Annette Gozon-Valdes is all set for fierce competition in Battle of the Judges

KAPUSO DAY - Angel Javier Cruz - The Philippine Star
Annette Gozon-Valdes is all set for fierce competition in Battle of the Judges
In the talent competition, the TV executive is joined by (seated, from left) The Strategist Boy Abunda, The Premier Leading Lady Bea Alonzo and The Powerhouse Comedian Jose Manalo. Standing, from left, in photo are backstage host Lexi Gonzales and main host Alden Richards
STAR / File

In its desire to consistently provide quality entertainment to its millions of viewers, GMA Network recently launched its newest talent competition, Battle of the Judges, which pits the winners of different talent searches against one another. It’s marketed as “the world’s ultimate talent competition” because its four distinguished judges will also be battling it out among themselves to make their bets rise above the rest.

The four entertainment personalities who will be deciding the fate of the first-ever ultimate champion are The Strategist, Boy Abunda; The Entertainment Industry Leader, Atty. Annette Gozon-Valdes; The Powerhouse Comedian, Jose Manalo; and The Premier Leading Lady, Bea Alonzo.

In an interview with Ms. Annette, as I fondly call her, she candidly admitted that she had “no choice” but to accept to be one of the landmark show’s judges as she was approached by the programming committee of GMA to lend her expertise in cherry-picking the top talents.

“I think they wanted me to be one of the judges for this particular show because Battle of the Judges will showcase acts with a wide range of talents who are already champions or winners in their own right. I would be able to spot talents that we can then sign up with Sparkle, whether they win or not,” she said.

After decades spent immersed in the nitty-gritty of the showbiz industry, she already has more than an idea of what the audience will like and flock to. “My main perspective is if the talent or act will be entertaining to our Kapuso viewers — whether the contestants can have a career on TV,” she added.

Talent searches these days are a dime a dozen. So, what sets apart Battle of the Judges from other similar shows? Annette cited three main distinguishing points.

“Firstly, the talents are varied. Different acts can compete with each other. For example, a magician can compete with a singer, while a dancer can compete with a violinist. Secondly, the acts have won in previous contests so they are already winners in their own right. Thirdly, the judges are mentors and advisers of their acts. We invest time and effort and even money to make sure our contestants level up their acts,” she enumerated.

Dubbed as The Entertainment Industry Leader on GMA 7’s Battle of the Judges, Atty. Annette is among the four distinguished judges, who also battle it out among themselves to make their bets rise above the rest

Those who have seen the first few episodes of Battle of the Judges have an idea how the show will progress. Basically, the competition between judges begins as they mentor and prepare their squad members for the three levels of competition: Battle of the Best, or the elimination round, is the thrilling encounter of 24 squad members who will fight it out in 12 Battles. Battle to the Top is the semifinal round where the four judges will continue to guide the remaining 12 performers who will compete against each other in six battles in order to move forward to the final level — The Ultimate Battle, or the Championship round. Here, the remaining six performers will face each other to conquer the battle stage and be voted as the one and only ultimate champion.

“The show will get better and better, and fiercer and fiercer as it goes on until the grand champion is declared. The judges will also be more and more competitive as the show goes on,” Annette shared.

She and the three other judges have their work cut out for them. “Judging is really very difficult because the acts are all fantastic,” she said.

In the lead-up to the championship round, the judges get a clearer picture of the contestants. Backstories are revealed and struggles are shared.

“Sometimes, choosing a winner is super hard that we would want to just leave it to the studio audience to decide. If my contestant is the one being judged, I try my best to fight for them, and I try to appeal to my fellow judges and the studio audience to choose my contestant as the winner. It’s quite nerve-wracking to wait for the final decision on the winner,” she admitted.

Battle of the Judges is hosted by Alden Richards and airs Saturday nights on GMA Network.

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