As the grand showdown and finals night of the top-rating Philippine franchise of Your Face Sounds Familiar takes place this weekend on ABS-CBN, the program’s business unit head proudly revealed that its foreign creators have acknowledged how both the production team and its talents have done such an excellent job.
“Even from the pilot episode, [representatives of Endemol were here]and nakita agad nila yung ating version. Tuwang-tuwa sila from the start at sila pa ang nag-papa-picture sa mga performers natin,” Louie Andrada told The Manila Times. “Hindi nila in-expect na ganon ka-ganda at kagaling ang magiging production ng show dito sa Pilipinas, and if you view clips of Your Face Sounds Familiar from its country of origin [Spain’s Tu Cara Me Suena] on You Tube, you will see that our performers and our show as a whole is one-hundred times better.”
Indeed, Filipinos have always been gifted in being able to sound and perform just like the music icons of the world. From the regular Juan in videoke bars to Arnel Pineda, who actually became the lead singer of legendary rock band Journey because of his perfect covers, no one can accuse this talented race of being second rate copycats. In fact, Filipinos often times even do it better than the original.
In the last 12 weeks, eight local celebrities in Karla Estrada, Jolina Magdangal, Tutti Caringal, Edgar Allan Guzman, Nyoy Volante, Maxene Magalona, Jay R and Melai Cantiveros proved just how gifted Filipinos are in imitating the best of the music world keeping the viewing public glued to their amazing transformations.
It mattered very little if they imitated the opposite sex, varying races, and highly distinctive mannerisms, because on the whole, most of the contenders pulled it off.
But of course, as in every contest, there will be winners and losers, and the “Final Four” of Your Face Sounds Familiar Philippines have emerged. Will it be recording and theater artist Nyoy Volante; R&B Prince Jay-R; Mr. Pogi winner-turned-actor Edgar Allan Guzman; or the dark horse in comedienne Melai Cantiveros?
Facing the press this week, the four finalists showed a united front and hardly any trace of competition.
As Melai liked to put it, “We all love each other very much!”
They agreed they all felt like winners already what with the show’s success contributing greatly to each of their careers.
Lead bets Nyoy and Jay-R acknowledged how their celebrities and singing careers have been boosted and enriched by the show.
“This is such a great blessing to us and hindi namin makakalila ang naging tulong sa amin ng Your Face sa kahit na anong anggulo ng careers namin,” expressed Nyoy. “Because of this show, lumaki yung fan base ko from yung dating 20-to-50 year olds, hanggang five-year-olds ngayon na nag-papa-picture na sa akin. Sobrang sarap maramdaman!”
“I want to thank the show for having me discover that magaling pala ako mag impersonate at mag-study ng music icons,” related Jay-R. “Every week, I feel like I’m growing a lot as an artist, and that yung music ko nag e-evolve because I finally got to try different genres from R&B. Pag natapos ito, I plan to do another album where I can incorporate all that I’ve learned from the show.”
Edgar Allan (EA) and Melai, meanwhile, are thrilled to discover new sides to their talents because of the contest.
“Sobrang thankful ako sa dami ng bagong opportunities na dala ng Your Face para sa akin, at lalo na sa realization na kaya ko palang maging total performer,” said EA.
As for Melai, she gushed, “Ang laking pasasalamat ko na nalaman kong puwede din pala akong maging singer sa harap ng buong Filipino people! Akala ko ako lang ang makakapahiya ng show na ito at hindi ko kakayanin pero ito ako ngayon.”
Best and worst
“Expect that I will give more than what I gave these past 12 performances. I will research, practice, and give my heart and my 110 percent for all of you,” promised Nyoy, who recorded the highest overall score (257 points) among all performers.
Jay-R, who placed second with 246 points, predicted, “Every week I feel like I’m getting better and better so for this grand showdown, I think I will be at my best.”
Throughout the program’s run, Nyoy was hailed as the weekly top scorer twice for his impersonation of Justin Bieber and Luciano Pavarotti, while Jay-R also topped the scores twice for copying Pepe Smith and Kenny Rogers. They revealed at a press conference this week though that they found impersonating Justin Bieber and Beyonce, respectively as the hardest among all their performances; while Aegis and Stevie Wonder were the easiest.
Meanwhile, Melai and EA both got 202 points for their 12 performances. Saying neither of them expected to land a place in the final four, they thank their fans for inspiring them weekly, and for really getting into their respective Elizabeth Ramsay and Vice Ganda impersonations. Their most difficult performances? Fred Panopio for Melai and Toni Gonzaga for EA.
Unable to reveal who they will be impersonating on the grand show down Saturday night, all that Melai revealed on behalf of her fellow finalists is that they will all be doing foreign impersonations to up the difficulty level of their performances.
Both the grand show down and the big reveal on June 6 and 7 will be held live from Resorts World Manila. The grand winner, who will be determined by public text and online votes, will win P2 million, half of which will go to his or her chosen charity.
On Sunday’s live show, Jolina Magdangal, Karla Estrada, Ma-xene Magalona, and Tutti Caringal will return for special numbers, together with host Billy Crawford and jurors Gary Va-lenciano, Jed Madela, and Sharon Cuneta.