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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Couch Potato Review: X Factor Philippines Review

From almost thousands of hopefuls who auditioned from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and down to hundreds of aspiring singers who competed in the boot camp. Then, twenty of the best singing acts who stand out to become contenders in the Judges House up to the top twelve acts mentored by judges up to the final three. In the end, KZ Tandingan from Davao del Sur won the first season of The X Factor Philippines.
The top 12 acts of The X Factor Philippines Season 1.Left - The Groups mentored by Gary Valenciano: (Top to bottom) Daddy's Home, AKA JAM, Takeoff Upper Right - The Boys mentored by Martin Nievera: (L-R) Gabriel Maturan, Jeric Medina, Kedebon Colim Center - The Girls mentored by Charice: (L-R) Allen Sta. Maria, Jerrianne Templo, KZ Tandingan Lower Right - The Over 25's mentored by Pilita Corrales: (L-R) Joan Da, Mark Mabasa, Modesto Taran Source: Google Photos
The Top 3:
  • KZ Tandingan (Girls, Davao del Sur).  She received a standing ovation during the auditions with her performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Ready or Not." She is one of the most consistent contenders in the first season because of her distinct style and voice which is jazzy and soulful as well with the fact that she can create her own version of the song she took. She stand out with her performances of "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse as well with her cover versions of "Eternal Flame" by Bangles, "In The End" by Linkin Park, "Kisapmata" by Rivermaya and "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele and she truly owned these songs and received positive feedback from the judges. In the end, she declared as the winner of the first season of The X Factor Philippines. Her studio version of "Killing Me Softly" reached number 1 in ITunes beating PSY's "Oppa Gangnam Style"
  • Gabriel Maturan (Boys, Zamboanga). He is one of the coolest and versatile voices in the competition. Starting from auditions to the final 3, I considered him as the best male singer in the contest. He impressed the judges with his audition piece "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz up to the Bootcamp singing "On and On" by Stephen Bishop. He showed his tender side with Christian Bautista's "Everything You Do". Then, his best performances in the contest will be "One Day In Your Life" by Michael Jackson (Top 11), "Hinahanap-hanap Kita" by Rivermaya (Top 6) and "Moonlight Over Paris" by Paolo Santos (Top 5). However, during the top 10 week, he didn't gave his best performance with his rendition of The Script's "Breakeven." Therefore, he received a lot of positive feedback from the judges and he was never been in the bottom 2. His grand finals performance of Fantasia's "I Believe" was simply amazing, In addition, his version of Bruno Mars single "It Will Rain" (Top 12) was soothing to the ears and easy to remember that is why it is number one in the radio charts in the Philippines.
  • Daddy's Home (Groups, Marikina City). This group of fathers composed of Doc Eric "Doc E" Dacanay, Allan Mitchell Silonga, Jerome Icatar and Herbert "Ebet" Silonga are professionals, performers and responsible daddies. They did an impressing job during the auditions especially with their rendition of Gary Valenciano's "Sana Maulit Muli"and they performed again with the Boyz II Men hit "I'll Make Love To You." They have that R&B vibe and each of the members are truly talented and musically gifted with amazing voices. They can own the songs they took especially with their rendition of the songs "Till My Heartaches End" by Ella Mae Saison (Top 12), "All At Once" by Whitney Houston (Top 9), "Will You Still Love Me" by Chicago (Top 7), "Tell Me" by Joey Albert (Top 5), "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins (Top 5 - Survival Performance) and "Gaya ng Dati" by Gary Valenciano (Top 3). Avid fans of the show and netizens tagged them as "Boyz II Men of the Philippines" because of their style which is R&B and their soulful singing voice. Although they finished 3rd place, they have regular guestings in some TV and radio shows. I hope that the songs they sang in the live shows will have a studio version especially "Tell Me" and "Against All Odds."
Eliminated Acts 
Over 25's
  • Joan Da (San Pablo City, Laguna). At first, I expected that she will be eliminated in the bootcamp round or in the Judges Home because of her distinct style. Then in the top 12, she gave the viewers a surprise with her acoustic performance of Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" and it was entertaining. She proved her versatility and musicality in the following weeks especially with her performances of "At Your Best (You Are Loved)" by Aaliyah (Top 9), "Nobela" by Join the Club (Top 8) and "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson (Top 7) and she owned these songs because of that character in her voice and she is creative in making her own versions. However, she is one of the contestants who is always making in the Survival Performance and she is always saved by the judges with her renditions of "Chasing Pavements" by Adele (Top 12 along with Jerrianne Templo in bottom 2) and "Grenade" by Bruno Mars (Top 8 along with Takeoff in the bottom group). She finished in the 7th place after Allen Santa Maria was saved by the judges. I hope that Joan sang "Nobela" in their compilation album because it sounded original and it showcases her vocal quality and musical style.
  • Mark Mabasa (Manila). He is one of the strongest contenders in the Over 25 category because of his versatility (especially in singing rock and upbeat songs) and strong vocal prowess. He is a stand-out in the Bootcamp with his rendition of "It Girl" by Jason Derulo as well in the Judges Homes with "The Last Time" by Eric Benet. In the first week, he performed "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal and he received positive feedback from the judges. But in week 2, he was eliminated through deadlock by getting the lowest number of votes. His studio version of Jeremiah's "Nanghihinayang" was truly heartfelt and strong.
