While we believe that love is sweeter the second time around, the same goes when it comes to victory.
The name John Mark Saga wasn’t new anymore in Tawag ng Tanghalan. Those who have been watching avidly would recall that he used to be the first-ever defending champion on its second season and even successfully crossed over to the semi-finals. However, due to low public votes, he wasn’t able to make it until the end.
He admitted that it somehow took a toll on his self-confidence as people snidely commented on his weight and his performance that made him more conscious about himself. But along the way, he has learned to appreciate himself and see the beauty in his imperfections and just considered his experience in the prestigious singing competition as his best teacher.
Although he was invited to take part in the Ultimate Resbak, the Caviteño crooner refused it because apart from opting to focus first on his studies, he also wanted to prove that he can zoom his way up to the top from the starting line. Besides, a lot of singing opportunities poured onto him as well, with the highly-aspired silver play button awarded to him by YouTube as one of his biggest achievement to date.
Now that he is back to where he fell and is now off to show everyone that he truly deserves a spot in the grand finals right from the beginning, let’s reminisce his remarkable saga through his performances as a daily winner.
A standing ovation from the hurados and joyous cheers from the madlang people welcomed him on his enthralling comeback on the TNT stage with his on-point performance of Sam Smith’s “Too Good At Goodbyes”.
With his heartfelt rendition of Bonnie Rait’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, it’s indeed impossible not to feel the power of his voice as he attempted to steal the most coveted golden microphone from the tight grip of defending champion Armando Mandapat, who then sang “Ikaw” by Sharon Cuneta.
And he was successful! He received a total of 98.2% of votes from the jury, defeating Armando who only got 94.4%.
Whose heart wasn’t pierced with Mark’s emotive take on Adele’s “All I Ask” that didn’t let daily contender Christopher Labesores, who sang the UDD hit “Tadhana”, to inch closer to the throne? If yours wasn’t tugged, try watching it again through this video!
The fantastic resbaker once again caught us with his impressive version of another Sam Smith song as he belted out “I’m Not the Only One”, defeating Ferry Glen Atilano’s version of the love song “Ikaw Na Nga”.
It was indeed a battle of OPM classics between daily winner Niam Mira and defending champion John Mark as they sang “Araw Gabi” and “Hanggang”, respectively. But it was the latter who captured the hearts of the spectators and the judges.
We have heard different renditions of “You Raise Me Up” and, perhaps, it’s safe to say that his take on it is one of the best as it earned the nods of the hurados over contender Jeffrey Dela Torre’s “Bukas Nalang Kita Mamahalin”, making him qualified for the semi-finals round.
Just like what was emblazoned on his shirt, Mark would “NEVER” let anyone dethrone him easily as he gives his best everyday. Just like daily winner Crismille Vallente who tried to take away the golden mic from the hands of the defending champ through her cover of Donna Cruz’s “Ikaw Lang Ang Mahal” but fell a bit short as thrilled everyone with his take on South Boarder’s “Ikaw Nga”.
Both of their performances might be powerful – challenger Maria Catherina Jalali singing Imelda Papin’s “Katarungan” while John Mark singing Whitney Houston’s “Run To You” – but it was the latter who weighed heavier in the hearts of the judges.
Pierce Justin Lorenzo’s cold voice wasn’t enough to swoon everyone when he sang December Avenue’s “Dahan”, like how the eighth-time defending champion did in his heartwarming rendition of Moira Dela Torre’s “Tagpuan”.
He was able to defend the golden mic for the ninth time as he poignantly belted out the OPM classic “Kailangan Kita” that didn’t give daily winner Reign Fajardo, who serenaded us with his version of John Legend’s “All Of Me”, even a slight chance to oust him from his spot.
His journey started with a standing ovation and it concluded in the same way as his cover of hurado Yeng’s “Ikaw” was truly impeccable, even his challenger Star Dreamer Ruelagin Tandog, who was then all-smiles while watching him from below, agreed!
Since this was his 10th win, he was hailed as the second TNT record holder for this season, next to Elaine Duran.
This feat gives him the privilege to choose a bonus prize among the three TNT treasure boxes that contain an additional P50,000 cash prize (aside from his accumulated P260,000 earnings), an opportunity to record a single under TNT Records, and a special power to choose the songs his opponents would perform in the semi-finals. In the end, he picked the first treasure box.
Congratulations, John Mark!