Mau on the move


MANILA, Philippines―Hectic is how singer Mau Marcelo describes the next three weeks of her life.

As the country’s representative to “Asian Idol,” which will be held in Indonesia next month, she’s enduring not a few sleepless nights.

“I’m always tense,” she admits. “Every time I have a quiet time alone, I always pray. I know that ‘Asian Idol’ is not just for me; it’s for the entire country.”

Rigorous training

ABC 5, record label Sony-BMG and manager Sandra Chavez have lined up a rigorous training schedule for Marcelo, who bested hundreds of hopefuls on “Philippine Idol” a year ago.

This week, she started a personality development course under stage director Freddie Santos and voice lessons under singer Zebedee Zuñiga.

“I’m also going on a diet,” she quips. “I have stopped eating rice.”

She says she’s required to bring five show outfits for the 10-day trip to Jakarta, where she’s set to compete with representatives from Malaysia, Singapore, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

“The Lucena-based designers (Armand Remojo and Roland Roxas) who made my gowns for the ‘Philippine Idol’ finals have created three outfits for me. My manager also plans to ask other designers,” Mau relates.

She has submitted six songs for “Asian Idol” organizers to choose from: Dulce’s “Panata” and “Ako ang Nagwagi”; Lani Misalucha’s version of “Natutulog Ba ang Diyos”; Shirley Bassey’s “The Greatest Performance of My Life”; Gloria Estefan’s “Reach” and Whitney Houston’s “On My Own.”

At the time of the interview, she’s still uncertain which of the six would be her competition pieces. “I’m required to sing one English and one Filipino song during the performance night on Dec 15.”

The finals night on Dec. 16 will be aired by ABC 5.

Since the ‘Idol’ franchise moved from ABC 5 to GMA 7, Marcelo initially thought that the country’s participation in “Asian Idol” would be scrapped.

“It was supposed to be held this month. I didn’t expect it would still push through. In fact, I already stopped asking my manager about it,” she recalls.

Then Chavez informed her that “with or without a local channel,” she’d be joining the regional tilt.

Thankful

Mau recounts: “At first, I was worried because I heard the contest would not be aired locally. How can I get text votes if Filipinos can’t watch the show?”

That’s why she’s thankful that ABC 5 is airing the two-part competition next month―including a pre-contest special, “Road to Asian Idol,” on Dec. 8.

Her own “Idol” journey, which began when she auditioned in SM Lucena, is proof that “dreams do come true,” she insists.

When she lost out to Sarah Geronimo on the talent show “Star for a Night” in 2003, Marcelo got so disappointed that she stopped joining contests and worked as a lounge singer in Singapore for a year.

“I felt it wasn’t my time yet,” she says.

Four years after Singapore, she’s on her way to woo the rest of Asia.

source: http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/entertainment/entertainment/view_article.php?article_id=102153

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