Wanted: Better judges

Despite my earlier misgivings about the way Philippine Idol is being staged, I made it a point to watch the show tonight, hoping against hope that the show would finally do justice to our collective crowing and chest-thumping about our being the world's greatest singers. I am beginning to think that Philippine Idol is becoming a classic case of good intentions gone to waste. Yes, we have great singers and many of them are in Philippine Idol. But the show is becoming more of a showcase of large-scale ineptness. The production values are horrible. The emceeing is ghastly. And to make matters worst, the judging is simply asinine, ludicrous, and generally tasteless. And these people are supposed to represent our best?

To be fair, Ryan Cayabyab did try to act like a judge. He tried to be objective and to make sensible comments. In fact, many times during the show, he could not help but take a swipe at the supposed poor taste of the Filipinos who cast their votes last week (the better performers among the male semi-finalists did not make the cut). But how can Filipino voters make an enlightened choice if the judges do not make sensible comments to begin with? The judges are supposed to help the audience make enlightened choices, but their comments tonight were simply neither here nor there.

Tonight, the 12 female semi-finalists competed for four of the final six slots. It was a great showcase of sheer talent, lung power, emoting, and well, fashion hits and misses. It could have been a great opportunity to educate Filipino audiences on the subtle differences between vocal quality, tonal quality, etc., but...well, please, take a look at what these people tried to pass off as sensible comments and you be the judge.

(Okay, okay, I know that my side comments are nasty and literal; those who need to take supplements of irony need not lose sleep over these comments, I admit I was pissed off when I wrote this piece)

1. First performer was Gail who performed Tina Turner's What's Love Got To Do With It.

Francis Magalona: (Said something nonsensical and that made me decide to write down the rest of the comments of the judges).
Pilita Corrales: You look like a contestant for the Miss Universe contest! (what's that got to do with the singing?)
Ryan Cayabyab: The song ate you out. (That's it?)

2. Second performer was Ting Otero. She performed Diana Ross' Come In From The Rain (I remember this song as the theme song of James Bond movie when I was in high school)

Francis Magalona: Papirmahin na yan ng kontrata! (That is a critique?)
Pilita Corrales: Iba talaga ang bisaya! (She won points simply because she was born in the Visayas?)
Ryan Cayabyab: I suggest a makeover para mas bumata ang hitsura mo kasi ang ganda ng boses mo (where's the logic? Ahhh...pag bumata na ang hitsura nya, magiging mas maganda ba ang boses nya? Duh!)

3. Ynah Pangan, performed Aegis' sore throat-inducing Halik

Francis Magalona: Courageus effort, basta OPM okay sa akin, plus factor. (Duh! OPM music is great, but such reverse discrimination is a disservice. Ibig sabihin kahit kumanta ng Pamela One, pwede kasi OPM?)
Pilita Corrales: I liked the choice of song. (And then she started flirting with Ryan Agoncillo).
Ryan Cayabyab: Sugal ang ginawa mo sa pagpili ng kanta at nanalo ka. (Pwede na, pero ganun na lang ba yun? Boboto kami dahil nanalo sa sugal?)

4. Apple Chiu, Rhythm of the Street (I remember this girl from the auditions because she sang that Spaghetti song by the Sexbomb girls with such aplomb. It turns out she was a strong contender for the Korean staging of Miss Saigon).

Francis Magalona: Kinareer nya! (How very insightful!)
Pilita Corrales: You are very sexy and I like you. (This is a singing contest, po!)
Ryan Cayabyab: Di ko matake ang kanta, buti na lang maganda ang boses mo. (Pwede na sana ang comment, pero sana mas intelligent pa ng kahit konti na lang - para naman di namin makalimutan na music expert ka, in fact you are the country's foremost musical expert!)

5. Jeli Mateo, Bridges

Francis Magalona: Sugal ang pagpili ng kanta. Nasakyan ko. (Huh? Ahh...sasakyan kita, sa lahat ng gusto mo...)
Pilita Corrales: I like you, you are taller than Ryan Agoncillo (and flirted again with Ryan Agoncillo; this time Ryan went along and the two made shameless repartee reminiscent of what Pilita and the late Bert Tawa Marcelo used to do on Ang Baking Kampeon eons ago).
Ryan Cayabyab: You are tall and beautiful. (Remind ko lang po na singing contest ito!)

6. Ira Marasigan, Mr. Melody. (This girl is the daughter of prominent stage and film actress Irma Adlawan and theatre stalwart Dennis Marasigan, and Irma was prominently focused - was even made to stand up after she sang. So much for fairness).

