Erik Santos now host-judge of online singing tilt

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Erik Santos now host-judge of online singing tilt
Erik headlines Vocalympics: Vocal Bakbakan to D Max and brings his hosting and singing experience to it.
Photo from Erik Santos’ Instagram

From being a mainstream artist (Original Pilipino Music singer and Tawag ng Tanghalan judge), Erik Santos embraces his becoming an online host and judge of Vocalympics: Vocal Bakbakan to D Max. The singing competition is among the exciting content Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc. (via CSTV) uploads and livestreams on its Facebook page. Erik was a natural and had fun in leading the show’s pilot episode and critiquing vocalistas’ performances.

This is another moment, a career turn, for Erik to remain relevant to how entertainment is produced and consumed these days.

“This is very important to me,” said the singer in a media call via Streamyard. He and the Cornerstone team came up with a show that is right up Erik’s alley. The idea of “a show na may pa-contest” and “with a twist” was pitched to him. Vocalympics came into being. With his hosting and performing experience, Erik is the right person to headline the show. “I can give (contestants) suggestions (on their singing),” he said. “I also want to mentor singers, especially those who (started in and do) contests.” Perhaps, this is Erik’s way of giving back to the entertainment industry that has been (very) good and generous to him.

“We did not expect how good the auditionees were,” Erik shared, “ang gagaling nila talagang kumanta.”

From a number of aspiring vocalistas, who post 30-seconder, singing video samples and tag the Cornerstone Entertainment FB page, only four will be selected for the 8 p.m. Saturday live show. The contestants will do first the Kulutan Challenge round, in which they showcase their a la Kyla and Jay R style (you know, vocal riffs and runs). Two will be in the safe zone, while the other two will face it off in Survival Bakbakan. The lucky contestant will join the two top scorers in the Ballad Challenge.

In these segments, contestants sing “predetermined” tunes in a cappella. Vocalicious head judge Erik and fellow judges, theater actors Via Antonio and Welwel Silvestre, plus a celebrity judge (like Zephanie for the pilot) choose the last two vocalistas for the Buwis Buhay Challenge. The contestants get to sing the songs of their choice in minus one. Whoever gets the judges’ nod is declared Vocalympics Winner of the Day. The judges, along with Cornerstone Entertainment people, deliberate in every round. Via and Welwel’s repartee and game segment Huni Ko, Hula Mo also add to the contest’s light and easy, good vibes mood.

Vocalympics will run for five Saturdays (five episodes, which include a grand finals). Given the first episode’s feedback from the netizen-viewers, Erik said, “I think we can do another season but we have to focus on this one first.”

Asked about the challenges of hosting an online show, Erik replied, “Your connection with your audience. When you’re hosting and singing live inside a studio, it’s something you miss (experiencing). In hosting and singing online, you don’t receive (instant) reaction (that studio audience can provide).” To get by, Erik has the wacky tandem of Via and Welwel to feed off each other’s energy.

As for his lockdown experience, Erik said he finds it productive and meaningful. “I have more time with my family… my life in showbiz for the past 17 years, I’ve been very busy.” He added that his hands are full with activities like cooking, baking and cleaning the house.

Lunch w/ the Stars, Essential Cleaning Tips by chemist Pinky Tobiano, Jay R: Soul In Love Live, Online Together: Ang Digital Fan Meet ng Bayan, Tasselanan Bang Magmahal; (upcoming) Straight Talk w/ Jaya, Dear Empoy, Fitness Tips for Lazy Peeps and Witty 101 are the other interesting shows the public should watch or look forward to.

Win or lose, vocalistas are given a platform to showcase their singing and it is not every day for new singers to perform for and learn from a recording artist like Erik.


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