That describes last night’s Philippine Idol show. It came out with so much class that it placed itself way above all other singing contests on TV. I am convinced that given the appropriate musical pieces, all four are now ready to conquer the professional music scene.
I enjoyed last night's show. Forgive the old soul in me, but last night’s big band theme did not just trigger melancholia, but nostalgia as well. It felt like listening to standards on Sunday AM radio during siesta time in the province.
The show’s final four gripped the audience from the opening number. Well, Michael Buble’ has already reintroduced standards back into the mainstream market so it was inevitable that “Fever” would be clearly familiar to the audience.
First to sing was JAN NIETO who did "Beyond The Sea" and "The Way You Look Tonight". Boy, he was cool! No more awkward movements. He seemed to have fully overpowered the regular goose bumps that he looked quite comfortable onstage this time.
MIGUEL MENDOZA sang "True" and "I’ve Got You Under My Skin". To the disappointment of Miguel-bashers (he he, kasama ba ko dun?), he did pretty well. His rendition proved he is indeed a singer on his right, but I maintain, not Philippine Idol quality yet. But he cried last night. Probably out of the fact that for the first time, his efforts (and talent?) were at last appreciated. It was a sincere show of emotion that it got me worried. Those tears may just deliver the votes. :-)
MAU MARCELO’s "My Funny Valentine" sounded pitchy to me. I guess the audience saw it the same way since the applause was quite tame. But she dropped the bomb with her version of "Waray Waray". It showcased the real, comic Mau, spiced with the touch of class she acquired via PI. I guess, she’s still on track to being the first Philippine Idol.
The night however, belonged to GIAN MAGDANGAL. His "They Can’t Take That Away From Me" and "The Very Thought Of You" convinced everyone that he’s a shoo-in to the title. He truly is someone who could competently represent the Philippines in the international arena. And since he too cried, I'd surmise that was enough to counter the impact of Miguel’s silent tears. I hope I am right not to get worried. :-)
Finally, let me just answer the quip as to why we take our singing contests seriously. First, it is culturally-imbedded in us Filipinos. No fiesta is ever complete without the battle of crooners. And no party is ever alive without impromptu karaoke wars. Naturally, the graduates of the backyard school for wailing would have to go some place; and where else but in singing contests? Second, many of us are frustrated singers (including this writer :-)). Because we may no longer live our dreams, we place our shoes in those who have already gotten beyond our threshold. With them we pursue our dream, and unfortunately, we can be truly unforgiving if our dreams gets dashed by those who we feel are lesser qualified. Now you get it. On with the voting! :-)
(Note: Miguel finally bid goodbye to Philippine Idol last night. In deference to his grieving supporters, I’m not saying anything further on the subject. I already got my wish. It’s now back to square one for the “big three” and it will be their individual performances on finals night that will spell the difference. For Idol-watchers, it’s time to just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.)