Regine: The shoe is on the other foot

() - July 2, 2004 - 12:00am
Regine Velasquez cannot help but feel envious. She envies today’s singing contestants, who almost automatically turn into stars after winning the hotly-contested grand finals.

She rues the fact that this was not so during her time when she won a humble amount of money for emerging grand champion top-rated Bagong Kampeon.

"Back then," she recalls, you’re on your own after winning the contest. Today, the network builds you up until you become a singer who not only becomes a star. You also get to cross over to related fields like hosting, the movies, etc."

This she sees in the contestants who made the beeline to auditions for Pinoy Pop Superstar, the new GMA 7 talent search she will host starting tomorrow, July 3 at 5:30 p.m. A thousand applicants came – some with the talent, but sans the looks, others vice-versa. Only 10 percent made it to the list of official contestants.

Even if they don’t win the jackpot – P1-M (tax free), a house and lot, a car and a talent contract – official bets have much to crow about.

A battery of self-improvement courses are theirs for the taking. For the next two weeks, they will be trained on hosting, walking, facing the cameras, dancing, the works.

Judge Freddie Santos will take care of stage performance. Fellow judge Floy Quintos will fashion out an overall look for each one. The list goes on and on. How lucky can an ingenue of a singer get!

The tilt, contrary to what naysayers might think, is entirely removed from the widely-viewed American Idol. Regine, with Pinoy Pop Superstar director Louie Ignacio nodding in agreement, says their show hinges not on the dog-eat-dog system of being voted in or out. Rather, it banks on a contestant’s ability to score points with the judges, without necessarily being voted in or out. No judge will make nasty comments about your singing style, choice of song, etc. You can still face your next-door neighbor, even if you end up – uh, a nonwinner.

And who knows, you may even end up competing with other Pinoy Pop winners around the world since Regine is toying with the idea of bringing the show overseas.

Pinoy Pop Superstar i
s just one of the exciting things happening to Regine these days. After that prolonged US concert tour with Ogie Alcasid (She can even joke about her rumored romance with him ), Regine will go provincial again, this time at the Pampanga Sports Center where she will mount a concert in September .

And since blessings are still a-pouring, Regine has a grand yearender: a concert series called Reigning Still in December at the Big Dome.

Don’t get her wrong, Regine pleads. The show’s title doesn’t in any way reflect a bloated ego (as in a queen who reigns supreme). The star of a GMA soap-in-the-making with Richard Gomez and Ariel Rivera insists it’s just harmless wordplay.

As for her recording career, Regine is again striking while the proverbial iron is hot. The Viva artist is preparing an all-revival album, whose title the bosses have yet to choose.

"If I started 2004 with a bang, I promise I’m going to end it with a bigger bang," Regine promises. Her followers are waiting with bated breath.

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