Revisiting BoybandPH

Exactly a year ago, Pinoy Boy Band Superstar premiered on ABS-CBN. The 28-espisode reality singing competition had one goal – to find the members of the boy band that the network wanted to groom.

The show is based on the Latin-American singing competition series La Banda, created by English TV producer and music star maker Simon Cowell. The program’s first season was shown on Univision and later on introduced the boy group CNCO during the finale. Meanwhile, in the second season, La Banda came up with another group called MIX5, with two female and three male members. Since then, people have not heard anything about the groups even in their homeland.

Back to Pinoy Boy Band Superstar, the show had its premiere telecast on Sept. 10, 2016 and was a consistent top-rater on its timeslot with 17.12 percent ratings according to AGB Nielsen and 29.31 percent according to Kantar Media. It was a consistent player on national TV topping the weekend ratings game.

On social media, the show was a big hit, too, and regularly trended on Twitter and YouTube. Every audition was being watched by millions on the popular video sharing site. Neil Murillo, Joao Constancia, and Tony Labrusca’s audition videos, uploaded on Pinoy Boy Band Superstar’s official YouTube channel, for instance, collectively garnered 10 million views within a month since the show aired its first few episodes. Individual performance of the contestants, on the other hand, could generate a million views in less than 24 hours after the episode is shown on TV.

BoybandPH members (from left) Joao Constancia, Ford Valencia, Niel Murillo, Russell Reyes, and Tristan Ramirez

During the finale aired on Dec. 11 last year, Niel Murillo, Russell Reyes, Ford Valencia, Tristan Ramirez, and Joao Constancia were named members of the first “PinoyBoyband” called BoybandPH. The group then performed its first single, “We Made It.”

Each of the band members became P1 million richer by the end of the show. They also won a talent management contract from Star Magic and a recording contract from Star Music.

Striking while the iron was hot, Star Music released the group’s first single “Unli” on New Year’s Day.  It was followed by the band’s second single, a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Somebody,” which Star Music dropped early this year on Valentine’s Day coinciding with the band’s debut album launch.

In two months’ time, BoybandPH’s debut album was awarded with the Gold Record Award after it sold over 7,500 physical copies.

The group currently performs in ASAP every Sunday as one of show’s mainstay acts. It will also release its newest single accompanied by a music video next week.

So, that’s BoybandPH in one year with its members having no spectacular happenings in their music career. It’s funny that Tony Labrusca, who didn’t win the competition, is even more popular than the five guys combined.

On social media, BoybandPH only has a few thousand followers — around three thousand on Twitter and less than 10 thousand on YouTube. The band’s videos no longer create as much buzz, too, compared to how the members’ audition and performance videos were received when the Pinoy Boy Band Superstar was still airing.

Perhaps we can say that the audiences have already lost their interest in this group and in Pinoy boy bands in general. In fact, in the Philippines, traditional boy bands are a thing of the past and have become irrelevant in the music world since we didn’t really have any boy band that succeeded in the industry.

It’s high time that members of BoybandPH reevaluate their respective career. They have to bear in mind that bubble gum pop era is very 20 years ago. Young music consumers, the group’s main audience, now look for total music experience. In music artists, they no longer look for some cute boys that dance around and can lip-sync.

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