MANILA - The last of 24 battles shown on "The Voice of the Philippines" ended with all four coaches in a standing ovation -- a first on the program -- which earned praise from netizens as the "best battle ever" throughout the six-episode run of the second phase of the competition.
Paired by their coach Lea Salonga, artists Radha Tinsay and Marissa Saroca took the boxing ring-inspired stage with their no-holds-barred rendition of the Aretha Franklin hit "Respect."
The power vocal showdown from Team Lea was the last aired among the four battles shown in Saturday's episode of "The Voice of the Philippines."
Saroca, a Filipina-Australian singer with two independent albums to her name, was seen as an underdog to the more popular Tinsay, who already has a following thanks to her stint as one-third of the '90s R&B band Kulay.
While coach Bamboo Manalac didn't think twice to pick Tinsay as his bet, Soraca earned a vote of confidence from coach Allan "apl.de.ap" Pineda, who cited her "strong, high-pitched voice."
Salonga, meanwhile, praised both her artists "for giving this studio something to remember."
"This was really a battle. The both of you knew the song like the backs of your hand," the Broadway star said, adding she didn't think either of the artists had to be coached.
"The reason why we hardly touched you, because we didn't need to. You're both incredibly proficient and beyond. It was such a beautiful give-and-take that was so much fun for us to watch," she said.
In choosing which artist should advance to the Live Shows, Salonga ultimately brought up "second chances," referring to Tinsay's bid early in the competition to make a comeback in the local music scene.
"Because I believe this woman ay karapat-dapat magkaroon ng pangalawang pagkakataon para sumikat, Radha," Salonga said.
On Twitter, netizens echoed an on-air quip by "The Voice of the Philippines" co-host Robi Domingo that Tinsay and Saroca's performances were the show's "best battle ever."
Numerous tweets reflecting the sentiment were tagged with "#VoicePHBattles," making the official hashtag the No. 1 trending topic in the Philippines Saturday night.