MANILA, Philippines – The oldest contestant in “The X Factor Philippines” blew away the competition during the second live performance show on Saturday night, earning the only standing ovation of the night.
|"X Factor"'s Modesto Taran
Proving that age shouldn’t matter in the talent competition, 55-year-old Modesto Taran sang Wency Cornejo’s inspirational anthem “Habang May Buhay” backed by a gospel choir and showcasing his powerful vocals.
The show’s four judges gave the Cagayan de Oro contestant a standing ovation, with Martin Nievera even shedding tears after Taran’s performance, while praising Taran for his heartfelt performance.
“I’m so, so proud of you,” Nievera said.
Judge Gary Valenciano said he often advises young singer not just to share their voice but their heart. “And this is what you did,” he said.
Judge Charice also had the same view. “A lot of singers they’d rather show off than feel the song. Everytime you perform, we always feel it.”
Taran’s mentor, Pilita Corrales, admitted that she received many comments saying Taran would be the first one to be eliminated from the show because of his age. But with Saturday’s performance, Asia’s Queen of Songs said Taran proved that he is “swak na swak” for “The X Factor Philippines.”
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With the ABS-CBN talent search down to 11 contestants after Jerrianne Templo was eliminated last week, several contestants have emerged as strong contenders to become the first-ever “X Factor Philippines” winner.
Last week’s breakout group, the all-female A.K.A. Jam, was given the prime closing spot after earning a standing ovation last week. The group, which was formed by the judges from six individual contestants during the auditions, proved that last week’s well-raised performance of “Got to Be Real” was no fluke as they took on the dramatic Shirley Bassey classic “This is My Life,” with each taking on solos and showing off tight group harmonies.
Charice said, “I’m glad na kayo ‘yung closing. Realy, really good.”
Valenciano, the group’s mentor, said he chose the song because each member had their own unique back story before praising the girls’ performance as “extremely moving and extremely touching.”
Early favorite KZ Tandingan also bounced back on Saturday after earning criticism last week for her poor song choice. Returning to the old jazzy sound that made her into a social media sensation, the 20-year-old from Digos picked the classic “For Once in My Life,” which started out slow before turning uptempo, allowing her to do her trademark adlibs and runs.
Corrales, who was critical of Tandingan’s performance of Lenka’s “The Show” last week, apologized to the singer and her mentor Charice. “I am asking your forgiveness,” Corrales said. “You’re so great.”
Valenciano said, “Ito ‘yung nakita ko during the very first time. You’ve taken it to another level.”
Another standout last Saturday was Mark Mabasa, who did the Earth, Wind and Fire version of “Got to Get You Into My Life” with a Broadway touch, backed by female dancers in bowler hats and canes.
Charice said that was his favorite of Mabasa’s performances on the show, while his mentor Corrales predicted that the 26-year-old will go far.
The group Daddy’s Home also showed range and consistency with their upbeat performance of “The Best Things in Life are Free” by Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross, mashed up with Crystal Waters’ “Say If You Feel Alright.” The group, sounding like a professional R&B band, gave an energetic performance, with rap breaks and even prompting the crowd to participate.
“Daddy’s Home will stay,” Corrales predicted.
“You seem so at home on stage. I’m so confident with what you can do,” Valenciano, the group’s mentor, said.
Also sounding like a pro was Joan Da, who opened the show with energy and confidence with Itchyworms’ “Gusto Ko Lamang sa Buhay,” with backup dancers.
Allen Sta. Maria, who is the youngest contestant at 16, again showed off her powerful vocals, with Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life,” which Nievera praised as sounding “like a star.”
Gabriel Maturan, who sang Michael Jackson’s “One Day in Your Life,” was praised by Corrales for starting to sound like his mentor, Nievera.
Jeric Medina also stretched his vocal chords to hit the high notes of David Cook’s “The Time of My Life,” prompting Corrales to proclaim him as “the next Martin Nievera.”
Controversial contestant Kedebon Colim also showed his more serious side, with Firehouse’s “I Live My Life For You,” which he dedicated to Jesus Christ.
“Ngayong gabi, nirerespeto kita as a person, as a singer, everything. You’re amazing,” Charice said.
Viewers can vote for their favorite contestants until Sunday night during the live results nights after "Sarah G Live" on ABS-CBN.