Off to a running start
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2015 - 10:00am

The Kapamilya reality show Your Face Sounds Familiar (YFSF) got off to a running start during the premiere of its second season featuring a new set of eight celebrity performers: Denise Laurel, Sam Concepcion, Kean Cipriano, KZ Tandingan, Cacai Bautista, Eric Nicolas, Myrtle Sarrosa and Michael Pangilinan — and since then, the show has kept its fans entertained with what can only be described as surprising performances week after week.

Indeed, it’s probably not a stretch to say that this current second season is well on its way to duplicating the success of the first.

Business unit head Lui Andrada reveals that immediately after the finals of the first season, they were already being deluged with inquiries from celebrities interested in joining. One was Denise who, after watching a few episodes, called her handler. “I want to do that,” she said. When told that the show was only in its first season and didn’t change cast members midway, Denise said: “Okay, I’ll wait for the second season na lang.”

This kind of enthusiastic response was one of the things that pushed Andrada and his team to hold auditions immediately. “We wanted to hold an audition after the (first season) finals because there were many people sending feelings, so we said, ‘Why not do it now? May clamor ang tao, na sakto naman, nakahanda kami.’”

But they did not simply accommodate whoever was interested. They were looking for something very important. The final cast had to be a good mix of performers, each with a unique quality and talent. Based on what they have shown so far, it looks like they’ve achieved their goal.

“Every group is a different experience, but what we were really looking for was the mix,” he explains. “That’s crucial, not necessarily lang na sikat ba, magaling ba, kaya ba i-transform ang mukha. The basis is the individual talent. The mix was another consideration.”

Once they made the cut, another concern was how they were going to balance doing the weekly episodes with their other showbiz commitments. Michael, for instance, is a member of the all-male group Harana with Joseph Marco, Bryan Santos and Marlo Mortel. Michael says it’s not a problem balancing things. “Your Face doesn’t conflict with Harana. My manager and I worked the schedule out that’s why we are able to find time for everything at supportive naman sila sa lahat ng mga ginagawa ko.”

Of course, there was some nervousness and pressure going in for most of them. For KZ — who won the grand prize on ABS-CBN’s X Factor Philippines three years ago and also won a Best Interpreter award in a Himig Handog competition — says the pressure came from not knowing what to expect.

Your Face Sounds Familiar was different from anything she’d ever done. “Initially, we didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never done a show like this. The first time we met, kinabahan ako kasi baka di ko kayang gawin. When we started training, we were more on having fun. Mas ‘yun ang inaangat sa Your Face rather than the competition.” 

Sam had his own doubts also. “We came from singing competitions, na-build na rin namin ang sarili namin as individual artists. So coming into the show, we had doubts. Me, I was asking myself, ‘Kaya mo ba manggaya?’ At this point in my career, that I’m coming out with an original album, the challenge is, kailangan kong kalimutan ang sarili ko, I have to forget myself and be another artist. Yes there is some pressure, nanalo ka ng singing contest but Your Face is a totally different show. This is about entertainment, and all in good fun.”

So far, Your Face Sounds Familiar Season 2 has been doing well. Social media has been flooded with positive comments about the show and the eight celebrity performers. They still have a way to go though, but it’s a clear indication that so far, they’re on the right track.

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