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Celebrities who found their “moment” on Kapamilya talent shows

Mary Ann Bardinas November 05, 2019 07:08 PM
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Throughout its 65 years of being in the service of the Filipino people, ABS-CBN has indeed served us with quality entertainment through its programs that would forever create a huge impact not only to those involved in the creation, but to the viewers as well. 

While most of us are arguably engrossed with the teleseryes starred by our favorite Kapamilya stars, we also found ourselves hooked with the reality talent competitions that launched the careers of some of the biggest and finest artists we’ve been ogling on, whether they ended up as the grand champion or not.

And before 2019 ends, the network is set to debut its first 2-in-1 reality talent contest titled Your Moment, which is a product of its collaboration with Fritz Productions. Your Moment features “state-of-the-art innovations such as the revolving immersive set” where both the judges and audiences will watch the contestants’ performances from the singing to the dancing, and vice versa. The jury will evaluate each performance via an “emotion meter knob” that will reflect their scores real-time.

But before we get to see its pilot episode and start meeting the aspirants this coming November 9, let’s take a look back on some of the most popular talent competitions through the years, as well as the personalities whose showbiz careers took off after joining those in this feature.

Star in A Million (2003-2004)
The singing contest that gave birth to Prince of Pop Erik Santos, who was declared as the grand champion of its first season, and to power belter Frenchie Dy, who won the second season. Just like them, their runners-up Sheryn Regis and OJ Mariano were also able to claim their fame after the show.

Search For The Star In A Million (2005-2006)
Based on its predecessor Star In A Million, this competition launched the singing careers of Jerome Sala and Kris Lawrence, who won the first and second seasons, respectively. Their runners-up Nikki Bacolod and Jimmy Marquez also scored various opportunities in the local entertainment industry after their stints.

Little Big Star (2005-2007)
A singing competition that featured young singers who battled it out to become the Little Big Star. Hosted by Sarah Geronimo, it was divided into two categories – the “Little Division” for children ages six to nine years old and the “Big Division” for contestants 10 to 13 years old – and had ran for two seasons. Rhap Salazar and Sam Concepcion dominated the inaugural season, while Anja Aguilar and Buboy Villar won the sophomore season.

Aside from them, other notable ‘graduates’ of this competition were Charice (or currently known as Jake Zyrus), who finished third in Season 1’s Big Division, and Makisig Morales, who was the runner-up for the Season 1’s Little Division.

Pinoy Dream Academy (2006-2008)
A television pop music talent reality program, PDA featured a set of finalists dubbed “scholars” would have to live inside the academy for months to further hone their musical talents and to develop themselves into multimedia performers with the help of renowned guest teachers and the guidance of the headmaster.
Pop-Rock Royalty Yeng Constantino emerged as the ‘valedictorian’ for its first year, while it was Laarni Lozada for the second year. Other remarkable alumni were Jay-R Siaboc, Ronnie Liang, Davey Langit, Chai Fonacier, RJ Jimenez, Bugoy Drilon, Liezl Garcia, Cris Pastor, and Sheng Belmonte.

Showtime Dance Competition (2009)
We’re all aware that before it completely transformed into a noontime variety show in 2012, It’s Showtime was launched as a daytime dance contest for groups from different parts of the archipelago. XB Gensan, who’s currently part of its huge ensemble, was its pioneer champion. 

Star Power (2010)
After joining a number of contests on-and-off television, Angeline Quinto finally achieved the triumph she’d been yearning for when she joined this competition in 2010. Since then, she’s become one of the most in-demand female singers in the country and was later on hailed as the “Queen of Teleserye Theme Songs”.

Pilipinas Got Talent (2010-2018)
Throughout its six seasons, PGT also produced six grand winners – rocker Jovit Baldivino for Season 1, dual voice singer Marcelito Pomoy for Season 2, vocal group Maasinhon Trio for Season 3, singing wonder Roel Manlangit for Season 4, dance duo Power Duo for Season 5, and dancer Kristel de Catalina for Season 6.
They might have failed to snag the most coveted title, but some of its contestants were still able to create their own mark in their respective fields, such as Ezra Band, Markki Stroem, and Gerphil Geraldine “Fame” Flores, Happy Feet, Khalil Ramos, El Gamma Penumbra, John Neil “JRoa” Roa, and Joven Olvido.

