During one of the rare times she was head judge on "Tawag ng Tanghalan," pop-rock singer Yeng Constantino appeared regretful over having to dash the dreams of a contestant, as she signalled the striking of the dreaded gong.
In the Wednesday episode of "It's Showtime," Constantino had to cut short the performance of Luzon contestant Nathan Aquino, as the Laguna hopeful mistakenly sang the chorus ahead of the correct timing.
Grimacing, Constantino raised a close fist — the signal to hit the gong that meant disqualifying the contestant.
Explaining to Aquino her decision, Constantino began by recalling what the contestant said in his pre-performance interview: "Sabi mo na-bo-broken-hearted ka 'pag merong mga rejections . . . Hindi ko masasabi na, OK lang 'to,' kasi naiintindihan ko na masakit.
"Nanggaling din ako sa singing contest, at may times talaga na pinaghandaan mo naman, pero bakit gano'n, noong oras na talaga, nadadala tayo ng kaba, nadadala tayo ng confusion."
She went on to encourage Aquino to keep practicing, particularly in front of a big crowd to accustom himself to performing for an audience.
"Hindi ibig sabihin na nangyari ito, wala nang pagkakataon . . . Huwag kang magsisisi, kasi nandiyan ang talento mo. Practice-practice lang," she said.
Interestingly, another daily contender on Wednesday, Mariel Panillion, was previously disqualified via "gong" on her first try in the competition, but now managed to unseat defending champion Jonar Rementizo.
Constantino is one of the regular judges of "Tawag ng Tanghalan." The panel is usually headed by songwriter Rey Valera as "punong hurado." In his absence, the other judges take turns with the role.