‘The Voice’ and the Stars

Two new programs premiered on the boob tube in the last two weekends. The Voice of the Philippines (ABS-CBN) started showing the process of blind auditions on Saturday night while Sunday All Stars (GMA-7) began defining what a game and variety show is all about on Sunday afternoon.

That’s Entertainment version 2

As most of you have surely heard, the  musical variety show Party Pilipinas was axed and four weeks later, GMA Network has come up with Sunday All Stars. In its opening production number last Sunday, it was like déjà vu with Jolina Magdangal, Christian Bautista, Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Bautista dancing while singing Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”


Like the previous show, the opening salvo also featured a series of singing and dancing, this time the four stars are team leaders and they introduced their members. The people behind the new show call it a game and variety show because each week  the four teams headed will have a showdown. The “Big four” (Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Jaya and Janno Gibbs) will then give their assessment of the teams’ performances a la X-Factor or American Idol. Viewers will determine which team staged the best production by voting online and through text message. And last Sunday’s winning team was the one led by Mercado…thanks to Sonny Parsons of Hagibis for making a brief but nonetheless star appearance.

Now graduates from dancing and singing, Heart Evangelista, Carla Abellana, Lovi Poe and Janine Gutierrez take the microphone and read the lines from a teleprompter to introduce the next segment and/or next performers.

There really isn’t a lot of explanation needed why we believe Sunday All Stars is a lousy version of its predecessor, not to mention that it resembles German Moreno’s That’s Entertainment. It has the same list of performers. The only differences are it has a new format, a different program title and of course a different opening billboard.

We fear that the new format, specifically, is not going to work on their favor. Apart from the fact that it is difficult to sustain, this idea entails much effort from the members and it also means four different heads brainstorming for four different concepts each week. We wouldn’t be surprised if in a few months, they decide to change the show altogether and go back to a “concert TV” format which ABS-CBN’s Asap has been successfully using for the last 18 years.

Revolving chairs

There’s so much buzz on ABS-CBN’s newest imported talent search. After X-Factor and Pilipinas Got Talent, The Voice of the Philippines is the next reality show that the network is busy on.

From revealing the names of the coaches and hosts, the network played it in an “exciting” installment mode—audiences were asked on who they think would be the next name to be included in the elite list of coaches in the local version of the top-rating show. It’s like giving the audiences the same thrill of blind audition where people can expect the unexpected.

The Voice of the Philippines

Everything was totally promising until the show had its premiere telecast on Saturday. First, the studio where the famous revolving chairs were installed does not offer the same appeal as compared to its US or Netherland counterpart. The studio looks cheap in other words. ABS-CBN can take inspiration from our neighbors in Thailand and Vietnam who were more detailed on their performance venue when they staged the same show.

As far as the first episode is concerned, The Voice didn’t seem to get the buy in of the viewers. Though they have the luxury to delegate which auditionees should appear on the first episodes, the program fell short in producing a grand debut, which more often than not would determine the route it’s going to take in its next episodes.

The only consolation in this show is that the set of judges-cum-mentors is definitely an upgrade from the set of singers that served as the panel in X-Factor. Even the inclusion of the youngest mentor Sarah Geronimo was not a bad idea at all as the singer seems to know what she’s talking about. While Bamboo’s subtlety defines his character as a judge and musician, Lea Salonga and Apl.de.ap can tone down a little as they often look off and distracting whenever they do their over-the-top gestures.

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