'Your voice hypnotizes me': With moving mumber, Tawag ng Tanghalan hopeful leaps straight to semifinals

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2022 07:13 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2022 12:44 AM

Adrian Nebereja impresses Tawag ng Tanghalan judges Yeng Constantino and Ogie Alcasid with his rendition of ‘Warrior Is A Child.’ ABS-CBN

MANILA — A Tawag ng Tanghalan hopeful, whose distinctive low singing voice has been lauded as “hypnotic” by judges, was in tears on Wednesday as he became the first automatic semifinalist this season.

Adrian Nebreja of Sorsogon City secured the semifinals slot after successfully fending off eight challengers and holding on to the “golden mikropono.”

In the current season’s format, five consecutive wins catapult a defending champion to the quarterfinals, while eight successive wins ensure a semifinal showing.

On Wednesday, Nebreja faced off with challenger Sybill Buenabora of Caloocan City, who took the stage with a soaring rendition of Roselle Nava’s “Bakit Nga Ba Mahal Kita.”

But it was ultimately Nebreja’s take on Gary Valenciano’s “Warrior Is A Child” that won over the judges.

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Commenting on Nebreja’s performance, music pillar Louie Ocampo said: “Excellent song choice. There’s something about you. Your voice hypnotizes me. Maybe it’s because it’s in a different and special register which I really like. Your storytelling is excellent.”

As an eight-time defending champion, Nebreja will return to Tawag ng Tanghalan once its semifinals kick off later this year.

Prior to Nebreja, two contestants secured slots in the quarterfinals: JR Oclarit, with seven wins; and Keisha Joy Paulo, with five wins.

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