MANILA – Tears flowed at the close of “The Voice of the Philippines” on Sunday after viewers voted for early favorites to move on to the next phase of the hit TV talent show.
Early frontrunners Janice Javier of Team Apl, Mitoy Yonting of Team Lea and Maki Ricafort of Team Sarah proved to be also popular among viewers as they topped the voting in their respective teams after delivering critically lauded performances at the second live show at Resorts World Manila.
Yonting got a whopping 82.29% for his performance of Queen’s rock anthem “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
Yonting’s coach Lea Salonga recalled that during rehearsals, the popular contestant asked if he can do a “concert” performance. “Ginawa mo talaga,” Salonga told Yonting amid loud screams from the crowd.
Javier, meanwhile, drew a standing ovation from all four judges for her powerful rendition of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” and easily won over the voters as well.
It was a closer vote for former South Border member Ricafort, who had host Toni Gonzaga swooning over his version of “Without You.”
“Umiiyak ‘yung puso ko habang pinapanood ko kayo kumanta,” Ricafort’s coach Sarah Geronimo said.
Viewers also voted Paolo Onesa of Team Bamboo to the next round after his praised performance of James Morrison’s “You Give Me Something.”
“The best I heard you sing,” Bamboo told his ward. “That was cool and smooth.”
With the popular contestants garnering the votes to move to the next round, the judges had a difficult task of selecting who to save.
The decision was particularly hard for Geronimo, whose team members all gave well praised performances. Yuki Ito sang Donnie Hathaway’s “A Song for You,” while Klarisse de Guzman chose “Beggin’” by Madcon.
“Ang dami ng version ng song na ‘yan at binigay mo ang sarili mong version,” apl.de.ap commented after Ito’s number, which Geronimo praised for exceeding her expectations.
De Guzman, for her part, left Bamboo “speechless.”
“You’re just a pro up there. Where have you been all these years?” he told de Guzman.
When it was time to choose between the two, Geronimo was obviously having a difficult time. “I hate to do this, mahal ko kayo pareho,” she said. “I will save you, Klarisse.”
The two contestants then hugged each other and cried.
It was also emotional for Team Bamboo’s Angelique Alcantara and Isa Fabregas.
Alcantara sang the OPM hit “Nobela” by Join the Club, which Bamboo called a “very peaceful” acoustic rendition like a lullabye, although Geronimo said she was looking for something more “vocally challenging.”
Fabregas chose to sing James Taylor’s classic “You’ve Got A Friend,” which apl.de.ap described as “heaven-sent.”
In giving his decision, Bamboo praised the two girls for staying “tasteful and classy.”
“I challenged you, and you both stepped up. Angelique, you are a natural performer. At 17, hindi natuturo ‘yon. isa, you always say your faith and your family is what carries you. Tonight nakita ko ‘yon sa boses mo,” Bamboo said.
“I give it to Isa,” he declared as Fabregas erupted in tears.
The choice was seemingly clearer for Apl.de.ap and Salonga.
Apl chose to save Penelope Matanguihan, who sang John Legend’s “Ordinary People,” which Salonga described as “one minute and 45 seconds of heaven.” She was up against the young Tristhan Perfecto, who chose to sing Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man.”
Salonga’s decision to save Kimpoy Mainit was pretty obvious when she noted that the young contestant was turning 17 on Monday.
Mainit also received high praise from Salonga after he sang his version of “Hallelujah,” with the Broadway star saying, “You jacked it up beyond even my own expectations.”
In contrast, Salonga told contestant Diday Garcellano that “nerves got a little bit of you” after her performance of Adele’s “Rumor Has It,” adding that she looked more comfortable during rehearsals.
When it was Salonga’s turn to make the save, she said, “Birthday gift ko na ito sa ‘yo, Kimpoy.”