Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Peninsula - Manila's SING@NING Search For The Ultimate Voice Grand Finals.

Last November 6, The Peninsula - Manila's SING@NING Search for the Ultimate Voice held its grand finals in Salon de Ning. After more than 200 initial auditions and 2 months of eliminations, rehearsals and coaching (and eating), the final 3 took the stage and showed the audience and the esteemed board of judges why they're in the Top 3. Each of the grand finalists was given 15 minutes to impress the judges, and audience alike, with their musical talent and witty spiels; pretty much like having their own show. 

Joselle Feliciano (Photo by Jamin Lim)

21-year old Joselle Feliciano from the Ateneo de Manila University started the competition with her set aptly named "Jazzelle". She opened her set with "Let Go", a Mon David Original, and was followed by "Memories" by Joey Albert. She also shared an almost a capella version of "Blue Skies" by Irving Berlin, which she used as one of her audition pieces during the live audition stage of the competition. She ended her set with a jazz-bossa version of Rivermaya's "214". Joselle's elegance, wit, and genuine "jazz-y" style and voice truly enchanted the audience as well as the judges.

Garrett Bolden Jr. (Photo by Jamin Lim)

Garrett Bolden Jr., a 21-year old student from Lyceum of Subic Bay, impressed Salon de Ning with his soulful voice. Garrett opened his show with a tribute to one of the country's acclaimed jazz singers, "The Vamp", Miss Vernie Varga, by doing her song "Being With You". This was followed by a very soothing yet still heartbreaking version of Bamboo's "Much Has Been Said". He more so tugged the hearts of everyone in the venue when he sang a snippet of Luther Van Dross' "Dance With My Father" right after he told the story of how music helped him get reunited with his father. He closed his show with his own English interpretation/translation of the George Canseco hit, "Ikaw", or in Garrett's version, "You"

Rafael Gutierrez (Photo by Jamin Lim)

Representing the University of the Philippines - Diliman, 19-year old Rafael Gutierrez wowed the audience with his suave singing style, technique, and humorous spiels. His show featured his own understanding of the "Stages of Love". His first song, which corresponds to the first stage of love aka the courting stage, was an English translation "Para Sa Akin" which was originally done by Sitti. He then sang Boy Katindig's "I Will Always Stay In Love This Way" which represented the "being in love" stage. He even dedicated this to his girlfriend, Karen, who was present in the venue. He then called up on stage two of his pals and they did a very funny impromptu song making segment using words that the members of the audience had given them. Rafael did a heartbreaking performance of Martin Nievera's "How Can I" as a representation for the "break-up" stage of a relationship.

Joselle performing "Kalesa" (Photo by Pixelado Productions)

Garrett performing "Sitsiritsit" (Photo by Pixelado Productions)

Rafael performing "Pen Pen de Sarapen" (Photo by Pixelado Productions"

The 3 finalists were also given the task to interpret a classic Filipino folk song and make it their own. Joselle performed "Kalesa", Garrett sang "Sitsiritsit" and Rafael did "Pen Pen de Sarapen". This part of the show was really fun and it was exciting to hear folk songs which were given several musical twists!

The Company (Photo by Pixelado Productions)

Shiela Valderrama (Photo by Pixelado Productions)

The Company, probably the most acclaimed vocal pop group in the Philippines, graced the event with several songs, including my favorite APO Hiking Society song "Mahirap Talagang Magmahal Ng Siyota Ng Iba". It was fun to see one of our mentors, Teacher Sweet Plantado, and one of our previous judge, Sir Moi Ortiz, perform! Miss Sheila Valderrama sang a medley of Disney classics while a video montage of the whole SING@NING experience was being shown. I reckon several semi-finalists, myself included, were fighting back tears while seeing what had transpired over the past couple of months. Ha ha!

Top 7 Finalists with their brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9!

Before the winner was announced, the Top 7 contestants were called on stage. They were surprised when it was announced that each of them will receive a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9! The other finalists included in the Top 21 were jeering for tablets, too! Ha ha! Never did it cross my mind that I'll be getting a tablet, too! More on that on the next post, though :)

The top three finalists were called up on stage again for the announcement of the winner. Garrett got the 2nd Runner Up award. Rafael finished in the second spot and got the 1st Runner Up award, while Joselle bagged the top spot and was awarded the Grand Prize Winner of the first-ever SING@NING Search for the Ultimate Voice competition! Along with the P100,000 cash prize, Joselle also received a scholarship from John Robert Powers and Spotlight Artist Centre, plus a three-month contract to perform at Salon de Ning!

Joselle Feliciano wins the first-ever SING@NING Search for the Ultimate Voice! 

Joselle with our Musical Director Sir Onyl Torres and the members of the SING@NING band. (Photo by Jamin Lim)

SING@NING Finalists :)  (Photo by Jamin Lim)

Congratulations, Joselle! I know that our Lord God has so many amazing plans for you and this is just the start! Keep on dreaming and performing your heart and soul out and just let go! Ha ha! We'll be here to support you always! EK! EK! EK! :)

I'm gonna post a separate entry for thank yous and kadramahan, so y'all better check the blog in the coming days for that! Ha ha!

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