MANILA — “Ang sarap maging Pilipino,” said OPM pillar Ogie Alcasid, after witnessing performances which admittedly left him and his fellow Tawag ng Tanghalan judges with a difficult decision on Thursday.
Early on during “It’s Showtime” segment, the jury — composed of Alcasid as head judge, with Nyoy Volante and Klarisse de Guzman — were all on their feet after the “Battle of Versions.”
In that first round, daily contenders Nicole Ramos and Keisha Joy Paulo each gave their rendition of Rico Blanco’s “Yugto.”
Alcasid, who often jokes about his height, did not mind standing on his chair to express his appreciation, when host Vice Ganda quipped he didn’t appear to be moved by like Volante and de Guzman.
Paulo advanced to the second round, where she face off with seven-time defending champion JR Oclarit. The challenger sang Alcasid’s composition “Ikaw Ang Aking Mahal,” while Oclarit performed Louie Ocampo’s “Tell Me.”
Commenting on the “Face Off,” Alcasid said he was at a loss as to who should win, saying both Paulo and Oclarit are equally worthy after their flawless performances.
“Ang sarap maging Pilipino,” the music veteran said. “Ang sarap maging Pilipino, kasi nakakarinig tayo ng ganiyang mga tinig at ganiyang mga awitin, dito sa Tawag ng Tanghalan, sa telebisyon, sa ‘Showtime.’ Ang galing. Ang sarap talaga. Maraming salamat sa inyong dalawa for bringing the house down.”
Vice Ganda agreed, saying that despite Tawag ng Tanghalan’s six-year run, there has been no shortage of fresh talents who deserve to be seen and heard by viewers.
Since its revival via “It’s Showtime,” Tawag ng Tanghalan has produced nine champions for different editions, including Kids, Celebrity, and All-Star.
“Pang-ilang taon na ‘to — pang-anim. Pero hindi nauubos ‘yung sobrang huhusay na mga Pilipinong mang-aawit. Kasi, for a time, sinasabi, ‘Nakakasawa na ‘yung Tawag ng Tanghalan, ihinto na muna.’ Akala natin ubos na, pero ngayong bumalik siya, oh my God, hindi sila nauubos. Ang dami pa pala nating madidiskubre sa lahat ng pulo ng Pilipinas,” he said.
With her impassioned “Face Off” bid, Paulo broke the winning streak of Oclarit, who was just one victory away from securing a slot in the semifinals. He, nonetheless, has an assured spot in the quarterfinals, having crossed fives consecutive wins.
“It’s Showtime” airs weekdays and Saturdays and can be accessed via Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, Jeepney TV, and iWantTFC.