MANILA — One of the four judges of the highly anticipated “Search for the Idol Philippines” was handpicked by the owner of the global format, Fremantle.
Vice Ganda, James Reid, and Moira dela Torre were revealed Tuesday as the three stars who join previously announced Regine Velasquez in the judging panel.
Of the four, only Vice Ganda has prior experience as a judge on a talent search. He was in the debut season of “Pinoy Boyband Supertar,” and was in two seasons of “Pilipinas Got Talent.”
Admittedly surprised to have been chosen to join “Idol Philippines,” the comedy superstar shared that his previous televised judging stints turned out to be a factor in his casting.
“Natutuwa ako na natatawa kasi lagi akong personal pick ng franchise,” Vice Ganda told ABS-CBN News’ Mario Dumaual. “Kasi ‘pag nanonood ‘yung franchise kung sino ‘yung mga possible judges, ‘pag nakikita ‘yung ibang shows kung paano ako nag-judge, laging ako ‘yung ginagawa nilang example. Nakakatuwa naman na nagugustuhan nila kung paano ako mag-judge.”
“Sabi ko, ‘Sure kayo diyan?’ Tapos noong sinabi sa’kin ng management, ‘Gusto ka ng franchise,’ sabi ko, ‘Wow! Franchise talaga?’” he narrated.
Dubbed the “Phenomenal Box Office Star,” Vice Ganda is credited with having the most number of highest grossing films in the country. One of the most visible showbiz figures, with daily hosting stints on “It’s Showtime” and on the weekly “Gandang Gabi Vice,” the comedian has over the years become an influential force in local pop culture.
While he is a recording artist with dozens of sold-out concerts, Vice Ganda said, in jest, that his initial hesitation to say yes to “Idol Philippines” was because he is not known to be a singer.
But then he was convinced by producers, who had pointed out that British starmaker Simon Cowell, one of the original judges of “American Idol,” has not once shown any musical talent.
Already, Vice Ganda is anticipating mixed reactions from viewers when it comes to judges’ picks when “Idol Philippines” premieres — an apprehension shared by first-time judge dela Torre.
Recalling his advice to the “Malaya” hitmaker, Vice Ganda said: “Kahit ano’ng sabihin natin, maaaring magustuhan nila o hindi, so might as well judge from our hearts. Kung ano ‘yung sinasabi ng puso natin, iyon na ang sabihin natin, huwag na tayo mang-echos.”