TNT Duets champ Marielle Montellano describes her ideal guy

Januar Junior Aguja - The Freeman
TNT Duets champ Marielle Montellano describes her ideal guy
Marielle Montellano and JM Dela Cerna

CEBU, Philippines — When you see Marielle Montellano and JM Dela Cerna perform together, it’s impossible to not see the palpable chemistry between the “Sidlak Bisdak” duo. This was evident when they sang “Now and Forever” by Air Supply during last year’s finale of the Duets season of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” (TNT) where they emerged as champions.

Their tandem has garnered a fanbase which ‘shipped’ them as JMielle. One can’t help but wonder if they’re also playing sweet music off stage and behind the cameras.

“I am single and I enjoy his company,” Montellano had told The FREEMAN in an interview. “I had mentioned in ‘Magandang Buhay’ that JM is one of the most unexpected friendships I made in 2023 and I hope that won’t change even as we get older.”

The native of Tabogon, Cebu has been based in Manila since her first TNT stint. She is managed by Polaris, a sub-label under Star Magic that handles the careers of TNT alum.

The 25-year-old singer attempted to write songs but hasn’t released one so far. If she were to write a love ditty for public consumption, she would call it “Twilight Years”, saying she likes the how the phrase – defined as “the last year of someone’s life” according to the Cambridge English Dictionary.

On the ideal guy she is looking for and hopes to settle down with, Montellano describes him to be respectful, supportive, loving, and openly affectionate towards her.

Dealing with bashers

Being a Kapamilya talent, she is open to acting gigs, having had prior experience in the Cebu theater scene.

Montellano has always wanted to go into show business as she can “express my talent and share my gifts.” Dealing with bashers though is one thing she dislikes about the industry.

“People are entitled to their opinions, but there are instances where they would attack. With our tandem, we received comments about our personal lives and I can’t handle that,” she said. “I always think they have the right to exist. They are just there, while I have my support system. Our JMielles are so supportive so I find confidence in my fandom.”

Having a degree in Psychology from Far Eastern University puts things into perspective for her about how her critics think, concluding that “she cannot do anything when people are bashing.”

If things don’t work out in showbiz, Montellano considers pursuing post-graduate studies. “I dream of being a forensic psychologist. It’s a very interesting field. Although it’s quite far from singing, I want to explore other things if I can,” she said, explaining that her interest in human behavior compelled her to take up the course.

Online viewers can catch her as one of the hosts of “Showtime Online U” on Kapamilya Online Live during the commercial breaks shown on TV. Some of her favorite guests include British singer Jaime Miller who performed “Here’s Your Perfect” in the show as well as Kapuso actress Ysabel Ortega, whose beauty amazed her.

In Cebu, she is a judge of Better Bound Entertainment’s maiden singing competition “The Superstar” where she joins fellow singer John Wallace Tubalde and composer Dennis Gregory Sugarol in finding the contest’s first champion. They determined their top six finalists last November for the finals showdown concert that was supposed to take place on November 30, 2023 before being postponed until further notice.

Switching from contestant to judge, she said, “I am looking for the complete package, especially since this competition is done by rounds. It’s not an ordinary contest where it’s just one day or one night,” she said.

“I am also looking for star quality and someone who can represent our province, especially with the notion that Cebuanos are good in singing. Hopefully, the winner is someone who can express themselves without holding back.” — (FREEMAN)

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