

"But pagdating ng oras, you also have to think of yourself dahil as a mentor hindi mo naman puwedeng dalhin ang hindi ready, di ba?

"Mahirap talagang isipin, napakalalim na isipin na meron kang ire-reject and that’s very, I mean, very hard dahil hindi mo naman alam kung sino yung sasama yung loob sa yo, ganun, di ba?

"Kasi of the choices that you’ve made, di mo alam meron kang pinalampas tapos yun pala mahusay pala."

May nakita ba siyang the next Claire dela Fuente?

"Actully hindi ko yun inisip. Hindi naman talaga ako pang-competition, so almost all naman ng mga nandiyan, e, puro halos lahat, e, puro mga belters. Alam mo naman ako, nasa lower side ako ng ano, but kung pag-uusapan natin yung brilliant, ang dami!

"Ang daming magaling, ang daming magagaling mag-reinvent, as young as 12, 17, you know, ang dami talaga.

"It’s so hard, and I was just reminded by the production group that... it’s not about the talent that everyone else has, everyone else is the same, magaling sila.

"But you have to choose someone you think is new in the eyes of everyone. Bago, bago siya, parang ganun, siyempre winnable."

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Ang mga judges ng Protégé ay sina Bert de Leon, Joey de Leon at Louie Ocampo.

Mga hosts naman ay sina Ogie Alcasid (Journey Host), Jennylyn Mercado (Reality Host) at Dingdong Dantes (Gala Presentor).

MINDING HER WARDS. Talent manager si Claire ni Sam Pinto at Bela Padilla.

"Alam mo para nila akong nanay, e."

Naging protective ba siya kay Sam nung kinukuwestiyon ang pagkapanalo niya as FHM’s Sexiest Pinay for 2011?

"How can I even be bitter about it... yung mga bagay na yan, because alam ko, sila yung bitter. Hindi naman kami, e. Kasi how can you naman say that sinuporthan siya lang ng tao at hindi siya deserving manalo?

"She’s a runaway winner!

"Ang kalaban niya got 3 million something votes, she got 6.9 million votes, that’s even more than the votes that were gathered by other ano, artists.

"Then ang kasunod, yung Number 3 is around 2.8 or 2.9 [million], she [Sam] got 6.9 [million]! Paano naman ako magiging bitter about all these things, di ba?

"I mean they can say what they want. People will just look at them and say sour-graping lang sila because figures don’t lie.

"Di ba? Ang laki nun, ang laking diperensiya!"


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