Francis Magalona: You had lots of energy. (Yeah, she took lots of Enervon C and Lipovitan, you should too!)
Pilita Corrales: You have blossomed, I hope you make it. (Banana blossoms ba ito? Why do you like her singing? Why? Why?)
Ryan Cayabyab: You have class (may caste system ba dito?)

7. Pow, OPM Song Ikaw Lamang

Francis Magalona: Manloloko ka, mahusay ka na mang-aawit. Kelan ka magpapalda? (He thought his political incorrectness was cute and funny)
Pilita Corrales: Whatever you wear, whatever you say, I love you. (Followed up on Francis M's gender insensitive ribbing about Pow's gender, but mercifully decided to spend more time flirting with Ryan Agoncillo again, this time comparing the contestant's and Ryan's shoes).
Ryan Cayabyab: Boses mo punong puno ng emotion, kung tama bumoto ang mga tao, papasok ka sa top four! (Anak ng tipaklong naman eh...Kung matino at helpful sana ang comments nyo, matututo bumoto ng tama ang mga tao! Kaya nga kayo judges eh! )

8. Steff Lazaro, Home (From The Wiz)

Francis Magalona: I think inspite of the fact that you are from Australia, you did good! (Australians should ban him from their country! What the heck was that supposed to mean!)
Pilita Corrales: I've watched you doing (and she gestured incoherently with both arms - like sparring with someone). (Ano yun?)
Ryan Cayabyab: Nothing new. (He prefaced his critique by commenting on the song as national song for singing contests). (Pwede na, Simon Cowell copy cat, pero pwede na).

9. Mau Marcelo, Sweet Love by Anita Baker

Francis Magalona: Kahit si Fantasia (Barrino, American Idol champ) titiklop kay Mau. (I agree, but I wish he explained why)
Pilita Corrales: I really like the way you've changed. Sexy ka na ngayon. (Again, singing contest po ito, Mamita!)
Ryan Cayabyab: With a performance like that, I don't understand why you are not yet an international singer. (Finally, something that came close to a sensible comment. And as if to acknowledge the fact that finally a judge made a sensible comment for a change, Mau promptly broke down. I would have, too, if I were in her shoes).

10. EJ Bautista, Paalam Na by Rachel Alejandro. (This girl is partially deaf and supplied the emotional quotient in the first round of auditions. But since she did not make such a big deal of her disability, they called in her mother into the room to provide the emotional hara kiri).

Francis Magalona: Malinis ang pagkakainterpret (Finally! A sensible comment)
Pilita Corrales: Despite your disability, you are always nasa tono, always in the right key.
Ryan Cayabyab: Good enough, not exciting, nothing spectacular. (Ryan makes better comments when he is bored)

11. Suey Medina, Almost Over You

Francis Magalona: Beautiful! You killed it! (Killed? Did he just say killed? Homicide ba ito?)
Pilita Corrales: (Flirted with Ryan Agoncillo again) You like her? Very Good!
Ryan Cayabyab: I was ready to diss you (talked about his observations during rehearsals)...but your performance was better, congratulations! (Again, no specifics)

12. Arms Cruz, Superwoman

Francis Magalona: Best performance tonight. (Pwede na, except that this was a standard comment in American Idol)
Pilita Corrales: It's strange that this is the first time you did not cry, etc. (talked about how contestant was always crying for other contestants who did not make it during the auditions). You are my superwoman!
Ryan Cayabyab: Very solid performance. Very, very professional!

And they blame the Filipino audience for not making the enlightened choices? Duh!


quiet said…
You were when you wrote these comments!!! BAD TRIP NAKO SA MGA JUDGES... SENSELESS... pwede na comments ni ryan c... pero yung dalawa SOBRANG PLAYING SAFE!!!!! CRAP!!!! CRAP!!!! ewan ko ba? I'm really frustrated by them!!! I hate it when they say "I like it" "It was good!!!" CRAP!!!! San maging specific sila... pwde ba itong isend sa kanila para mabasa nila... BAD TRIP TALAGA
BongA said…
sige, ikalat natin! inis na inis din ako eh, lalo na yung pagpapacute nina pilita at ryan sa isa't isa. Kaasarrr!!!!

