Fighting for a slot in the nearing finale of "Tawag ng Tanghalan," returning semifinalists Boyet Onte and Ato Arman each took the stage with a performance that had the judges on their feet Friday.
On its penultimate episode, the "Ultimate Resbak" leg of the competition saw Onte being pitted against fellow "resbaker" Christian Bahaya, as chosen by the current owners of the two "seats of power" -- Arman and Arabelle dela Cruz.
Each seat represents a slot in the May 28 finale week, and can be stolen by a "resbaker" who wins the initial showdown -- in Friday's case, between Onte and Bahaya.
Earning a higher score from the judges, Onte went on to the challenge round, where he picked the same "resbaker" who had chosen to field him for the day, Arman, in the hope of claiming his "seat of power."
Onte, known for his theatrical take on classic tunes, once again impressed the judges with "My Way," and got a standing ovation.
Arman, who was challenged for the first time on his third day on the seat, similarly roused the judges to their feet with "When I See Your Smile."
The back-to-back standing ovation may have indicated a close fight, but with the challenge round also factoring public votes, aside from the judges', one "resbaker" ultimately had a higher combined score.
Arman successfully fended off his challenger, holding on to his grand finals slot at least for another day, along with dela Cruz.
The two remaining "resbakers" yet to take the stage -- Mark Michael Garcia and Aljun Alborme -- by default will go against each other in the initial showdown on Saturday, with the winner of that match-up getting to choose who to challenge between Arman and dela Cruz.