MANILA - "The Voice of the Philippines" on Saturday will kick off its Battle Rounds, wherein artists from the same team will sing-off to impress their coach in a bid to advance to the Knockout Rounds, and then to the Live Shows.
In a first for the local edition of the talent search, eliminated artists from a team may have a second shot at claiming the title of "The Voice." If a competing coach finds a losing artist worth saving, he 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 would like to join.
This weekend, each of the teams led by Lea Salonga, Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo and apl.de.ap will field artists in the Battle Rounds. Here's a look at all 14 members of Team Sarah:
Geronimo was the lone coach to turn for this 24-year-old from Batangas, who performed "Tattooed Heart." Leus won a TFC singing competition in 2004 but turned down subsequent offers to start a music career for a comfortable life in Abu Dhabi, where she grew up. She said she joined "The Voice" after belatedly realizing that she is passionate about music and wants to build a career around it.
This 18-year-old wake boarding enthusiast convinced Geronimo to press her button with his rendition of "Tadhana." Ombao, who hails from Bataan, said he knew early on he wanted to become a singer, despite getting encouraged by his father to follow in his foosteps as an engineer.
Hailing from Sultan Kudarat, this 16-year-old impressed Geronimo, Bamboo and apl.de.ap with a soaring rendition of "Ikaw." By formally studying music, Fresco said she is fulfilling her grandmother's dream. She also considers it as an advantage in joining "The Voice," which sees as a ticket to going professional.
A professional musician, this 27-year-old from Mandaluyong got Geronimo to press her button with his upbeat take on "The Sign." Even before joining "The Voice," Hilario has made a name for himself as a one-man band. He can play the harmonica, keyboard, violin, ukulele, accordion, and the beatpad, which he records separately to come up with his unique-sounding renditions of popular tunes.
This 21-year-old college student impressed both Geronimo and apl.de.ap with "Makita Kang Muli." Singson, who is based in Makati, admittedly neglected his faith for a time but, thanks to his current girlfriend, managed to once again nurture his spirituality. According to Singson, his bid in "The Voice" is dedicated to his late brother.
With the exception of Bamboo, this 23-year-old from Butuan impressed the coaches with his rendition of "Stay With Me." Aside from being a professional demo artist, Dy also works as a "haranista" or a serenade service singer. Dy hopes that by clinching the title of "The Voice," he will one day be sent a demo copy of a song, this time for his own album.
This band vocalist from Boracay turned all four chairs with "One Day" in the Blind Auditions. Even before joining "The Voice," the 35-year-old has been entertaining vacationers in his hometown with his reggae band. Baldo hopes to bring the genre to a wider audience by joining the ABS-CBN competition.
This guitarist from Quezon City convinced both Geronimo and Bamboo to press their buttons with "Superstition." Douglas, 34, has performed in Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore to provide for his family. Even then, according to the aspiring composer, his income was not stable enough for his wife and two kids -- something he is hoping to change by joining "The Voice."
A college student, this 23-year-old impressed both Geronimo and apl.de.ap with her take on "When I Was Your Man." Lualhati started joining singing competitions at age 6, and has lost two the likes of Charice, Angeline Quinto and even her coach. She is hoping that "The Voice" will finally be her big break as an aspiring singer.
This 27-year-old theater actor from Davao convinced a four-chair turn in the Blind Auditions after belting out "Luha." Bernades, who recently appeared in PETA's "Rak of Aegis," said he joined the ABS-CBN program to help with expenses for his mother's ongoing dialysis treatments.
A college student, 22-year-old Cabrera convinced Geronimo to press her button with her unique take on "Clarity." According to Cabrera, who hails from Quezon, she was feeling sick when she faced the coaches for the Blind Auditions. Even then, this did not prevent her from impressing her coach.
Navarro, 19, was caught between Geronimo and apl.de.ap after impressing them both with "Get Here." Hailing from Naga, the band vocalist said she joined "The Voice" to support her seven siblings.
This college student from Davao had Geronimo pressing her button with her energetic performance of "Mama Knows Best." At 18, Opsimar has joined several singing competitions but big breaks, it seemed, always eluded her. She was also meant to compete in the World Championship of Performing Arts, but didn't have enough money for airfare and allowance. Opsimar hopes that the "The Voice" will open big opportunities for her in the music industry.
This 25-year-old sales manager got Geronimo to turn with "Pangarap Lang" in the Blind Auditions. Monot was born to a French father and Filipino mother in Bohol, where she was raised. She said she joined "The Voice" in honor of her late father, who had always encouraged her to pursue a career in music.