Tony Award winner Lea Salonga
MANILA, Philippines - Singers Lea Salonga and Bamboo Mañalac expressed their excitement to be part of ABS-CBN's upcoming reality singing contest, "The Voice of the Philippines."
Salonga, dubbed as "The Voice of Broadway," and Mañalac, labeled "The Voice of Rock," serve as judge-coaches in the competition, along with singer Sarah Geronimo and Allan Pineda or apl.de.ap of The Black Eyed Peas.
In an interview during a press conference for "The Voice of the Philippines" on Friday, Salonga said she "wanted to move heaven and earth" to be part of the upcoming talent search.
"This one, to be quite honest, I wanted to move heaven and earth to make it possible to do it. And it's kind of what happened because I want to be honest. I mean, I was previously asked by ABS-CBN na maging isang judge sa ibang singing contests," she explained.
"But it's something na talagang gusto kong gawin. I will move mountains to make it happen and, in this case, the mountains kinda moved," she added.
Salonga said she accepted the offer to be part of the show because she wants to share her knowledge in music with the country's next set of singers.
"It was really great that everything kinda fell into place for this to be possible. The cool thing that I'd like about the particular format [of 'The Voice of the Philippines'] is, I mean, everybody who's coaching are also performers. That throughout the years of our having been in this career, we were also coached by some of the most amazing performers.
"So parang this is an opportunity for all of us to pay it forward, to bring whatever knowledge we might have and pass it on," she added. "Kasi we can't keep naman everything to ourselves. It's good to share, so we will share."
Mañalac, for his part, said that he is just happy to be part of a "dream team."
"When they say dream team, if I had to pick and make a choice, this would have been the dream team," he said. "Kudos to you guys, to the producers. Ako, myself, I'm excited. From the first time I watched 'The Voice US,' the first season I got to watch the show, what it is all about. Sabi ko, again, if there's a show that I would have done, this is it, this is tailor-made for myself."
As coaches, Salonga and Manalac said they will be as "honest" as possible, and that they will listen to the contestants.
"I think what I can offer is honesty... I am already calling myself the bitch in the red chair. But I don't think the bitchiness will necessarily be the best approach either. I guess it really depends on what each team member needs, pero kung magiging mayabang or arogante na wala sa lugar, so they're gonna get talking and they're not gonna like me... They're gonna get it unfiltered and real, and that's what I can offer," Salonga said.
"What kind of a coach? Ako, for me what works for me is nakikinig ako, I will listen to the singers, I will try to see where they want to take the song, the arrangement, the technicality, I'm just there to guide. I think what I want to impart to the singers is not only about music but what happens when the lights are off," Mañalac added.
"The Voice of The Philippines," which will begin this June, will be hosted by Toni Gonzaga. Robi Domingo will serve as a "social media correspondent."
In the show, the coaches’ first task is to pick the contestants they want to be part of their respective teams.
The selection process begins during the blind auditions, where they will evaluate the artists’ performances based on the voices they hear. And if they would like to mentor a particular artist, they must press the button that will trigger their swiveling coaches’ chair to turn to the stage and get to see the artist in person.
In the event that more than two or more coaches chose a particular artist, the coaches will have to sell themselves to the artist and convince him or her to pick them as coach.
After choosing members of their teams, the coaches will start to mentor and train their artists.
They will pit two of their own team members in the second round called the “battle rounds,” or a do or die match between the two artists who must give it their all to please their coach.
And in the end, the coaches’ chosen artists will advance to the next round of the competition— the live performance shows.
Viewers will then step in the scene and can save their favorites from elimination by voting.
In the end, each coach will have one star artist left to compete against the other team’s finalists and the last one standing will be named “The Voice of the Philippines.”