Posted 04 June 2004 - 07:41 PM
Viva’s ‘Night of Champions’
At the recent press conference hosted by Viva Concerts to announce its forthcoming “Night of Champions” at the Araneta Coliseum, the singing champs (and their runners-up) topbilling the concert displayed once more their respective talents and winning styles for the delectation of the entertainment press in attendance.
The presscon, to the delight of us admirers of the young champs, turned into a mini-concert. And every time the audience, albeit small, cheered enthusiastically. (The fans included my five-year-old granddaughter Agatha Beatrice, who for some time has always been reminding me to bring her along if ever I was attending a presscon for Sarah Geronimo who she said is her idol. It was Agatha who whispered to us the title of the song that each of the singing champs was singing during the presscon. This just goes to show that the singing champs, who each won a R-million cash prize for wining in their respective competitions wherein they emerged grand winners, are really, really popular and well-admired by many, especially the young.)
First to sing was Raymond Manalo, runner-up in the “Search for a Star” contest, who rendered “Kailangan Kita.” Christian Bautista (he was applauded wildly!), “Star in a Million” runner-up, sang “The Way You Look at Me” (Agatha initially said the song was titled “You Look at Me” then corrected herself later). Mark Bautista, runner-up in the “Star for a Night” search, did a Basil Valdez classic, “Ngayon at Kailanman” (Agatha wasn’t able to tell me the title of the song, for obvious reasons) and we should say we found his version very engaging and fresh.
Rachell Ann Go, grand winner in the “Search for a Star” competition, sang Mariah Carey’s “I Can Make it Through the Rain” and impressed us all with the powerful belting of the song. On the other hand, Erik Santos, champion of the “Star in a Million” contest, rendered “This is the Moment” in his own inimitable way.
Sarah Geronimo, “Search for a Star” (a takeoff from “Star for a Night”) grand champion, sang “To Love You More” (which Agatha initially thought was titled “I’ll Be Waiting for You” because of the song’s refrain) to which we applauded wildly, while saying Sarah has somehow grown up to be a truly fine young lady, taking all that adulation from young fans with humility and wisdom, and not with that “air” that normally makes a star tumble down from the pedestal. If Sarah continues not to be affected by fame and success, she will go a long, long way in the showbiz world, and not only in the music arena because now Sarah is also into movie and television work for which she has shown considerable talent.
For Sarah, it’s not actually an instant success. Like Regine Velasquez, she never tired of joining singing contests and going through auditions in her young life. She did not give up until she reached the stars, so to speak. Many don’t remember that she did a bit role in the kiddie flick “Sarah, ang Munting Prinsesa” (which was topbilled by another young star, Camille Prats) and was also a member of the defunct “Ang TV” show which spawned the successful acting careers of many of our young stars now including Jolina Magdangal and Claudine Barretto.
To her credit, Sarah did not give up easily and her perseverance certainly has paid off. For winning as the grand champion in “Star for a Night,” she is now being built up as Viva’s next big star, and deservingly so. Her first solo album under Viva Records, “Pop Star... A Dream Come True,” has churned out hit after hit, and her own teleserye, “Sarah, the Teen Princess” on ABS-CBN has become a household hit.
“Masaya po ako ngayon dahil maraming trabaho,” Sarah told us. What she missed last year was school. “I had to stop because of the contest and the works that followed. But now, gusto ko talaga tapusin ang pag-aaral ko, kahit home study lang.”
When asked if there was any rivalry among the six of them, considering that they were competitors before, Sarah said there was none to her knowledge. “Hindi dapat magselosan kami o magkaroon ng professional rivalry. Dapat magtulungan kami, especially with our forthcoming concert.”
This was also echoed by the others: Rachelle added that the good things and opportunities coming her way now she did not expect to happen but that she’s grateful and happy about it. But as to having rivalries, “no, we don’t have. We have our own styles of performing...”
Mark said “walang personalan eto, dapat lang we all bring out the best in us during our performances. Kung noon magkakalaban kami, ngayon we are together in this big musical event for which we are all excited and overwhelmed...”
On his part, Raymond said “I am very excited na kasama ko sa concert na eto ang mga naging champions. I never imagined myself being in a big concert and in TV shows na dati ako ay nasa audience lang. Ngayon, my family and friends will be the ones in the audience...”
For Erik, showbiz is one roller-coaster ride. He was initially eliminated in “Star in a Million” but gained re-entry as the “wild card.” He later emerged victorious and is now considered one of the hottest young balladeers in the country. His first solo album, “This is the Moment,” under Star Records, is selling like the proverbial hotcakes in record bars. The album’s carried single, “Pagbigyang Muli” is fast climbing the hit charts and is currently on the top slot in MYX’s Daily Count Down. “I am very excited and nervous about the concert...”
“Night of the Champions” will be staged on July 3 at the Big Dome with Bobby Garcia as director and Bong Quintana as assistant director and Marc Lopez as musical director. Tickets are reasonably priced: R1,000 for Patron A; R900 for Patron B; R750 for Lower Box; R400 for Upper Box; and R100 for General Admission.
After the Araneta Coliseum, they will bring the concert on a provincial tour, according to Sarah, starting on July 9.