'The Voice of the Philippines' coaches apl.de.ap and Lea Salonga. ABS-CBN
Broadway star returning as coach on 'Voice Kids'
MANILA - Broadway star Lea Salonga ended speculations on her ties with fellow "The Voice of the Philippines" coach apl.de.ap, with whom she had differences in opinion on who deserves to win of the ABS-CBN singing competition.
Apl.de.ap's bet, former sidewalk vendor Alisah Bonaobra, lost to professional singer Jason Dy of Team Sarah last Sunday. Salonga's Leah Patricio and Bamboo's Rence Rapanot finished in the top four.
Before the "final showdown" held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Pasay, Salonga and apl.de.ap appeared to disagree on whether an artist's personal story should be a factor when voting.
"For any of them to make paawa at this point, it's cheap," Salonga said at the time. "Because then, it says you don't believe in your abilities enough, that your abilities can stand on its own, na kailangan mo pa magpa-awa para makakuha ng boto. Ayoko ng ganyan, eh."
Asked for his reaction to Salonga's statement in a separate interview, apl.de.ap said: "For me, hindi po ito story, eh. That's reality. It needs to be shared with people para maka-inspire ng ibang mahihirap [na tao]... A story can in inspire, a voice can inspire, but they have to go hand-in-hand."
When Dy won over Bonaobra, whose family has been street vendors in Paco since 1987, Salonga was seen enthusiastically cheering the result.
Hours after the finale, Salonga posted on Twitter: "So for the Top 2... who did I vote for? Obvious ba?! Congratulations, @JasonJamesDy!!! Team Lea rooted for you! We love you so much!"
Salonga added in another post that she was "very satisfied" and "super happy" with Dy's victory.
The tweets drew mixed reactions, with some fans noting that Salonga's statement, as she phrased it, could offend both apl.de.ap and Bonaobra. Others speculated that Salonga and apl.de.ap may not be on good terms.
But on Tuesday, Salonga took to Instagram to share photos of her with Bonaobra and apl.de.ap. Both posts got comments from followers expressing relief that there was no rift between the two coaches, as some had speculated.
Her photo with apl.de.ap, whom she is seen kissing on the cheek, was taken during a party held right after the finale of "The Voice of the Philippines." Salonga is seen holding hands with Bonaobra in the other photo, which was taken moments before the announcement of the top two.
Meanwhile, Salonga confirmed on Twitter that she will be returning as one of the coaches of the second edition of "The Voice Kids," which she said will start taping "in a couple of months."
As in the international format and unlike the regular edition for adults, "The Voice Kids" only has three coaches. The first edition, which was won by former junk scavenger Lyca Gairanod, excluded apl.de.ap among the original four coaches.
It remains to be seen whether Geronimo and Bamboo will also return.