MANILA - A powerful performance from Thailand-based vocalist Janice Javier ended in a four-way clash among the coaches on "The Voice of the Philippines" in its episode aired Saturday, with the singer's name zooming up to the worldwide trending topics on Twitter.
The 38-year-old professional singer, who is originally from Pasay City, put a stable career in Bangkok on pause to try her luck in the Philippine edition of the hit reality talent search.
"It's perfect for me," she said of the show's format in her background interview aired before her performance.
"Kasi I've never joined any singing contest before because of how I look like. Nasobrahan lang ako sa kalusugan. I think this is my chance to prove and show what I can do, kaya tingin ko 'The Voice' is perfect for people like me who's got insecurities about how we look like," she said.
Explaining why she deserves to win the title of "The Voice," Javier said, "I think I'm very much ready to represent myself and people who's like me. I want to show everybody na hindi lang mga payat, mga sexy ang pwedeng sumikat. Sabi ko nga eh, I'm not here to conquer the world. I'm just here to show that I'm worth it."
Taking the Blind Auditions stage with her rendition of the Aretha Franklin hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," Javier convinced a three-chair turn even before hitting the chorus, with coach Allan "apl.de.ap" Pineda hitting his button only after the first line of the song.
Before finishing her performance, Javier had all four coaches facing her and on their feet to end with a standing ovation.
Coach Sarah Geronimo, who was first to speak with Javier, yielded to pressure from fellow coach Bamboo Manalac, who interrupted the pop star after she offered constructive criticisms to the auditionee.
Taking his turn to convince Javier to join his team, Manalac told the singer, "You are the real deal. You are the reason why I am on this show. Kung sa akin ka, hindi ka na babalik ng Bangkok!"
Calling Javier's performance a "slam dunk," Pineda pulled what his fellow coaches referred to as the "international card." The Black Eyed Peas member offered the auditionee an opportunity to work with "people he knows," and even mentioned his Grammy-winning group's hit, "Boom Boom Pow."
In retort to Pineda, Geronimo cut in and told Javier, "Pero kailangan umpisahan mo muna sa sarili mong bansa!"
Herself an internationally recognized singer, coach Lea Salonga similarly offered Javier a chance to learn about "what goes on over there (international scene)," and even told Pineda to "keep quiet" when he attempted to speak.
Responding to all four coaches, Javier began, "If ever I choose, I hope you stick with me and let me prove to you that I can win this thing."
"So I choose apl (Pineda)," she said as she pointed to the Pampanga-born rapper.
Immediately after Javier's segment on "The Voice of the Philippines" aired Saturday night, the singer became a hot topic on Twitter, with her full name claiming a spot in the worldwide trending topics on the popular micro-blogging site.
Netizens also sang praises for Javier, who is only the second artist on the ABS-CBN program to trend worldwide for her performance after another professional singer, Lee Grane.
In addition to "Janice Javier," the official hashtag of the show, "#VoicePH," also became a worldwide trending topic on Saturday night.
Hosted by Toni Gonzaga with Alex Gonzaga and Robi Domingo, the ABS-CBN program airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. and Sundays at 8:15 p.m.
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