MANILA — Jona was moved to tears in the live telecast of “It’s Showtime” on Monday, as she watched the performance of a Tawag ng Tanghalan semifinalist who would become the first grand finalist of the season at the close of the episode.
The “Maghihintay Ako” hitmaker is part of the five-member judging panel of the week-long semifinals of the singing competition.
The first batch of performers were Negros Occidental’s Lee’Anna Layumas, Cavite’s Jezza Quiogue, and Bulacan’s Trixie Dayrit.
Quiogue, a five-time defending champion during the daily rounds, was the lone contestant for the day who opted for an OPM song — Side A’s “Ako’y Sa ‘Yo, Ika’y Akin Lamang.”
Midway through 16-year-old hopeful’s performance, Jona was seen turning emotional and at one point wiping tears.
The soaring rendition had Jona on her feet, along with her fellow judges Jed Madela, Jolina Magdangal, Nyoy Volante, and Louie Ocampo. Quiogue was the only semifinalist to receive a standing ovation.
Commenting on Quiogue’s number, Jona told her: “‘Yung boses mo, sobrang magical and napaka sincere. Tumusok talaga sa akin ‘yung performance mo. Umpisa pa lang, napakasarap pakinggan ng soft tones mo. Very clear ‘yung mga lyrics.
“It’s like you’re acting in a song. Para kang na sa pelikula talaga. Pinaparamdam mo sa amin ‘yung tamang-tamang emosyon ng kanta. Nagulat ako na you’re only 16 years old. Saan mo hinuhugot ‘yung ganiyang klaseng emosyon?”
Jona went to describe Quioque’s performance as “excellent,” adding, “Ang sarap-sarap mo pakinggan sa isang recording, so I really hope magkaroon ka ng official single.”
“Papakinggan talaga kita,” she said.
Quiogue took one step closer to the possibility of having her own single, as she scored the most for the day to secure the first spot in the grand finals, where she will get to have a duet with Jona.
Her competitor Layumas will perform again on Friday as the “Hurados’ Save” pick, while Dayrit ended her Tawag ng Tanghalan journey.
Other semifinalists set to compete this week are Adrian Nebreja, JR Oclarit, Marko Rudio, Kelvin Silvestre, Villier Villalobo, Mark Justo, Ralph Angelo Merced, Lyka Estrella, and Nowi Alpuerto.
“It’s Showtime” airs weekdays and Saturdays at noon on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, TV5, and iWantTFC.