Lea on 'Voice PH' battles: 'It's heartbreaking'


Posted at Jul 11 2013 06:50 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2013 02:51 AM

The Voice of the Philippines' coaches, from left: apl.de.ap, Lea Salonga, Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo Mañalac.' -- Photo: Handout

Coaches tease 'big twist' in forming teams

MANILA, Philippines -- Coaches of the Philippine edition of the hit global franchise "The Voice" were forced to trim down their team members early this week in a phase of the show that left Lea Salonga "exhausted" and "heart-broken."

The Tony Award winner, who is among the four superstar-coaches on "The Voice of the Philippines," took to micro-blogging site Twitter Tuesday and Wednesday to express mixed emotions about the talent search's Battle Rounds.

"Another heartbreaking and exhausting day. But oh, such glorious music made! I love my job! Thank you, ['The Voice'] for the opportunity!" she said in another tweet.

The ABS-CBN program on July 8 started the two-day taping of its second phase, which had coaches eliminating several members on their respective teams by pairing them up in a singing showdown.

As in the international format of "The Voice," the artist in each "battle" who impresses their coach will continue on to join the live performance phase of the competition.

Leading up to this week's Battle Rounds, the coaches -- Salonga, along with Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo Manalac and Allan "apl.de.ap" Pineda -- had been mentoring their respective team members in preparation for the showdown.

Lea's coaching style

In coaching her artists, Salonga, for part, places value on simplicity over "unnecessary" affectations in singing.

"In terms of keeping it simple, that’s also deceiving," she told Kapamilya host Boy Abunda in his column published Thursday on The Philippine Star.

"Because you can ad-lib and still be very simple. What I want to try to get my team to avoid is the gratuitous ad-lib, 'yung mga ad-lib na hindi naman kailangan talaga, na hindi naman nakakatulong sa kanta. Yung hindi naman nagpapaakyat ng emosyon dun sa awit na ‘yon. If you can do them, great. But it has to be right for that individual," she said.

Salonga, who is dubbed a "Broadway diva" for her roles in international stage productions, said she also tries to identify the unique strengths of her team members. She cited as an example her own case -- that she "cannot do birit."

"The thing is for me kasi, pag hindi bagay sa iyo ang bumirit, wag kang bumirit. I am one of those people that cannot do it. Dudugo ang vocal chords ko.

"So it’s really about finding out what a person’s unique voice is. If it really calls to them naturally, if it sounds like Whitney Houston or Lani Misalucha or Sarah Geronimo, then that is where you should be. That is where your strength is. What we are trying to do is figure out (on the show) is ano 'yung totoong boses nila. Hopefully, we will be able to help people figure that out," she said.

Although it will be a while before TV viewers can watch the results of the coaches' sessions with their artists, the production behind "The Voice of the Philippines" on its various social media accounts shared sneak-peeks of the Battle Rounds.

'Big twist'

With the airing schedule of the Battle Rounds set on July 28, five more episodes of the Blind Auditions are expected to air.

As of the most recent episode of "The Voice of the Philippines" aired last Sunday, Mañalac has already recruited nine artists; Geronimo and Pineda, eight each; and Salonga, seven.

Each coach is forming a team of 12 artists.

On Thursday during the noontime variety program "It's Showtime," Salonga, along with her fellow coaches, teased a "big twist" in the mechanics of forming a final team going into the live shows.

"May dapat po kayong abangan na big twist sa pagbuo namin ng teams. Labanan ito ng boses at labanan din ito ng mga coaches to come up with the best team of artists," she said.

Hosted by Toni Gonzaga with Alex Gonzaga and Robi Domingo, "The Voice of the Philippines" airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. and Sundays at 8:15 p.m.

ABS-CBNnews.com is the news website of ABS-CBN Corp.