Emotions ran high in "Tawag ng Tanghalan" Tuesday as judges, among them a tearful Kyla, faced the difficult decision of trimming the number of returning unseated champions vying for a slot in the upcoming grand finals.
The singing competition, which airs as a segment of "It's Showtime," is currently holding its week-long "Ultimate Resbak" leg, where a total of 16 "resbakers" challenge each other to claim one of two "seats of power," each representing a place in the finale.
This time, the two currently seated contenders -- JM Bales and Douglas Dagal -- picked Ato Arman and Aila Santos to face off against each other. The winner of that showdown as determined by the judges, in turn, would choose who between the seated "resbakers" he/she would challenge to un-seat.
With Arman singing "Never Surrender" and Santos performing "Through the Fire," the judges appeared to be torn on who to pick to advance in the challenge round. Ultimately, Arman was victorious and went on to pick Dagal as the "resbaker" he wanted to challenge.
Arman took the stage with a rendition of "Dukha," while Dagal defended his seat with "Superstar." The face-off, it seemed, proved an impossible combination for the judges -- who all were visibly at a loss as to who to favor.
The judges' pick in the challenge round is combined with public votes to determine a winner.
During deliberations, Kyla, at one point, was in tears and was speechless when asked by hosts why she was crying. Jaya, who was seated beside her, instead answered, explaining, "Ang hirap talaga nito para sa amin, kasi pareho silang magaling, and we have to decide on one."
Likewise, Constantino, Jaya, and host Anne Curtis were seen trying to contain tears as the competition hit its climax. Host Vice Ganda, making numerous mistakes in his spiels through the segment, quipped it was because of the "tension" and "stressful" atmosphere in the studio.
By the end of the show, combined judges and public votes had Arman taking one seat of power, alongside JM Bales, who had earlier fended off two challengers in past episodes.
With the finale set to kick off May 28 at the Aliw Theater in Pasay, the "Ultimate Resbak" leg is expected to conclude Saturday with the remaining two grand finalists named.