  • Modesto Taran (Cagayan de Oro). He did an emotional impact (especially with Charice) with his rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way". He had that timeless classical voice suited for singing standards. He received a standing ovation in Week 2 after his performance of "Habang May Buhay" by After Image. His rendition of Anthony Castelo classic hit "Balatkayo" in their compilation album was truly suited his voice.
Groups
  • AKA JAM (Manila / Cebu). This girl group was formed in the selection of top 20 during the Bootcamp stage. The members namely Alyssa Quijano, Katrina Velarde, Auriette Divina, Jhelsea Maine Flores, Ashley Campbell and Monique Lualhati originally auditioned as solo acts but failed to make it to the top 20. Most of the members are familiar faces in television especially in other talent search and singing contests as well with TV series. They have that best blending of voices although they have different musical genres, the packaging and the pretty looks and the song choices which all of them are considered as winners. They did great performances from Judges Homes ("Seasons of Love" from musical "Rent") as well with top 11 ("This is My Life" by Shirley Bassey) and top 10 ("Survivor" by Destiny's Child). Their best performance is their version of "Got to Be Real" by Cherryl Lynn in top 12 where the judges and the audience gave them standing ovation and positive reviews. But in top 10, they were eliminated via deadlock where they got the lowest number of votes against Daddy's Home. They got very good rendition of the song "Missing You" during the Sing-off that is why they are not deserving to go home. Therefore, they have regular guestings in TV shows and radio after X Factor.
  • Takeoff (Manila). This boyband is formerly known as "Voyz Avenue" who appeared regularly in TV5 shows before they auditioned in The X Factor Philippines. The members of this boyband are Neo Domingo, Gerald Yranon, Russell "Ice" Medina, JZ Zamora and Raffy Calicdan.  They have that energetic and entertaining auditions where they took Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" proven that they have the total packaging and the talent where they can sing and dance as well with the fact that they are versatile. They passed the bootcamp with their performance of "Do You Remember" by Jay Sean. However there are some performances in the live show which are quite predictable and sometimes they did not hit the notes which leads them to bottom 2 twice. They were eliminated in the top 8 through deadlock over Joan Da. Their version of "Dreaming of You" by Selena was truly a knock out and definitely one of the best performances in the season. In addition, their rendition of the song "Stay" by Carol Banawa is beautiful and it reached the number one in a radio station in Dagupan.
Boys
  • Jeric Medina (Paranaque). He did a good auditions with his performance of "Love of my Life" by South Border. His best performance during the live shows was in top 9 where he sang "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley along with his acoustic guitar and soothing voice. He proved also that he can sing rock and alternative especially he took the rock version of "Careless Whisper" by Wham. He's got the rockin looks and a soothing voice to sing ballads and soul. There are times that he did his best performance but there are times that he didn't reach the notes. 
  • Kedebon Colim (Cebu). He made a spectacular impact with his auditions where he took "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction and there is a magic in his voice although it is not sounded great. He is one of the most controversial contestants where netizens and avid fans of the shows thought that he didn't deserve to stay in the contest because he is the least talented but he is funny. 
Girls
  • Allen Sta. Maria (Nueva Ecija). When she auditioned, she is like a replica of another X Factor contestant which is Cher Lloyd because of the swagger and her radio-friendly voice. She proved that she is versatile where she sang dance hits, rock and even an OPM ballad. The most memorable performance that she did is her rendition of "Waterfalls" by TLC (Top 9) and for me her best performances are "Hanggang May Kailanman" by Carol Banawa (proven that she can sing ballads) and "Whip My Hair" by Willow Smith (where she proved her swag and confidence in stage).
  • Jerrianne Templo (Mandaluyong). I remember her as one of the grand finalists of "Search for a Star" where Rachelle Ann Go emerged as a winner when she was 13 years old. Now, she auditioned in The X Factor Philippines with her powerful rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." She made it to the top 12 but she was eliminated first. However, I love her revival of Jaya's "Kung Wala Na' and she sang it with feelings and she owned the song.
Notable Contestants
  • Paulo Castro. A man with a quirky but sophisticated fashion and a voice which is similar to the late Michael Jackson. He is one of the most consistent performers from auditions where he sang "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Smile" in Bootcamp. He proved his versatility with his rendition of "Kahit Kailan" by South Border but he was eliminated.
  • Cristine Ledesma. I am rooting for her to make it on the live shows with her stunning and sophisticated looks and her classy and sultry voice to sing classical standards. She received positive reviews with her auditions with her performance of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" but she was eliminated in the Judges Homes. I hope she joined again in the second season.
  • Sweet Bliss. The all girl singing trio composed of Noreen, Macy and Sor. They are also consistent in terms of their song choices and they have the blending, the vocal dynamics, the packaging and they got what it takes to be the next divas in OPM. They auditioned in Cebu with "End of Time" by Beyonce, "One Night Only" from the Dreamgirls and "Perfect" by Pink in Judges Homes. I am looking forward to see them in the second season.
  • 5th Avids. They have the perfect blending of voices for a girl group especially with their auditions where they sang "Shackles" by Mary Mary.
  • Jeffrey "Osang" Soliven. This guy is truly spectacular. He is a gay but he''s got a rockin voice!!! Wow! I hope that he made it to the final 20. He is very memorable with his performance of "Bombastic."
I'm looking forward this 2013 to have the second season of The X Factor Philippines.

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