Seventeen-year-old Sheki Arazaga of Quezon City was named the center girl of MNL48 who will lead the other 15 first generation members of the country’s first-ever girl idol group, as announced during the group’s first general election on Saturday (April 28) on It’s Showtime.
Sheki, dubbed as the group’s “powerful stage queen,” is known for her ability to belt high notes and compelling dance moves.
She topped the week-long voting that determined the top 16 members of MNL48, the Filipino version of Japan’s highest-selling and phenomenal idol group AKB48.
Sheki is joined in the top seven or “Kami 7” by Abby Trinidad of Bacoor, Cavite, Sela Guia of Laguna, Tin Coloso of Iloilo, Zen Inot of Cebu, Alice De Leon of Quezon City, and Trixie Tano of Marikina.
They have won international recording and endorsement deals, the privilege of headlining the performances of the group in MNL48’s exclusive theater, a chance to perform with their sister group AKB48, and exclusive trainings in Japan.
The top eight to 16 members or “Senbatsu” are Ella Amat of Tiaong, Quezon, Ash Garcia of Las Pinas, Gabb Skribikin of Pasig City, Jem Caldejon of Noveleta, Quezon, Sayaka Awane of Legazpi City, Faith Santiago of Malabon, Lara Layar of General Santos City, Grace Buenavidez of Nueva Vizcaya, and Quincy Santillan of Tabaco, Albay.
Just like the top seven girls, they will sign recording and endorsement contracts, star in the group’s music videos, and perform with AKB48.
The group’s first general election marked the conclusion of four-month search for the best girls from all over the country, which was produced by ABS-CBN and Japan’s Hallo Hallo Entertainment.