Boredom is a dangerous preoccupation as it allows one to indulge in mediocre activities such as watching a bubblegum show like GMA’s “Party Pilipinas”. As I’ve written a few weeks ago, world class entertainment isn’t exactly what people get to witness for this Sunday extravaganza. But out of curiosity, we mustered enough resolve to watch the show once again, just to check out if the GMA denizens have resorted to rehearsals to mount a good show. The result is a mixed bag of entertainment.
This time around, the gang conquers touristy Camsur! But as the screen flickers to a set of girls warbling away, my mom started pestering me, “Katrina, who is that?” It was Maricris Garcia of the all-female trio “La Diva”. I'd have been glad to introduce her to my mother, but Ms. Garcia started skewering Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. I’m partial to Maricris mainly because she has a beautiful voice, but she has to learn to listen to herself so she doesn’t resort to the flats and sharps that populate GMA performers. Let’s take Jaya for example. In a “novelty number” where “jukebox” staples were being rendered, the soul singer started with an “oooh” adlib for Jessa Zaragosa’s “Bakit Pa”. If you listen closely, her one-note croon teeters into off-key territory, you feel like moving your ass so you won’t fall off your seat. When she finally gets to the chorus (“Bakit ka pa nakita, bakit pa nakilala…”), all hell break lose! She springs into a bevy of flats, uncomfortably distinct. How can you not notice, it’s a song as familiar as “Happy Birthday”. As her spot comes to a close, she fumbles with her lyrics and misses the words. Isn’t there a teleprompter for this? Josnamahabagin!
Shouldn’t veteran singers (like Jaya and Ogie) be benchmarks of excellence and correct singing? Can't you hear your singing? Russell Crowe offers his two cents: "You've got dead ears, mate. Seriously dead ears!" LOL. Their penchant for pitch-imperfection provides a bad example to the new generation of singers who look up to them and call them “Ma’am” or “Sir”. I’ve noticed this in “ASAP” too, when other performers refer to Gary V as “Sir Gary”. Has he been knighted by the queen to merit such royal accolade? On to the topic at hand, which is singing the notes as to how they were written - just learn to listen to yourself when you sing. Singing live isn’t an excuse nor a license to sing out of tune!
Gian Magdangal and Miguel Escueta
Who does better? It wasn’t Janno Gibbs who was likewise off-key with his rendition of Rodel Naval’s “Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin”. Mark Bautista performed Renz Verano’s “Remember Me” – who was grunting, his neck veins close to popping! Then came Gian Magdangal! He was note-perfect with his “Muli” (“Bakit di pagbigyang muli an ating magmamahalan.”) and I just know that this guy is world-class, he belongs to “A.S.A.P.” In fact, Mark Bautista’s transfer should’ve ushered a switch with Gian Magdangal (who did even better with Kris Allen’s “Heartless”) into ABS CBN territory. Kyla fielded a mean “Halik” – the anthemic jologs ditty from Aegis. Thank heavens for intuitive, hard-working performers like Gian Magdangal and Kyla.
In a dance showdown that featured The Manouvres, Sex Bomb Girls and this new group called Mxmovement, the latter displayed their amateur chops when during their set, they’d keep looking at each other, unsure if they were grooving to the same movement. What painful clutter! Wasn’t this group a product of a rigid elimination process from the defunct “SOP”? It doesn’t show! Practice, my dears!
A favorite set: Kris Lawrence sings Travis McCoy & Bruno Mars’ "(I Wanna Be A) Billionaire". Love Mr. Lawrence’s velvety voice. As usual the resident glamour girls: Rhian Ramos, Bianca King, Lovi Poe, and Pauleen Luna were uncoordinated as they cavorted to a slinkily unsensual “Get Sexy”. My parrot has more oomph than their thoughtless choreography! And once again, More practice, ladies!
CamSur atmosphere conjured frenetic partying. I loved the vision of billowing white shirts, summery shorts, with amateur porn princess Katrina Halili sporting a smug grin along with the dancing gallery. It’s a guilty pleasure watching shirtless guys like Survivor castaway Marvin Keifer careening in the background; or beefy Victor Aliwalas strutting his stuff with Brazilian model Fabio Ide! It’s a fun frenetic Malibu party uprooted to third world Philippines! Dang!
The think tanks sure got the atmosphere right! What’s a bit of a let down is the obvious carelessness in mounting the musical numbers. The dances look second rate, and the singers seem under rehearsed. I want my songs sang decently, and not seem like people were unexpectedly shoved a microphone. The whole show fields a lot of flats-and-sharps artists and this distracts my viewing pleasure! You somehow miss a Regine Velasquez! I noticed some more unfamiliar faces – Joshua Desiderio, joining Gian Magdangal, Kris Lawrence and Miguel Escueta for a pseudo-group called “Vocalistas”, probably as counterpart to ASAP’s obviously more seasoned “Sessionistas”. If I were to field a copycat group, I’d make sure they were way better than the original - and having Miguel Escueta in it doesn't make it better!
Finally, I realized that Geoff Eigenmann – in all his otherworldly beauty – cannot dance!
Word of the Day: Practice!