By Nestor Cuartero
JUST A THOUGHT: “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” – Lao Tzu
It’s sheer coincidence that all five finalists in the 2018 Wishcovery singing competition are women.
I raised that point at the media launch of the contest, held coincidentally on International Women’s Day.
Jungee Marcelo, head juror, explained the exclusion of male entries wasn’t deliberate.
“It just happened that the female contestants outpaced them all,” he said.
The contestants’ move from elimination rounds to the finals was purely based on their skills, Marcelo reiterated.
It probably helped that the girls in the line-up were trained biriteras. Except for Hacel Bartolome, 27-year old proud member of the LGBT community who claims she’s more low-key compared to her co-finalists.
“Although I could also belt a song if necessary,” she hastened to add.
Wishcovery is offering its winner a grand package of prizes that includes 2 million pesos worth of cash and contract, a house and lot, a new car, a trip to New York for musical training.
All five finalists are also signing a contract with Star Music, a Wishcovery partner.
FINALISTS FIVE: After over five months of fierce sing-offs, all five slots in Wishcovery’s grand finals are now taken!
Wishcovery (Your Road to Stardom Starts Here!) is the online singing competition launched by FM radio station, Wish 107.5.
Hacel Bartolome, Carmela Ariola, Louie Anne Culala and Kimberly Baluzo – who all emerged victorious during the talent search’s semi-finals – will be joined by Wild Card winner, Princess Sevillena.
Collectively known as the Wishful 5, these top contenders will compete in the grand finals slated on March 27 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
TOUGH ELIMINATION ROUNDS: Before the show’s launch in September 2017, Wishcovery held on-ground and online auditions to scout for aspiring singers. From the thousands of auditionees, another pre-qualifying round was held before arriving at the top 20 singing hopefuls.
From the original Wishful 20, the first four grand finalists were determined after four rounds of vocal clashes staged on board the Wish 107.5 Bus.
The scores for these rounds were determined through the cumulative scores of the competition’s resident reactors – namely Jay R, Jungee Marcelo, and The Company’s Annie Quintos – and through the YouTube views their Wish Bus performances have garnered.
Wish 107.5 has established itself as an FM radio station that ardently supports OPM and Filipino musical talents through its various projects, including the Wish Bus and the Wish Music Awards.
According to Daniel Razon, the competition “is not just a singing contest but this is also our pride as Filipinos because Wishcovery is going to be your gateway to the world.”
The online competition airs every Saturday at 9 p.m. on Wish 107.5’s YouTube page and is hosted by R&B Prince Kris Lawrence.