A day after mother's funeral, 'Tawag' bet from Visayas takes finale stage


Posted at May 28 2018 06:30 PM | Updated as of May 29 2018 11:01 AM

'Tawag ng Tanghalan' judge Karylle is moved to tears after finalist Remy Luntayao reveals her mother was laid to rest a day before her performance. ABS-CBN

A "Tawag ng Tanghalan" finalist from Negros Occidental broke down in tears Monday after her performance, as she revealed her mother had just been laid to rest a day before she took the stage for the finals week of the singing competition.

A first-quarter finalist who debuted in the contest in September 2017, Remy Luntayao was being interviewed by hosts Vice Ganda and Anne Curtis when she made the revelation. Asked how she felt during her performance, Luntayao answered it was a mix of happiness, because she's made it this far in the competition, and sadness, because her mother had just recently died.

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Luntayao, whose family had to sleep at one point under waiting sheds, originally joined "Tawag ng Tanghalan" to help shoulder the medical expenses of her then-sick mother, who had been suffering from stage 5 chronic kidney disease. They held her funeral on the eve of the contest's finals week. 

Judge Karylle, who is known to have a close relationship with her mother, music veteran Zsa Zsa Padilla, tearfully told Luntayao she could empathize with her situation. She also noted that the finalist's song choice, "The Greatest Performance of My Life," was apt as its lyrics are about a performer who puts on a brave facade despite a heartache.

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One line, Karylle pointed out, was especially true for Luntayao -- "I never lost control, I played the part so well" -- referring to the finalist who managed to give an impressive rendition despite her fresh grief.

Of the six finalists who performed Monday, Luntayao went on to earn enough points, from the combined public and judges votes, to keep her safe from elimination. By the "Huling Tapatan" on Saturday, the total of 12 finalists will have been halved, depending on the daily performances of the contenders.

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