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Entertainment

Reiven Umali is Tawag ng Tanghalan 5th season grand champion

KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa - The Philippine Star
Reiven Umali is Tawag ng Tanghalan 5th season grand champion
Adrian Manibale is second placer, Anthony Castillo wins third place and Reiven Umali is the fifth Tawag ng Tanghalan (TNT) grand champion.
STAR / File

The 18-year-old lad from Cavite, Reiven Umali, was the youngest contestant in the fifth season of the country’s longest-running singing competition. His performance in Tawag ng Tanghalan: Ang Huling Tapatan last Saturday won the judges and the viewers’ hearts.

With a combined score of 93 percent from the hurados and the text votes, Reiven bested two other contestants in the final round to become the Tawag ng Tanghalan fifth season grand champion.

Singing Radiohead’s Creep in the first round of the competition, Reiven drew praises from the hurados.

“Sobrang saya ko lang,” he said when asked how he felt about his performance. His journey to the championship wasn’t easy. He once auditioned in The Voice Philippines, but none of the coaches turned around. But it did not stop him from pursuing his dream.

“It was the closest to perfection,” said Louie Ocampo about Reiven’s performance last Saturday. “We didn’t expect it. I was really floored by your version.”

“Ang lyrics ng kantang ito, mahirap panindigan, pero meron kang nahugot sa karanasan mo. It was an amazing performance,” said Karylle.

In Tawag ng Tanghalan’s fifth season, he was a six-time defending champion from the daily round to the quarterfinals.

“Na-feel ko talaga noon na I don’t belong here in the music industry. Ilang beses kasi ako natalo sa mga singing contest tulad noong unang subok ko sa Tawag ng Tanghalan three years ago. Sa tulong ng walang sawang suporta ng pamilya ko, tumaas ang self-confidence ko na muling sumubok,” he said.

Like Reiven, many of the grand finalists had competed in previous seasons. They came back stronger and better, which gave the hurados a difficult time. Even host Vice Ganda said he could not predict who would be in the Top Three this season.

Addressing all the eight grand finalists after the initial round of performances, Louie said, “You really raised the standard. You are really giving us a tough time and a good problem.”

Like Reiven, second placer Adrian Manibale first competed in TNT in 2018 but did not make it. It only strengthened his resolve to improve his craft as a performer.

“Ilang beses man akong nadapa, ang mahalaga ay bumangon ako para maabot ang mga pangarap ko,” he said.

Third placer Anthony Castillo left Baguio to pursue his dream to be a singer in Manila. He had competed in other singing contests, appeared in TV commercials, and sang the theme of Bagani. He dedicated his rendition of Mapa to his dad, who is in jail. Hoping his dad was watching, he said, “Sana maramdaman niyo. Kung mabubuhay ako muli at papipiliin, ikaw pa rin ang pipiliin ko.”

In the final round, each of the three finalists performed a medley of songs. Adrian sang Ben & Ben’s Araw-Araw, Kathang Isip, and Leaves. Anthony Castilla picked Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, Saving All My Love, and The Greatest Love of All. And Reiven interpreted Moria de la Torre’s Paubaya, Malaya, and Tagpuan.

Reiven, a streamer in the popular kumu app, won P1M, a house and lot from Camella, a recording contract with ABS-CBN Music, a management contract with Polaris under Star Magic, and a trophy designed by Toym Imao.

Aside from Louie and Karylle, the other hurados were Zsa Zsa Padilla, Jed Madela, Eric Santos, Nyoy Volante, and Klarisse de Guzman.

The other five grand finalists were Froilan Cedilla, Gem Cristian, Lorraine Galvez, Aixia Mallary, and Psalm Manalo.

A number of hashtags related to the Fifth Tawag ng Tanghalan: Ang Huling Tapatan became trending topics on Twitter, including the performance of P-pop group BGYO.

It’s Showtime also launched the sixth season of Tawag ng Tanghalan. It begins a new search while continuing to bring inspiration and hope to aspiring contestants and viewers.

REIVEN UMALI
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