MANILA, Philippines – Broadway star Lea Salonga couldn’t help but shed tears as she had to choose between 25-year-old band vocalist Taw Muhammad and 16-year-old Kimpoy Mainit as the Battle Round of “The Voice of the Philippines” continued on Sunday.
“I’m hurting watching this,” Salonga said after the two contestants performed a slow arrangement of the dance hit “Without You” by David Guetta and Usher. She called the performance one of the “magical” moments in the hit TV talent competition.
“You both did so well. It’s really sad because one of you have to go,” Salonga’s brother, musical arranger Gerard Salonga, added.
Even Sarah Geronimo was touched by the duet. “Wow! Teary-eyed ako, grabe. Ramdam na randam ko parang dalawang best friends na naguusap gamit ang kantang ‘Without You,’” as she picked Mainit as the winner of the battles.
But it was a tough rehearsal for the two contestants with Muhammad admitting that she hasn’t performed the song yet. Moreover, she was also “sick” and “stressed,” according to Mainit. Salonga then reminded Muhammad that while Usher recorded the song, actress Lea Michele also did a version of “Without You” in the TV show “Glee.”
“But for what this competition needs and for how much inspiration you will provide, I’m going to choose Kimpoy,” Salonga announced as she wiped away her tears.