A 26-year-old freelance actress and an EXO cover group bagged major prizes at Korean Cultural Center (KCC)’s 2016 Pinoy KPop Star competition.
Andrea Fe Padilla won the vocal category for her version of You Are My Everything, originally sung by Korean Singer Gummy for the Korean hit drama Descendants of the Sun.
A Communication Arts graduate at University of Santo Tomas, Padilla said that she was a fan of the Korean Drama Descendants of the Sun.
“I wanted to learn how to sing the drama’s theme song ‘You are my everything’ and as I searched for tutorial videos on YouTube, I saw auditions videos for the Pinoy K-Pop star. Since I will study the song, I thought that I might as well join the auditions,” Padilla said.
Padilla studied the song for three straight days before submitting her audition piece. The effort paid off as she bested the nine other contestants and brought home P30, 000 cash. She will represent the Philippines in the online semi-final round of the 2016 K-pop World Festival.
Placing second was John Paul Soliva, who sang “Rhythm Ta” by IKON while Venisse Siy won third place by singing Ailee’s “Mind Your Own Business”. Soliva and Siy took home P20, 000 and P10, 000, respectively.
For the performance category, nine-member cover dance group EXOTIX emerged as the grand prize winner. Before venturing to K-Pop dance competition, the Cavite-based dance group started as a hip-hop group in 2012.
The group is composed of Julliarne Christopher Trinidad, Jerville De Guzman, Leonal Madrigal, John Elmer Accion, Dennie Sanga, Mac Quijano, Rodvian Datu, Nino Cruz and Joshua Karangalan. EXOTIX performed ‘Monster’ by the K-pop group EXO.
Bagging second place was Amigo7 for their cover dance performance of GOT7’s “Fly.” While cover group NOXX, won third place for their VIXX’s “Chained Up” dance cover. Both groups took home P 20, 000 and P 10, 000, respectively.
The judges for the competition were KCC Director Oh Choong Suk; Rey Ilagan, Editor-in-Chief of Garage Magazine; Hwang Yohan; Happee Sy-Go of Pulp Live World and Pulp Magazine; Gigi Yia of Sparkling; K-musical actress Hong Namki; and Dasuri Choi.
The Pinoy Kpop Star is part of KCC’s 5th Anniversary this July. KCC was established in July 19, 2011 to complement the growing interest of the Filipinos in the Korean Wave or Hallyu. Oh Choong-Suk, Director of KCC, noted that for the past years there is a continuous growth of interest in K-Pop which inspired the center to create an event specifically for it.
“I am happy to know that a lot of Filipinos are really interested in K-pop. For the past three years since the competition started, the level of the participants’ skill in showcasing their talents in singing and dancing Korean songs grew, which made it more difficult for us to choose the winners,” Oh said.