game shows and contests that proved Filipinos’ passion for singing

Filipinos’ love for music is definitely no secret and has seemed to be a part of our DNA.

It has always been a part of our everyday lives as not a day, nor even a moment, passes by without us listening to music or belting out or humming our favorite tunes or that song that left us with LSS (Last Song Syndrome). Besides, every party or simple get-together would never be complete without having fun karaoke sessions with our family and friends.

Another proof of our passion for music are the burgeoning number of singers or groups who got discovered after showcasing their musical prowess through social media, live performances, or various singing competitions staged in barangays, schools, malls, or on-air.

Speaking of singing competitions, we’ve also seen a slew of singing contests and game shows on ABS-CBN that undeniably showed our eternal relationship with music. And this year, another musical gameshow is yet to exhibit not only our passion, but our brilliance when it comes to singing – Everybody Sing!

But before its anticipated launch soon, let’s take a look on the previous and on-going Kapamilya singing competitions and game shows that definitely entertained us through the years.

Singing Bee

Singing Bee merged karaoke singing with the spelling bee-type competition as its contestants attempt to provide the missing or succeeding lyrics to popular songs that were performed by the Songbees and the Band-ble Bee led by musical director Mel Villena.

Its first season ran from 2008 to 2010 with Cesar Montano as host, then continued for another season from 2013 to 2015 and was hosted by Amy Perez and Roderick Paulate. It was divided into different segments, wherein the contestants would be pitted against each other until only one would remain in the end.

One of the innumerable celebrities to be its contestants was Vice Ganda, who’s going to be the presenter for Everybody Sing!

Star In A Million

Launched in 2003, Star In A Million is definitely one of the most popular singing contests ABS-CBN has ever launched. It had two seasons, with Erik Santos and Frenchie Dy being hailed as the grand champions for the first and second seasons, respectively.

In Search for A Star In A Million, Jerome Sala was named as the grand winner for the first season and Kris Lawrence for the second.

The program also paved the way for Sheryn Regis, Christian Bautista, OJ Mariano, Nikki Bacolod, and Jimmy Marquez. 

Pinoy Dream Academy

The Philippine version of Endemol’s Operacion Triunfo (Operation Triumph), Pinoy Dream Academy was a reality show that featured a set of finalists called “scholars” who had to live inside the Academy for four months. Throughout their stay, different esteemed guest teachers came over to train them to be multimedia performers. The scholars were able to see their headmaster, who dropped by the Academy to check on them and evaluate their progress.

It ran for two seasons, with APO Hiking Society’s Jim Paredes as the headmaster and Yeng Constantino as the Grand Star Dreamer for the inaugural season. Meanwhile, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab was tapped to be the headmaster for the second season, wherein Laarni Lozada was hailed as the Grand Star Dreamer.

Pinoy Dream Academy: Little Dreamers was also launched during its second season, featuring 12 children ages six to ten with good singing talent. 

Jay-R Siaboc, Ronnie Liang, Davey Langit, Chad Peralta, Chai Fonacier, RJ Jimenez, Geoff Taylor, Bugoy Drilon, Liezel Garcia, and Sheng Belmonte are among its alumni who are able to make a name for themselves in the local music scene. 

Star Power

Also known as Star Power: Sharon’s Search for the Next Female Pop Superstar, this reality talent show aired in 2010 aimed to develop female singers ages 15 to 21 years old into becoming the next female singing superstar. It was hosted by Sharon Cuneta and Christian Bautista.

Out of the twenty aspiring singers initially introduced, it was Angeline Quinto who emerged as the grand winner after she made it through each week of the contention.

X-Factor Philippines

Before being hailed as Asia’s Soul Supreme, KZ Tandingan used to be one of the hopefuls, and the eventual grand winner, of X Factor Philippines, the reality music competition that was a franchise of the United Kingdom-based program. It was hosted by KC Concepcion, with Charice, Gary Valenciano, Pilita Corrales, and Martin Nievera comprising the judging panel.

Even though the contest was primarily focused on identifying who among the contestants had exceptional vocal prowess, the judges also had to take into consideration their looks, personality, and stage presence as well. Aside from evaluating the performances of the participants, the panel were also tasked to mentor those they had chosen. The “Boys” (aged 16 to 25 males) were under the supervision of Martin, the “Girls” (ages 16 to 25 females) to Charice, the “Over 25s” (solo acts aged 25 and over) to Pilita, while the “Groups” (duo or group acts aged 16 and above) to Gary.

It was the first-ever franchise of the X Factor series in Southeast Asia and was said to bestow the biggest prize in a Pinoy singing competition as grand winner KZ took home a whopping P4 million cash prize and a recording contract from ABS-CBN’s recording arm Star Records.

