Balladeer Christian Bautista has decided to leave his mother studio for greener pasture at GMA Network. The singer is reunited with fellow “Asap Champions” Mark Bautista and Rachelle Ann Go, now regular hosts and performers of the Asap 18 rival program, Party Pilipinas.
Christian’s network-hopping came as no surprise to many, even to his most loyal fans. Rumors about his loyalty shift started when his contract with ABSCBN ended in August last year, the same time when the singer-actor became more vocal in discussing possible network transfer and exploring more career opportunities.
The 31-year-old Christian claimed the spotlight on ABS-CBN’s Star in a Million (2003) as the most popular non-winner of the talent search. He emerged as a finalist of the program that named Erik Santos as the champion. Star in a Million is the same reality-based search that also served as the launch pad of the singing careers of Sheryn Regis, Frenchie Dy and Kris Lawrence.
In 2004, his partnership with Warner Music Philippines produced the multi-platinum self-titled album, which carried the phenomenal hit, “The Way You Look at Me.” The single did not just top Philippine charts, it also invaded music charts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
Ten years and a couple of multi-platinum records later, Christian remains on top of his game. His loyalty change, though won’t spell exponential growth in his music career, it is a clear indication that he is open to change and new challenges.
Loyalty change is not new in show business. Normally, everything starts from a rumor and the next thing we know, a certain television star has signed up as an exclusive contract artist in a rival station.
Once an artist’s contract ends, the option of moving to a different television network is one of the options available, to find better opportunity (read bigger paycheck) in a different management, so to speak. Then again, moving from one network to another, though logical, doesn’t always mean practical. There are many ABS-CBN stars that transferred to GMA-7 and vice versa (or recently to TV5), who instantly lost their sheen.
Of course, a change of environment is not a guarantee of a better career. We have a long list of stars that jumped ship to another network then ended up regretting their decision. One thing, fans in Philippine showbiz are more loyal to the network compared to it stars. It’s really a hit or miss.
Having said that, we keep on thinking now if there’s any truth that Dennis Trillo, Lovi Poe and Dingdong Dantes are also planning to explore career opportunities outside GMA-7.