The X-Factor Philippines (2012)
This Filipino incarnation of the highly popular reality music competition of the same name that introduced some of the globally-renowned acts we’ve been admiring at present hailed KZ Tandingan as its grand winner among the other solo artists and groups.

The Voice of the Philippines (2013-2019)
Arguably, the most well-loved and most exciting singing contest on TV at present, the Philippine adaptation of The Voice franchise has been running for six years now and has launched the career of some of favorite musicians and performers.

It has three editions, namely regular or adult, teens, and kids. Mitoy Yonting and Jason Dy dominated the two seasons of the regular edition respectively, while Jona Soquite emerged as the first-ever winner of the Teens edition. The Kids edition already had four seasons, which were won by Lyca Gairanod, Elha Nympha, Joshua Oliveros, and Vanjoss Bayaban in chronological order.

They might have not won, but some of its contestants were still able to pursue their musical and showbiz careers, such as Morisette Amon, Klarisse de Guzman, Thor Dulay, Jason Fernandez, Moira Dela Torre, Timmy Pavino, Kai Honasan, Darren Espanto, Juan Karlos Labajo, Esang de Torres, Kyle Echarri, Justin Alva, RJ Dela Fuente, Isabella Vinzon, and Jeremy Glinoga.

It’s Showtime’s Mini Me (2015)
Probably the cutest competition we’ve ever seen, Mini Me is a segment of It’s Showtime wherein kid contestants delight us with their impersonations of their favorite celebrities. It already had three seasons, with “Mini Michael Jackson” Nhikzy Calma, “Mini Selena Gomez” Xia Vigor, and “Mini Kim Chiu” Lauren Cabuguas emerging as the grand winners for each.

Some of the talented child stars we currently adore actually had their debut in this contest, such as Xymon “Onyok” Pineda, Chunsa Jung, Enzo Pelojero, and Heart Ramos. 

Dance Kids (2015)
Before AC Bonifacio kicked off her solo career in show business, she used to be a part of the Filipino-Canadian dance duo “Lucky Aces” along with Lucky Ancheta who emerged as the winner of the reality dance competition.

Pinoy Boyband Superstar (2016)
Pinoy Boyband Superstar aimed to find the members for the newest Pinoy boyband. Hundreds of young male aspirants tried their luck, but it was Joao Constancia, Neil Murillo, Russell Reyes, Ford Valencia, and Tristan Ramirez who made the cut and was later on tagged as “Boyband PH”.

Despite not making it to the band, some of the finalists were still able to pursue their careers in the local entertainment scene, such as Tony Labrusca, Mark Oblea, Markus Paterson, Wilbert Ross, Jin Macapagal, and Henz Villaraiz.

Tawag ng Tanghalan (2016-present)
The third incarnation of the classic amateur singing competition that began in 1953, it has been running for three years now and already has three regular seasons, one Kids season, and one celebrity edition. The regular seasons were won by Noven Belleza, Janine Berdin, and Elaine Duran chronologically, while Jhon Clyd Talili was hailed the first-ever grand champion of the Kids edition.

But apart from the aforementioned personalities, TNT also paved the way for other finalists to kick start their showbiz careers, such as TNT Boys (composed of Mackie Empuerto, Francis Concepcion, and Keifer Sanchez), Sheena Belarmino, Sam Mangubat, Froilan Canlas, Eumee Capile, John Mark Saga, and John Michael Dela Cerna among others.

World of Dance Philippines (2019)
The Philippine adaptation of the American reality dance competition executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, it was inaugurated this year with FCPC Baliktanaw of Team Division as the overall champion that will represent the country in the global showdowns.

Idol Philippines (2019)
After failing a number of times in the previous singing contests she participated in, Zephanie Dimaranan was finally able to have her moment when she bested thousands of other Idol hopefuls.

But it was not only her who was able to claim her ticket to fame as her runners-up Lucas Garcia, Lance Basa, Dan Ombao, and Miguel Odron, as well as other finalists Matty Juniosa and Enzo Almario, are also joining her in the music scene.