MANILA - "The Voice of the Philippines" coaches Lea Salonga and Bamboo Mañalac put up a fight to recruit artist Mitoy Yonting, whose Blind Auditions performance convinced the 2-chair turn during Saturday's episode of the reality talent search.
Yonting, who is known as the vocalist of local band The Draybers, roused Salonga and Mañalac to a standing ovation with his rendition of the Didith Reyes hit "Bakit Ako Mahihiya."
The 43-year-old singer from Pangasinan was faced with a tough decision, as both coaches shifted gears with emotional pleas to convince him to join their respective teams.
Salonga, in a rare moment, apologized in advance for a "bleep-able moment" when she cursed to express her admiration for Yonting's singing voice.
"Bihira lang lumalabas sa bibig ko ang ganyan! Ang galing mo, ang galing mo! Kung hindi mo 'ko pinili, iiyak ako! Wala akong makitang ano eh. Technically, laser [precision]," the Broadway singer exclaimed before being interrupted by Mañalac, who then took his turn to convince Yonting.
Explaining why he did not turn his chair right away, the former Rivermaya vocalist said, "Napatagal ako kasi iniisip ko, napakabagay niyo ni Lea, eh. 'Yun ang naisip ko at first. Naramdaman ko 'yun, eh, nung umpisa."
"Pero narinig ko na ang ganda ng character ng boses mo, napaka one-of-a-kind, which is something they say of me, alright," Mañalac said, turning to Salonga.
Addressing Yonting, he added: "I'm asking you to be a part of my team. Pasensya na bro, wala na akong boses, paos na ako. Pero sinasabi ko sa'yo, you belong here."
Mañalac even resorted to flattery as he complimented Yonting on the scarf he was wearing.
Apparently pressured by the audience to pick Team Bamboo, Yonting explained that he has been a long-time fan of Salonga, but added that he does hold Mañalac in high regard as a vocalist.
Addressing the rock singer, Yonting said, "'Yung respeto ko kay Sir Bamboo, ubod taas, parang saranggola 'yan, mataas na mataas ang paglipad. Pero patawarin mo ko, kuya. Pipiliin ko si Ms. Lea."
As of the June 29 episode of "The Voice of the Philippines," Yonting was already the fifth artist to join Team Lea, joining ex-Kulay singer Radha Tinsay, OFW band singer Chien Berbana, indie music producer Darryl Shy, and teacher Taw Muhammad.
Hosted by Toni Gonzaga with Alex Gonzaga and Robi Domingo, "The Voice of the Philippines" airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. and Sundays at 8:15 p.m.
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