Oct 22
CREATING NEW TV STARS by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Oct 22, 2010

With the Pinoy’s fondness for the videoke, it can be said that TV networks have the inclination for talent search contests.

With the recent conclusion of Pilipinas Got Talent where Jovit Baldivino emerged as the first PGT grand winner, here comes another talent search show by ABS-CBN. And with the ongoing Talentadong Pinoy, TV5 has yet another one called Star Factor.

In fairness to the TV networks, they are in constant search of talents whether old or new to enhance their pool of talents. So it is only logical for them to hold search contests for that purpose.

It can be remembered that Sarah Geronimo, a very successful singer dubbed as Pop Princess and, of late, Young Superstar, is a product of Star for a Night of GMA-7 which was hosted by Regine Velasquez. International singer Charice is a second-placer in Little Big Star, another talent search show of ABS-CBN.

Some popular names like Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Herras are both winners of Starstruck first edition. Sam Milby’s name was born in Pinoy Big Brother, likewise with PBB Teen Winners Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson.

Presently, we have two star search shows and coincidentally they have similar names. Star Factor of TV5 coincides with Star Power of ABS-CBN.

Star Factor has Audie Gemora as program head with Ruffa Gutierrez as host. For their judges, there is the feisty Annabelle, movie director and writer Joey Javier Reyes, musician par excellence Ryan Cayabyab and professional photographer Raymund Isaac.

Star Power is headed by Sharon Cuneta with designated judges like Charo Santos, Freddie Garcia and other ABS-CBN bigwigs. The hosts are Christian Bautista and Erik Santos, both colleagues of Sarah Geronimo.

The goal of Star Power is to find the next female Pop Superstar. That’s the big difference, that of having female contestants only. The first crop of finalists left after the auditions and the rigid screenings are 21 for Luzon, 7 for Visayas and 8 for Mindanao.

In focus are the criteria of Looks, Voice and Performance. That means the contestant should be made of star material with a good voice and natural flair for performance. With the acapella manner of audition, the said finalists have probably passed the voice factor.

For Star Factor, it has a similar format with Starstruck’s where the main criteria is not only singing because the objective is to find a total performer. So the winner should also know how to dance, act and do hosting chores.

Right now there are 10 Star Hopefuls. The grand winner called Ultimate Star Hopeful will earn 1 million pesos in cash and another 1 million worth of TV contract. The remaining 10 finalists are Christian, Christine, Eula, Miguel, Krissha, Morisette, John, Ritz, Kevin at Rico.

Even before the 10 finalists were selected, the 18 Star Hopefuls have already undergone continuous training for singing, dancing, acting and hosting. They should also have the poise and the mind to speak like a star.

Just like the Starstruck finalists, the Star Hopefuls will have the chance to develop deep bonding with their batchmates. It’s still a long way to go especially for the activities being lined up by the production team.

And to spice up the reality show, there is a texting portion for the indirect participation of the audience. Texters can submit their choice for the Ultimate Star Hopeful and they can win P50,000 or the consolation prizes of P15,000 and P10,000.

For the winners, it is a dream come true. But how about the losers?

Clinical psychologists say that losing in a contest has a deep impact on the mindset of the loser. And considering that the show is televised, the shame of losing is greater. The psychological drawback can only be measured by the loser himself.

We remember a case, although not clearly proven, where a composer committed suicide after losing in a songwriting competition. At the least, the loser may get frustrated and not join any such contest anymore.

Perhaps the networks should give a little more consideration to the losers particularly those who have already participated in the workshops and trainings such as the semi-finalists and finalists. They are not mere contestants of a game show.

As for the benefit of the networks, the new faces have a lower talent fee. They also have the potential of getting more famous than established names. Another thing going for reality search contest winners is that their talents have already been proven.

But what about the glut of talents in the entertainment industry?

Both winners in the Starstruck 4th edition, Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal, have somehow reached stardom with their movie and TV soap. Melissa Ricks came from Star Circle Quest and Matt Evans from PBB Teen Edition.

Not so lucky were Starstruck winners Mike Tan and Ryza Cenon of season 2 and Jackie Rice of season 3 with Marky Cielo (who died of bangungot a few years back). There’s also Gretchen Espina, the Pinoy Idol winner. They were unable to reach stardom.

Even Sarah Geronimo’s singing colleagues, Erik Santos, Mark Bautista, Christian Bautista and Rachelle Ann Go, couldn’t be considered singing sensations. This simply means that the supply had exceeded the demand.

There’s a saying that stars come and go. For the new ones, strike while the iron is hot.

Comments to this article can be sent to ajsocorro@yahoo.com

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