The Black Eyed Peas rapper and 'The Voice of the Philippines' coach apl.de.ap. -- Photo: Handout
MANILA -- As one-fourth of a popular Grammy-winning group, Allan "apl.de.ap" Pineda often pulled out what his fellow coaches referred to as the "international card" in recruiting artists on "The Voice of the Philippines."
The 38-year-old member of The Black Eyed Peas was especially aggressive with the argument whenever an artist convinced four chairs to turn during the Blind Auditions of the hit reality talent search.
Pineda's fellow coaches were mostly left amused with his generous promises of an international break to convince artists to join his team. But the "international card," as the auditions unfolded, proved to be a winning trick for Pineda.
The rapper, for instance, was able to convince two four-chair turners to join Team Apl -- (1) Thor Dulay, a 32-year-old back-up vocalist from Davao del Norte; and (2) Janice Javier, a 38-year-old band singer based in Thailand.
Joining the powerhouse singers in Pineda's group are his first recruits, which include sidewalk vendor (3) Cora dela Cruz, 27, from Cavite; singing siblings (4) Grace and Guji Lorenzana, from Taguig; and band vocalist (5) Sir Lord Lumibao, 23, from Zamboanga.
Makati's (6) Moira dela Torre, a 19-year-old college student, also landed a spot in Team Apl, as did Muntinlupa's (7) Cara Manglapus, a 25-year-old freelance writer.
Also competing for Pineda are (8) Tristhan Perfection, 20, a freelance singer from Manila; (9) Lance Fabros, 28, an acoustic player from Valenzuela; and (10) Penelope Matanguihan, 21, a cashier from Batangas.
Completing Team Apl's contenders for "The Voice" title are singing waitress (11) Jessica Corpuz; Laguna-born student (12) Jessica Reynoso, 16; and former Kapamilya star and "1DOL" actress (13) Emman Vera, 18.
Starting Sunday, July 28, Pineda is bringing his bets for international stardom to the Battle Rounds of "The Voice of the Philippines."
Two to three artists from the same team will be pitted against each other by their coach to trim down the number of members by half.
The artist in each pairing or grouping who will best impress Pineda will move on to the Live Shows.