Pinoy Pop Superstar to Be Known Tonight

Manila Bulletin, May 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

Pinoy Pop Superstar to Be Known Tonight


The ultimate Pinoy Pop Superstar will be known tonight when the final countdown to the searchs grand showdown happens at the Araneta Coliseum. Asias Songbird Regine Velasquez, herself a product of a talent competition, will be the host of the search.

Pitted against each other for the title Pinoy Pop Superstar are eight finalists whove shown their own mettles in singing during their mall tours and guestings in various GMA shows.

The eight finalists who have set their eyes on becoming singing superstars someday are Michael Anthony Garcia, Kristel Astor, Charmaine Piamonte, MC Monterola, Brenan Espartinez, Jonalyn Viray, Philbert de Torres and Sheila Ferrari. One of them will bring home a cash prize of R1million courtesy of Coca-Cola, and he/she will also be awarded a Futura Classic house and lot developed by Filinvest, a brand-new Toyota Innova, and an exclusive one-year recording contract with GMA Records, the recording arm of GMA Network which is presenting the top-rating search for the next singing sensation.

The first grand finalist Michael Anthony Garcia is 18 years old and hails from Iligan City. For capturing the hearts of many young female fans during their mall tours and public performances, Michael is deemed the heartthrob among the Pinoy Pop Superstar contenders. Michael reigned as champion in the talent search for seven consecutive weeks.

The first female grand finalist is power belter Kristel Astor who reigned for six weeks. She made her mark in the contest for interpreting the hit songs of Alicia Keys and other R&B female artists. Kristel hails from Pampanga.

Well-endowed Charmaine Piamonte is one of the youngest among the contenders. She reigned for five weeks. Charmaine had been participating in singing contests in and out of school to keep her dream of becoming a singer within reach.

The fourth grand finalist is MC Monterola, whos said to be the groups most passionate performer and who said he would like to share his talent and love for music to others

Brenan Espartinez, the fifth final contender, reigned champion for four weeks. And when we asked who would he want to win aside from himself, of course, he said "Si Jonalyn, kasi siya ang tumalo sa akin." Anyway, devout and pious, Brenan said he joined the Pinoy Pop Superstar "to glorify the Lord and bless other people through music." He loves R&B music and idolizes Brian McKnight, Baby Face and Boyz2Men. He said he was influenced and trained by his father who used to travel a lot being a member of a combo. Praying hard that hell win, Brenan said, he is going to help his grandparents financially with his prize money. "Because we owe a lot to them."

Asked about his chances of winning are, Brenan said "I think I have a very distinct voice. But of course, we have our own strengths and weaknesses although I feel that because of the R&B quality of voice, I have an edge over them." Brenan started singing at age four, he said. He used to sing Elvis Presley songs.

In their album, Brenan sang "Home," a song that he could relate to very much. "Because we need to be alone sometimes to feel we are at home with God." Now 19 years old, Brenan was in his junior year in Business Administration at UST when he joined the Pinoy Pop Superstar search. He really wanted to become a singer because "Id like to share to people the talent that God has given me." Nine years ago, Brenan appeared in ABS-CBNs science-educational show "Sineskwela."

Jonalyn Viray, 15 years old, also started showing her singing prowess at an early age. The sixth grand finalist likes different kinds of music and had involved herself in various talent search contests. She is truly a belter with a distinctly rich voice.

Philbert Simon de Torres is a Filipino-Canadian from Vancouver who has joined many singing competitions abroad, including the "Canadian Idol" where he made it to the Top 30. Asked why he did not try out for "American Idol," Philbert stressed that he chose "Pinoy Pop Superstar" instead because he is a Filipino. …

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