Palitan na ang mga judges na yan!
snglguy said…
Hahahaha, Nestor Torre jr. Eat your heart out.... :-D
Anonymous said…
Ay nako, I agree with you all, kakainis na at lalong nakakainis ang lumabas na voting results. You're right it's partly a result of clueless judging. Gosh, that Ryan-host-flirt is getting worse, I think because he just doesn't know what to say and lacks the gift of gab. I wish Martin Nievera minus his antics and American accent (too much, hasn't he learned?)is the one hosting. Regarding who was top four of the girls, I think it's only Arm and Pow (they are way too insensitive about their useless comments too her) who should be there. That Jell? What's she doing there? She ran out of steam, well she doesn't have it in the first place. I like Mau a lot, and Stef, too, but you see, WE PINOYS HAVE PROBLEMS VOTING! Like I said! Nestor Torre shares my view, see his column last weekend. Except for Arm, Mau, Stef, and Pow, the rest can go home na. Hahaha taray ba?

Hi, Bong, haven't been giving comments as often, read lang if I can make singit with lots of work as the semester winds down, it's crazy!
Ciao! ---MommyJo
enigma_hime said…
hi there...i really agree with this one...of all the judges of Philippine Idol, it's only Mr. C that really does the job okay...with "Mamita" and Francis M., especially Francis M., they really don't help at all...to say it harshly, these two are kind of disappointing, frustrating, and worrisome...just imagine, how do you think we'll do in the World Idol if we send "almost mediocre" performers? i do not mean any offense, it's just that i wish Phil. Idol contestants will strive to do their best ALWAYS...ok, so they have the voice...but it's not enough...no offense meant, but most of the Philippine Idol contestants give half-baked performances! that won't do... just imagine, do you think that Jeli girl can even last a match with the likes of Fantasia and Kelly Clarkson? No offense to her supporters, this is just my opinion and my observation from her past performances (I have watched Philippine Idol since its pilot episode), but I don’t think her voice is good enough to sustain her in the finals…actually, I’m kind of wondering why she even made it there (I’m really sorry, I really don’t find her good enough as a singer)…And also, among the guy performers, well…I still haven’t found one who is remarkable or “extraordinary”...for example, who’s that guy (he was the last one who performed in the recent Philippine idol episode, which aired Oct. 14, 2006) who made “piyok” (sorry, I forgot the English term for this word) for the second time…okay, I may not be a singer, but I know that if you don’t have enough “training” or at least, didn't “practice” enough, you’ll commit this mistake…as Mr. C said, “this is the 2nd time...there’s definitely something wrong with you)"…heck, he joined a contest, ergo he must do everything he can so that he can give out at least a good performance!!!

my point is, something’s missing with most of the contestants…they don’t seem to be giving their all…ok, so they must have the voice (hence they made it to the finals), but please, they should do their best to improve their craft! Hindi sapat na kumanta nalang ng kumanta! They must aim for EXCELLENCE…and in here enters the impt. role of the judges…the judges must point out what’s wrong with the contestants and not give comments like “I like her performance tonight”, “you look good on stage”, “pwede”…Grrr! I don’t want to have a “Philippine Idol” who will make blunders in the World Idol!!! Warning: the following comment is not meant to compare American Idol with Philippine Idol, but to make a clear elaboration of my point...the reason why judges at American Idol at times judge the contestants harshly is because they really want the "voters" of the show to cast their votes wisely...they want the good ones to stay at the show...Ang punto ko, ayokong mapahiya or malait sa World Idol ang Pilipinas, utang na loob!… It's a contest…and in every contests, there are winners and losers...ideally, the best one must remain...as Simon Cowell said “it’s a singing contest”…heck, who would want to send out a mediocre contestant to the World Idol, where Idols from different countries have to compete with one another? In a way, Philippine Idol is like Bb. Pilipinas...You have to choose wisely who should represent the country in the Ms. Universe Pageant in order for the Philippines to garner the most coveted crown....but the comparison should end there...Philippine Idol IS A singing contest, not a beauty contest or an "artista search"!!!

Actually, the Oct. 14 Idol episode, where Hajji Alejandro was one of the judges, was better than all the other episodes…at least Mr. C is not overpowered by Francis M. or Mamita anymore…at least in that episode, two judges are actually pointing out what’s wrong with the contestants’ performances… but still…what if Francis M. comes back? PLEASE!!!
TO THE JUDGES OF THE SHOW! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! Make the show worthwhile by being more honest!!! Or, if it must or can be done, replace the two judges (Fancis M. and Mamita, especially Francis M.) with people who are willing to tell the truth, how harsh they may be! Hey, these Philippine Idol contestants are old enough to know what they’re doing, they should be able to handle the truth (i.e. whatever the judges said)…Please remember, IT’S A SINGING CONTEST and not a beauty pageant or an “artista” search!!! Please remember, the winner of Philippine Idol may be our representative in the prestigious WORLD IDOL…so please, make our Philippine Idol a really good one, one who will or can be at par with other national “idols”!!!


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