Now it can be revealed: "Tawag ng Tanghalan" judge Jaya, who became the target of bashing after the elimination of "resbaker" Aila Santos, actually voted for the Mindanao bet in Tuesday's tension-filled episode of the singing competition.
In the opening minutes of the "It's Showtime" segment on Wednesday, host Vice Ganda addressed those who were vocal in criticizing online the decision of the judges on Tuesday -- picking Ato Arman over Santos to advance in the "Ultimate Resbak" leg.
The penultimate week of "Tawag ng Tanghalan" has a total of 16 returning unseated champions, or "resbakers," challenging each other to claim one of two "seats of power," each representing a place in the finale.
Arman and Santos were paired for a showdown by the two owners of the seats at the time -- JM Bales and Douglas Dagal. Favored to win by the judges, Arman went on to pick Dagal, over Bales, as the seated "resbaker" he would challenge to un-seat. He succeeded, as determined by the combined votes of the judges and viewers.
The decision to eliminate Santos apparently did not sit well with many viewers of "It's Showtime." With "Aila Santos" trending worldwide on Twitter at one point, many criticisms were directed at Jaya, apparently over her comment on the face-off between Santos and Arman.
She said at the time: "Let me just say, lahat kayo magaling... What mattered to me today: sino ba 'yung malinis? Sino 'yung malinis ang pagkaka-deliver? That matters. Talent matters -- not the screams, not the accolades, sinong maraming votes. It's who did well today. Iyon ang sa akin."
Going by initial reactions to Santos getting eliminated, some assumed Jaya was pertaining to the contender's soaring "Through the Fire" rendition as the less "clean" delivery. While that could have been the case, Jaya, according to Vice Ganda, did ultimately vote to keep Santos in the competition.
The comedian said: "Personally, I want to say this -- I felt so bad for Ms. Jaya, kasi there are a number of Aila fans na bina-bash si Ms. Jaya kahapon. There was no reason for you to bash Ms. Jaya, kasi, kung hindi niyo po alam, Ms. Jaya was one of the two judges who voted for Aila.
"Someone has to stand up for Ms. Jaya. I just have to defend her, kasi it was not fair for her na bina-bash siya kahapon, nababasa ko, pine-personal siya. Hindi niyo po alam, si Ms. Jaya ang isa sa dalawang judges na bumoto kay Aila. Kaya huwag mangba-bash."
Vice Ganda, as well as co-hosts Anne Curtis and Amy Perez, then called on viewers to refrain from using hurtful words in airing their opinions on the competition.
Jaya, among the regular rotating judges of "Tawag ng Tanghalan," was not present during Wednesday's episode. She, however, alluded to "rudeness" in a cryptic post on Instagram.
The post read: "Never respond to rudeness. When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not who you are. Don't take it personally. Be silent."