Action star Robin Padilla who shot to fame by being the hero of the oppressed despite his “Bad Boy” image is now the new champion of talented Filipinos.
This he goes about as he takes on the unlikely role of hosting the return of the highly successful Talentadong Pinoy on TV5, which premieres tonight.
An original Filipino talent reality show, which ran from 2008 to 2013, the program was ably hosted by Ryan Agoncillo and had a year-long hiatus to the disappointment of many Filipinos with myriad talents who hoped to use it as a vehicle to show business. What set it apart from other talent searches is that a contestant can display any kind of talent, be it in the traditional forms of acting singing and dancing, to more unique gifts such as yoyo exhibitions and sand art.
At Talentadong Pinoy’s press launch this week, TV5’s chief Entertainment Content officer Wilma Galvante received the inevitable question on why the action star was asked to host the talent competition.
“When we were discussing on who best to host it, was our president Noel Lorenzana who said that people are going to watch Talentadong Pinoy if it’s Robin who hosts it because he will not be seen as just a replacement host [to Ryan Agoncillo],” she replied. “But still, we weren’t sure if Robin would be interested at all because he had the same question on why we were choosing him. All the same, he asked for tapes to see what it was all about and he really fell in love with the concept.”
“Eh natuwa ako eh,” was Robin’s very simple explanation on why he accepted a totally unexpected project for him. “Natuwa ako lalo na sa mga sirkero! Pagkaraan lang ng ilaw araw sinabi ko na sa manager ko tawagan na sila Ma’am Wilma at dapat makita ng mga tao ito at hindi maputol dahil ito ang iba’t ibang talento ng mga Pilipino—hindi lang sa pag-arte, pag-sayaw o pag-kanta, pero purong talento na talaga namang nakakaliw.”
Galvante further shared that Robin has taken his new role as host for Talentadong Pinoy very seriously, and in fact, took time out to get to know the production staff and the contestants even before he was needed for taping.
“Set up palang, nandoon na siya araw-araw,” continued the lady executive. “Pagkatapos ng rehearsal para sa pilot episode, doon na siya natulog kasi daw gusto niyang mag-almusal kasama ang mga contestants. Kinilala niya sila dahil talagang malapit siya sa tao. Kaya alam niya kung saan sila nanggaling, bakit importante sa kanilang maksali at manalo sa Talentadong Pinoy.”
Because of this, Robin, more than a host, has become a judge of sorts, especially when the panel of judges decides on sending a contestant home. So long as he believes the person deserves to be given a second chance to show what he or she has to offer, he does his best to save them through a discussion with the judges.
“Kumbaga, parang abogado nila ako,” the action star elaborated. “Sasabihin ko, ‘I object!’ kaya parang korte talaga at humihingi ako ng pagkakataon sa jury. Nung nanonood kasi ako ng past episodes sumasama ang loob ko pag may hinuhusgahan tapos walang nagtatanggol sa kanila. Tulad nung isang mamam na nagbubukas ng lata gamit lang ang kutsara! Aba! Sino ba namang tao ang may kaya ‘nun’.”
To keep his heroic fervor in check though, he has his wife Mariel Rodriguez as a co-host and go-between with the judges. For a bigger peek into the lives of the contestants, Tuesday Vargas takes care of interviewing friends and family members from the audience, with of course the comedienne’s brand of humor.
“Bonus para sa akin makasama si Mariel sa programa dahil nagkakilala din naman kami noong nag host ako panandalian ng Wowowee [Willie Revillame’s defunct program on ABS-CBN] at na-mi-miss ko na yon,” shared Robin. “At tama lang ang timpla na nandyan din si Tuesday para naman sa tawanan.”
Talentadong Pinoy 2014 will air every Saturday at 7 p.m. beginning tonight on TV5.