Pop star claims 'destiny' in recruiting former rival
MANILA -- In a show-stopping clash on "The Voice of the Philippines" in its episode aired Saturday, coaches Sarah Geronimo and Allan "apl.de.ap" Pineda made desperate pleas to convince four-chair turner Klarisse de Guzman to join their respective teams.
Impressing all four coaches with her rendition of the OPM hit "Tulak ng Bibig, Kabig ng Dibdib," the 21-year-old de Guzman came face-to-face with her former rival on a singing contest.
Geronimo and de Guzman were competitors in the 2002 TV program "Star for a Night," which the Kapamilya star won to claim the title "Pop Star Princess."
A visibly shocked Geronimo rushed to the stage to hug de Guzman, whom she had known as "Klang," when the auditionee related her history with the coach.
Claiming advantage of her connection with the artist, Geronimo brought up their being former co-finalists in attempting to recruit de Guzman.
Interrupting Geronimo, coach Bamboo Manalac called out the pop star for "cheating," to which the latter quipped, "Let me finish first!"
Conceding she isn't the best fit as coach for de Guzman, Lea Salonga drew laughs when she sat by the stage facing her fellow coaches, saying she would have more fun watching them fight over the artist.
Blocking interruptions from her fellow coaches, Geronimo stood up to make her case, telling de Guzman, "Klarisse, I think it's destiny. Nauna ako dito para dalhin ka naman sa panahon mo, at ito ang panahon mo. Hayaan mo 'kong tulungan kita!"
The pop star then brought up her "connections" as she dialed a number on her phone, with veteran singer Martin Nievera answering at the other end.
A member of the Grammy-winning group The Black Eyed Peas, Pineda pulled out the same card as he tried reaching his close friend, American music producer William "will.i.am" Adams.
What followed was a moment of humiliation for Pineda, who was met with a voice mail prompt on the line, as Nievera sang praises for Geronimo's world-class talent.
Despite what appeared to be hard-fought battle among the coaches, de Guzman did not take time in deciding who to pick as her mentor.
"Pipiliin ko 'tong coach na 'to kasi alam kong matutulungan niya talaga ako, and gusto ko ulit siya makasama," de Guzman said, prompting an ecstatic response from Geronimo.
As in previous weeks, the auditions seen during Saturday's episode of "The Voice of the Philippines" dominated conversations on micro-blogging site Twitter. The official hashtag of the program, "#VoicePH," even claimed the second spot in the worldwide trending topics at its peak.
Now down to its last two Blind Auditions episodes, "The Voice of the Philippines" is nearing the completion of the four coaches' teams.
As of the talent search's July 20 telecast, Salonga has already filled up the 12 slots on her team, with Manalac, Geronimo and Pineda still searching for one more artist each to complete their respective teams.
The program is set to kick off its Battle Rounds starting July 28.