ABC 5 bags ‘Asian Idol’

MANILA, Philippines—Although ABC 5 has lost the franchise for “Philippine Idol” to GMA 7, it is sending first season champion Mau Marcelo to the regional tilt “Asian Idol” to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, next month.

“It’s a fitting finale for our ‘Idol’ run,” explained Perci Intalan, head of Creative and Entertainment Production of ABC 5. “We kept our promise. From the start, our goal had always been to allow local talents to shine abroad.”

Intalan told Inquirer Entertainment that ABC 5 had sealed the deal with Geraldine Bravo, director of Marketing and Sales of FremantleMedia, franchise holder of the “Idol” series, on Wednesday.

According to Intalan, Marcelo is competing with representatives from five other Asian countries that air local versions of the international singing competition: Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore and Vietnam.

In an earlier interview, Bobby Barreiro told the Inquirer that Indonesian network RCTI is hosting and mounting “Asian Idol.”

Barreiro also said “RP Idol” main juror Ryan Cayabyab had been invited to judge in the regional contest.


According to an insider, juror Pilita Corrales will go to Jakarta because Cayabyab is now part of ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Dream Academy.”

Intalan said ABC 5 is still ironing out the details of the country’s participation.

But ABC 5 is airing the contest’s primer “Road to Asian Idol,” which offers a behind-the-scenes look at all the contestants, on Dec. 8, said Intalan.

ABC 5 is also airing the two-night “Asian Idol” special: the performance night on Dec. 15 and the results night on Dec. 16.

According to Intalan, Filipinos are allowed to vote for the “Asian Idol” winner via text. “Each voter is asked to send the names of two people—his compatriot and another contestant—to ensure a level playing field.

Barreiro pointed out that ABC 5 had actively pursued the “Idol” franchise because of its “potential to create an Asian superstar from the Philippines.”

“Mau definitely has what it takes to compete internationally,” Intalan noted.

“Mixed emotions,” Marcelo described her initial reaction. “I’m happy, flattered and nervous. It’s unexpected, but I’m proud to represent the country.”



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