He may have failed to broaden his journey in the second season of It’s Showtime’s Tawag ng Tanghalan, but that has never discouraged Reiven Umali from once again stepping on the stage of the prestigious amateur singing competition for its fifth season and eventually becoming its grand champion.
In the grand finals held on Saturday, September 18, Reiven raked in the highest percentage of scores from the hurados and of votes from the madlang people that made him the ultimate winner, taking home the whopping 1 million cash prize, a brand-new house and lot worth 2.3 million pesos, a recording contract with ABS-CBN Music, a management contract under Star Magic’s Polaris, and a majestic trophy designed by visual artist Toym Imao.
After astounding us with his remarkable, winning stint in the last day of the competition, let’s look back on his victorious journey in this feature!
His love for singing began when he was five years old by singing via the karaoke machine owned by their family. He went on to pursue it by joining – and winning – a singing contest in Cavite and auditioning for The Voice Teens Season 2, in which he failed to make at least one of the coaches turn for him. And now, he’s aiming to take up a college degree that would enable him to further hone and exhibit his talent in music.
Despite the beleaguering pandemic, he still chose to bravely pursue and fight for his dreams by letting the world hear his beautiful and powerful voice. As he stepped on the TNT stage for the first time anew, he made sure to immediately stir us with his version of “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James that hailed him as the daily winner.
The “Future Music Major of Carmona, Cavite) then went on to astound us with his unique rendition of the classic jukebox anthem “Isang Linggong Pag-ibig” by Imelda Papin in the second round, ousting Shairah Cervancia.
That impressive performance earned a combined average of 94.7% from judges Jaya, Louie Ocampo, and Erik Santos, making it possible for him to take the spotlight away from contender Lovely Ann Restituto and move on to the weekly finals with Jomar Pasaron.
During the weekly finals, he proved everyone how he really wanted to stay in the competition by belting out Sam Smith’s “Writings On The Wall” that earned a round of applause from the aforementioned jurors. In that same episode, he further showed his wide vocal range as he sang Rico J. Puno’s classic hit “The Way We Were”, which we would surely remember.
By the end of that day’s showdown, Reiven garnered the higher combined average score of 94.5% versus the 91.3% earned by his contender Jomar Pasaron, giving him a slot to the Quarter 1 finals.
On the first day of the Quarter 1 finals, he was able to clinch the “Instant Spotlight” after his performance of his chosen hugot song “Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita” by Roselle Nava garnered the highest score of 95.7%.
This enabled him the to skip the Day 2 of the finals, wherein Froilan Cedilla, Justine Gadi, Josh Labing-isa, and Pamela Anne Mulimbayan battled it out to advance to the third day.
He once again won the Instant Spotlight on Day 3, as the way he sang Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” – which was his “Awit Para sa Pamilya” – was seemingly everything the hurados Jaya, Erik Santos, and Karylle were looking for in a performance as they gave them the almost perfect score of 99.3%.
Reiven advanced to the Day 5, wherein he aroused the madlang people with his rendition of his chosen “For The Win” song “Next In Line” by After Image. It was announced that he, Froilan, and Josh were moving on to the next level.
In the Day 6 of the quarter finals, he surely enkindled our patriotism through his upbeat performance of the proudly Pinoy music “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy”, in which he also showcased his impressive rapping skills.
For the much-awaited grand finals, Reiven looked back on his victorious journey and wowed us with his special and emotive take on the Radiohead hit “Creep,” which proved that he indeed belonged to the competition. This truly blew the minds of the hurados and they bestowed him a slot in the last round, along with Anthony Castillo and Adrian Manibale.
He indeed gave his all in the last round of the Huling Tapatan, with his touching medley of the hits of his top musical influence Moira Dela Torre, namely, “Paubaya”, “Araw-Araw,” and “Tagpuan”.
Congratulations, Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 5 grand champion Reiven Umali!