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New ‘kid-centric’ singing contest on GMA


YET another singing contest is to make its debut on Philippine TV.

Dubbed “Centerstage,” it is to feature kiddie contestants aged 7-12.

Main host Alden Richards shared, “Iba ito. I think mas exciting siya than the usual singing contest kasi may special stage kaming gagamitin.”

Co-host Betong Sumaya explained, “Bale ang mangyayari, bawat performer magsisimula sa dulo ng stage, sa may bandang likod. Hahakbang sila forward based doon sa boto ng mga judges at audiences natin. Ang mananalo ay ‘yung unang makakarating sa gitna ng stage, hence the title ‘Centerstage.’”

This early, Alden is already excited about the show.

He said, “It’s something new for me. Ang challenge sa akin dito, how to deal with the kids, like kung paano ko gagawing magaan para sa kanila ‘yung desisyon ng judges at ng mga tao.”

Sitting as judges are: Aicelle Santos, Mel Villena and Pops Fernandez.

Aicelle is wary about hurting the feelings of the contestants.

“Lahat ng tumatayo diyan sa stage, nangangarap na makilala bilang isang mang-aawit. And for me, I feel like I need to be very particular in choosing my words because you don’t want to discourage them.”

Aicelle is thankful the show is employing a resident psychologist.

“Para na din sa kapakanan ng mga bata and for the parents,” she explained.

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Pops, meanwhile, is eager to discover each contestant’s talent.

“Hindi tayo nagpapahuling mga Pilipino when it comes to talent, I’m excited to see the kids, I’m curious to see how good the turn out will be,” she said.

She admitted sitting as judge in a show that deal mainly with kids   is going to be a chore.

“It’s hard kasi siyempre there will always be the winner and there will be the others who will get disappointed so, mahirap din lalo na nga at mga bata. Ayoko ma-disappoint sila to the point na titigil na nila ‘yung dream nila sa pagkanta. We want to be as encouraging and inspiring as much as possible.”

Mel wants to make it fun for the contestants.

“Kasama doon sa fun factor ay ‘yung pag-comment ko sa technical aspect ng pag-awit nila. Ako’y musical director, hinahanap ko talaga ‘yung talent ng bata at ‘yun ay dapat solid. Pero ‘yun nga, it’s easier sana if adults but sa murang pag-iisip ng ating mga magiging contestants, we just have to choose what we say.”

The show is to air Sundays, 7: 40 pm, beginning Feb. 16 on GMA.