Pinoy Boyband Superstar

Pinoy Boyband Superstar aimed to discover five dashing, charming, and talented young men who are going to be members of the new all-male group that would be produced after the contest. 

It was hosted by Billy Crawford, while Sandara Park, Vice Ganda, Yeng Constantino, and Aga Muhlach served as the judges who evaluated every contestant initially with their stage presence and impact to the live audiences, which were mostly comprised of teenage girls to pre-adult women. 
In the end, Niel Murillo, Russell Reyes, ford Valencia, Tristan Ramirez, and Joao Constancia bested the throngs of male aspirants and they were proclaimed as the members of the first Pinoy Boyband dubbed BoybandPH. As a group, they won a talent management contract from Star Magic, a recording contract from Star Music, 5 units of motorcycles, and total cash prize of five million pesos.

Tawag Ng Tanghalan

Three decades since its last broadcast, the classic amateur singing competition, Tawag ng Tanghalan, was revived in 2016 as one of the segments of It’s Showtime. Staying true to its tagline “your all-time favorite search for outstanding amateur talents”, it has been a platform for aspiring Pinoy singers from different parts of the country and abroad to showcase their singing talents and, arguably, the most watched singing competition on TV.

Its format may have changed in every season or edition, as well as the notable changes in the line-up of the judges everyday, but it has kept its key element – the gong, which when hit signified the end of a participant’s journey in a certain round. 

It has aired four regular seasons, one kid edition, one celebrity edition, and one all-star edition, thus producing produced seven grand champions, namely, Noven Belleza, Jhon Clyd Talili, Janine Berdin, Elaine Duran, Ethel Booba, and Mark Michael Garcia.

The Voice PH

Part of the global The Voice franchise that originated in Netherlands, The Voice Philippines has been part of our weekend viewing habit for seven years now, since it first aired in 2013. 

Unlike other reality singing competitions, the coaches, who were seated on red chairs facing the audiences, aren’t able to see the contestants until they push the red button on their respective desks that would make them turn. If two or more coaches turned, the artist should make the choice on who’s going to be his/her coach. With the return of the Teens edition, The Voice Philippines added another element – the power of blocking another coach – that definitely makes the competition extra exciting.

Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo, OPM rock icon Bamboo Mañalac, Broadway Diva Lea Salonga, and Filipino-American rapper and member of Grammy award-winning hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas Apl.de.ap are its original judges/coaches. Megastar Sharon Cuneta was tapped to join the panel in the inaugural Teens edition and in the third season of the Kids edition.

Throughout its whole run, it has produced two regular seasons, four Kids editions, and two Teens editions. The regular seasons were dominated by Mitoy Yonting (2013) and Jason Dy (2015), while the Kids editions by Lyca Gairanod (2014), Elha Nympha (2015), Joshua Oliveros (2016), and Vanjoss Bayaban (2019). The first-ever Teens edition winner was Jona Marie Soquite.

I Can See Your Voice

I Can See Your Voice is definitely the mystery music game show that never failed to entertain us every weekend night since its pilot airing in 2017.

Hosted by Luis Manzano, the participants, or the SEE-cret songers, don’t need to have good singing voice, but keenness in confusing the guest artist/s and the panel of SING-vestigators on whether they’re certified “SEE-ngers” or “SEEN-tunados”. The non-winning SEE-cret songers who would be eliminated in each round receive consolation prizes while the winning one receives Php25,000. Meanwhile, if the remaining secret SEE-nger is a indeed a SEE-nger, the guest artist would be bestowed an I Can See Your Voice trophy.

Making each episode of the gameshow extra fun and amusing are its gregarious SING-vestigators comprised of Alex Gonzaga, Angeline Quinto, Bayani Agbayani, Wacky Kiray, Kean Cipriano, Kaladkaren.

Idol Philippines

As we all know, Idol Philippines was a part of the Idol franchise created by British entertainment executive Simon Fuller and is the third adaptation of the Idol franchise in the Philippines.

A reality singing competition that aims to find new solo singing talents, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Vice Ganda, James Reid, and Moira Dela Torre were tapped to sit on the panel as judges while host-singer Billy Crawford was chosen to be its presenter.

After the 7-week audition, 69 Idol hopefuls were able to receive their golden tickets to Idol City and advance on the next round. In the theater round, their singing prowess were further tested and assessed as they went through three levels -- Group, Do or Die, and Solo -- until the Top 12 Idol hopefuls who would proceed to the Live Shows were determined.

In the end, it was the 17-year-old Zephanie Dimaranan who emerged as the grand winner, taking home Php2 million cash prize, all-expense paid vacation trip to Taiwan, house & lot, and exclusive recording contract from Star Music.

Are you excited as us to see what ABS-CBN's newest singing competition Everybody Sing! has in store for us? Well, you better not miss an episode once it begins soon!