Philippine Idol proving to be impressive

Philippine Idol aired its maiden telecast (or episode) via ABC-5 the way American Idol begins its season, by showing its most interesting auditions. Thus, in its first episode last July 30, the local version of the international talent-search franchise showed...

By Guil Franco (Correspondent)

Published: Mon 14 Aug 2006, 1:23 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:25 PM

idolits auditions held in Manila specifically at the Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC), venue of the 1994 Miss Universe beauty pageant won by a Miss India.

August 6 saw the good, the bad and the ugly auditions that took place at the Bigfoot Entertainment in Cebu. But generally speaking, the first two telecasts were quite impressive and a lot of those who took the auditions were really funny. Some even threatened the jurors for rejecting them. Ryan Cayabyab, Pilita Corrales and Francis Magalona proved to be too kind-hearted compared to Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson of American Idol. The show host is, of course, Ryan Agoncillo, another kind-heated fellow.

On August 13 at 8 p.m., viewers will be given a full account of what transpired at the Davao auditions, held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel. The next step takes all contestants who got the gold pass to the next round -- the theatre eliminations, or what they call in American Idol as the hell week.

Last July 31 contestants from Cebu and Davao arrived in Manila via the Superferry 18 vessel for Cebu and Superferry 15 for Davao at 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Pier 15, Eva Macapagal Super Terminal. On board, the contestants were treated to a special programme to make their trip more enjoyable.

'It's my first time to be in Manila. I got here for free because I'm part of Philippine Idol. What more can I ask for? With that alone, I already feel like a winner!' exclaims 26-year-old Robert Bernadas from the Cebu auditions. 'We all watched the first episode of Philippine Idol while at the Superferry,' according to Fred Abaquita of Cebu. 'We were happy because it was so beautiful.'

'Out trip to Manila was fun,' says Belle Padillo also from Cebu. 'We sang at bonded together on board the Superferry.'Armarie Cruz, who got the gold pass in Davao, for her part, professes: 'We don't know what to expect in the next round of auditions so I'm really nervous and excited at the same time but I will do my best.'

From the port, the contestants were fetched by shuttle buses, which took them to Bayview Park Hotel, where they will stay together with contestants from Luzon until the Top 24 are revealed. The hotel tendered a welcome dinner party for all 157 contestants, and Marissa Nicolas, Philippine Idol executive producer, says they were asked to introduce themselves one by one to foster greater camaraderie among them.

Some contestants easily stand out because they're lookalikes of celebrities. Joseph Astor of Pampanga looks like Piolo Pascual. Marc Stroem who sang Anak looks like Cogie Domingo. Paul Andre Ybanez from Manila is a deadringer for Spider-man Tobey Maguire.

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