Method in the madness

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The fourth stop in the search for GMA 7’s first “Pinoy Idol” took an 80-man production contingent to this Queen City of the South.

Host Raymond Gutierrez pointed out to Inquirer Entertainment that this Visayan island had produced “great singers,” among them Pilita Corrales, Dulce and Verni Varga.

Still, Perry Lansigan, executive producer, was “surprised” by the turnout. Long lines of starry-eyed aspirants gathered in SM Cebu on the first two days of the three-day tryouts which wrapped up Saturday last weekend.

Largest so far

“This is the largest crowd we’ve had so far,” Lansigan said. (Previous stops were Cagayan de Oro, Batangas and Iloilo.)

On Thursday, program manager Hazel Abonita estimated they would be seeing 1,400 to 1,500 contestants. “We have to extend pre-casting (screening) to accommodate everyone.”

Mercifully, Abonita noted, the “Idol” audition process had been fine-tuned by FremantleMedia, franchise holder of the world-famous reality show.

There’s now a little method in the madness.

Abonita explained: “Freemantle provided us with a computer software that was developed in Indonesia. With this program, all levels of the entire audition process are linked through the computers in each work station.”

“If a production staffer wanted to verify the background story of a specific contestant, all they have to do is check their laptops,” Abonita said.



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