From left: Christian Bautista, Ai-Ai delas Alas and Lani Misalucha return as judges of the Kapuso original musical competition: They have a very good relationship.
Search for new The Clash winner is on
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Lani Misalucha, Christian Bautista and Ai-Ai delas Alas are back to The Clash’s second season as its judges. As a wont, the seasoned singer-performers will pluck the best — the last one standing — from the new group of contenders. Yes, a new winner who will follow in the footsteps of Golden Cañedo, its first-ever grand champion.

“Unfortunately in this singing contest, the tagline is ‘Isa laban sa lahat,’” said Christian of the mindset that The Clash contenders should possess in entering GMA 7’s original musical competition and reaching the finale round in a media call. The “Survival of the Fittest” talent search is replete with vocal battles and calisthenics. “You have to fight to win. And after the contest, let’s be friends,” he added.

This fighting stance also resonates with that of Lani’s line of thinking. “Palagay ko ‘yung bawat isa sa kanila, isa lang dapat ang iniisip (I think each of them should have this thinking): To go all the way to the end. Gusto dapat nilang maging champion (They should all want to be a champion). ‘I want to get to the top,’ ganun dapat.”

Ai-Ai, however, offered a different perspective on a contestant’s winning and resilient attitude towards the competition by saying, “Kailangan iba-ibang rekado para masabi mo na mahusay (One should do different things or should be versatile for one to be considered excellent). Pag binuo mo lahat yon, dun mo masasabing ‘Wow, eto na ‘yun.’ (When you put together all the things one can do, that makes you say, ‘Wow, this is what I’m looking for.’) Mahirap talaga pag parehong napaka-galing, na nakikita mong puso yung ginagamit sa pag-pe-perform (It’s tough to decide which one is the best when all are good at what they do and perform from the heart).”

As for the qualities of The Clash contenders who can get their nod of approval and win their heart, Lani shared, “Dapat may puso, kasi dun mo mararamdaman yung performance niya eh (The Clasher should sing from the heart because that’s the point where you can feel the performance). (The Clasher) should have star quality, too. Minsan may makikita ka na ang tindi kumanta pero parang walang X-factor. Minsan ang hirap talagang hanapin ng kumpleto rekados.” Christian also agreed with Lani that a singer should be vulnerable to the song’s narrative but complement it with techniques that make the presentation also engaging.

“For me, I would focus on the skill, pero kung walang puso, hindi rin tatatak eh (But if the performance doesn’t come from a sincere place, the performance will not be remarkable).” Ai-Ai, on the other hand, shared that having a good number of aspirants who can sing is a given, but “as a performer, hinahanap mo talaga ‘yung sobrang lakas ng stage presence (I’m looking for the one with a strong stage presence).”

With that, the judges have spoken of what they think of contenders who have the making of The Clash winner.

Asked about their take on singing as a form of storytelling, Lani replied, “Of course, a singer is also a storyteller. Dapat pag kumakanta ka, hindi lang bastang kumakanta ka. It’s exactly (like) you (are) telling a story to your listeners. Diba kapag storytelling sa bata, animated ka? Lahat ng emotions mo big. Ganun din dapat ang pagkanta para sa akin.”

“(It) depends on the song,” added Christian. “If the song is trying to tell a story, to convey a message, then yes, I think that a singer is a storyteller.”

Although the audience is familiar with the way they critique a singer’s performance, Christian and Ai-Ai spoke about their identity as judges. “In the first season, yung sungit ko, it was (just made) as a hashtag, pero ang ginagawa ko lang naman kasi talaga, I was just being straightforward and honest. I just wanted them to improve.”

“I’m a comedienne but when we reach the semi-finals, (I think things will be different), ‘di na ‘ko masyadong nag-co-comedian,” she said. “Para kasi sakin ang haba ng pinagdaanan niyo dito, sayang naman kung mali ‘yung song or kinakabahan pa rin. They should give their all.”

The three also clarified the audience’s perception of them as mentors.
“We’re not mentors here, we’re more of judges,” said Ai-Ai.

“Actually, (we don’t do) mentoring,” shared Lani, “talagang judge lang kami. But somehow they get pointers from the way (we critique) them, kaya siguro parang ganun na rin yun.”

Christian, on his part, elaborated on the mentor and/or judge role that he, Ai-Ai and Lani play. “We’re not mentors per se na talagang gina-guide namin sila one-on-one. Pero as judges, parang mentoring din through our critique and comments. I hope the few words that we say onscreen and the ones we share backstage that they heed will be taken as lessons for (the contenders) to better themselves. So ‘yun ‘yung mentoring.”

How is the trio’s working relationship on the set of The Clash? “It’s actually the same, we always have a good time,” said Lani. “Katulad niyan, ngayon lang ulit kami nagkita-kita. We tried to catch up. Masaya lang kami, we would chit-chat and tell jokes. It’s a very good relationship.”

“We have inside jokes na tinginan pa lang, alam na namin agad (ang) iniisip ng isa’t-isa,” added Christian.

The Clash judges are definitely ready to take on their role. So the search is on.

(The Clash Season 2 premieres tomorrow, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. and airs thereafter Saturdays after Pepito Manaloto and Sundays after Daig Kayo Ng Lola Ko.)

AI-AI DELAS ALAS CHRISTIAN BAUTISTA LANI MISALUCHA THE CLASH SEASON 2
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