MANILA - The much-anticipated Battle Rounds of 'The Voice of the Philippines' is almost here.
Kicking off this Saturday, artists from the same team will sing-off to impress their coach in a bid to advance to the Knockout Rounds.
As with last season, if a competing coach finds a losing artist worth saving, he or she can press his button to "steal" the contestant. If two or more coaches attempt to recruit the artist, the artist, as in the Blind Auditions, will get to choose which team he or she would like to join.
This weekend, each of the teams led by Lea Salonga, Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo and apl.de.ap will field artists for the competition's second round. But first, here's a look at all 14 members of Team Apl.
Abbey Pineda, who started joining singing contests when she was in 2nd grade, managed to impress coach apl.de.ap with her cover of Michael Jackson's "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." The full-time mother said she hopes to win 'The Voice of the Philippines' so she can provide a better future for her only son.
Alisah Bonaobra, whose video of her singing the Frozen hit "Let It Go" went viral last June, had three of the four coaches dancing to her cover of Jessie J's "Domino." The former street vendor eventually joined the team of apl.de.ap. She said she joined the singing competition in the hope of alleviating her family from poverty and earning enough so she can go back to school.
Inspired by her son, who joined the kids' edition of 'The Voice,' R&B singer Arnee Hidalgo braved the Blind Auditions of the singing competition and performed "Feeling Good." It was enough for rapper apl.de.ap, who was the lone coach to turn for her. Hidalgo, who left the music industry to focus on her family, is best known for her revival of Francis Magalona's "Cold Summer Nights."
Known early in the singing competition as the "rocker dad," Bradley Holmes delighted three out of the four coaches with his performance of the classic rock hit "Long Train Running." The Filipino-Mexican, who admitted to being an alcoholic before, said he joined the Blind Auditions to be closer to his wife and three kids.
Former cartoonist Daryl Ong wowed with his soulful rendition of "Paano" in the Blind Auditions of the singing competition. The 27-year-old managed to turn the chairs of three coaches, eventually landing a spot on the team of apl.de.ap. Ong said he joined 'The Voice' for two reasons. First is to be able to share his talent with the country, and second is to be able to reach out to his son, who was secretly brought to the US.
Ernaflor Tosco had both Lea Salonga and apl.de.ap fighting for her during the Blind Auditions of the singing competition. The 28-year-old, who performed the Asin classic "Ang Buhay Ko," eventually went with apl.de.ap. She hopes that by joining 'The Voice,' she can encourage more local singers, especially those from her hometown, to make their voices heard.
Singing cop, PO3 Jannet Cadayona, surprised everyone in the Blind Auditions with her heartfelt cover of the OPM classic "Tukso." Her performance was enough to land her a spot in apl.de.ap's team. A single mom and the family breadwinner, Cadayona said she joined the singing competition in the hope of securing her family's future.
Jason Fernandez, best known for his stint as a frontman for iconic OPM band Rivermaya, earned a spot at Team Apl with his rendition of the Eraserheads' hit, "Ang Huling El Bimbo," during the Blind Auditions of the singing competition. The 25-year-old, who is now married with a kid, said his inspiration in joining 'The Voice' is his family.
Krystina Ng, for her Blind Audition, performed the traditional folk song "The House of the Rising Sun," originally recorded by the English rock group The Animals. Her soaring voice was enough to convince coach apl.de.ap to turn for her. The rapper was the lone coach to turn for the 16-year-old from General Santos City. Ng said she tried out for 'The Voice' because she wants to give back to her family, who has been supportive of her dream to become a singer.
Mackie Cao, who has joined more than 150 singing competitions, nailed her performance at the Blind Auditions of 'The Voice.' She sang the Beyonce hit, "Listen," impressing both Lea Salonga and apl.de.ap. The 23-year-old decided to go with the latter, adding that she joined the local edition of the global hit for her late grandmother, whose wish was to see her perform on national television.
A son of a former band vocalist, Mark Avila breathed a huge sigh of relief when coach apl.de.ap turned his chair for him during the Blind Auditions of 'The Voice.' He sang John Legend's "Ordinary People." The 20-year-old said he owes his talent to his mother, and that he joined the singing competition to continue his mother's legacy.
Coach apl.de.ap was the lone coach to turn for Mark Cando during his Blind Auditions, where he performed a cool rendition of Brenda Russel's "Get Here." The 24-year-old, who was orphaned when he was young, said he joined the singing competition to prove to himself that he has improved as a singer and as a performer. He also quipped that it had always been his dream to meet Toni Gonzaga, the sister of one of the show's host, Alex Gonzaga.
Mecerdita Quiachon tried her luck in the Blind Auditions of the 'The Voice,' with her sister Liezel. However, she was the only one to make it past the first round of screening, landing a spot in Team Apl. Her cover of Beyonce's "Listen" was enough for apl.de.ap, who said that he enjoyed Quiachon's performance. The 19-year-old, who hails from Bohol, shared that she hopes to win the singing competition to help pay for her father's eye operation.
Samantha Felizco had coaches Lea Salonga and apl.de.ap fighting for her to be on their respective teams after her performance in the Blind Auditions of 'The Voice,' where she sang Christina Aguilera's "Hurt." Apl.de.ap described the song choice as "perfect" for the 19-year-old, who eventually went with the rapper's team.