Lea’s bets among Top 3
Leah C. Salterio (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - There was perhaps no other one prouder than rock artist Bamboo Mañalac when his young talent, Elha Nympha, bagged the grand prize in The Voice Kids 2, which concluded Sunday night. It was the first victory of Bamboo’s Camp Kawayan, the only one who turned his chair for the 11-year-old Elha during the Blind Auditions.

Bamboo was in tears after a jubilant Elha was proclaimed winner last Sunday at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World. The young banana cue vendor proved to everyone that she could easily belt out the songs of power diva Mariah Carey to victory.

Elha sang her favorite song, Mariah’s Vision of Love, during the Blind Auditions. In the finals, she crooned Mariah’s Emotions, making her garner 42.16 of the total votes.

The eldest of four children, Elha’s dad passed away in December last year. The tragedy prompted her to help her mother augment the family’s income by selling banana cue. In an interview with Aquino and Abunda Tonight a day after she won, Elha said she remembers singing Freddie Aguilar’s Anak with her late father.

Second placer was Bukidnon native Reynan Dal-Anay, who came a close second with 31.64 of the votes. The Manobo tribe talent was an early favorite in the finals and many even predicted he would romp off with the top prize.

Third placer was Esang De Torres with 18.16 of the votes. Both Reynan and Esang were coached by Lea Salonga, while fourth placer was Sassa Dagdag of Camp Kawayan, with 8.04 of the votes. Unfortunately for coach Sarah Geronimo, not one of her talents made it to the finals.

The four young talents opened the finals with their version of Forever Young and Verge, sharing the stage with last season’s winners Lyca Gairanod, Darren Espanto, JK Labajo and Darlene Vibares.

This year’s four finalists initially battled in two rounds during the first day of the finals. They performed with the host and judges of Your Face Sounds Familiar. Elha rendered Gary Valenciano’s Narito with Jed Madela, while Reynan did a duet of Babalik Ka Rin with the song’s original singer, Gary V.

Esang sang Bruno Mars’ Count On Me with Billy Crawford. Sassa proudly had the time of her life as she shared the stage with megastar Sharon Cuneta when they both delivered the hauntingly sentimental Ikaw.

For their individual upbeat song numbers, Elha did Mariah’s Emotions, Reynan crooned Eraserheads’ Toyang, Esang danced to ABBA’s Dancing Queen and Sassa grinded to Nicki Minaj’s Starship.

On the second day, the four finalists sang power ballads. Elha performed Martin Nievera’s Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin, Reynan belted out Virna Liza’s Magkaisa, Esang did her version of the Broadway ditty Somewhere and Sassa rendered After Image’s Next In Line.

 Elha won close to P5M in prizes, which includes a house and lot, a brand-new SUV, P1M in cash and another P1M in trust fund, plus a recording contract from MCA Music.

The Voice Kids 2 was hosted by Luis Manzano, with Robi Domingo and Yeng Constantino as co-hosts.

Meanwhile, the second season of Your Face Sounds Familiar will replace The Voice Kids 2. Competing singers in Your Face Sounds Familiar are Sam Concepcion, Kean Cipriano, Michael Pangilinan, Eric Nicolas, KZ Tandingan, Myrtle Sarrosa, Denise Laurel and Cacai Bautista.

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