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From Blind Auditions to Musical Sensations: The Voice Kids PH Season 1 & 2 Top 4
The Voice Kids Philippines is a reality singing competition that puts children’s vocal talents front and center. The show aims to discover talented kids and pair them with coaches, accomplished artists in their own rights, who can train them into further honing their craft. And, just like its adult counterpart, what sets The Voice Kids apart is that it focuses on the singing ability alone. This is why the coaches are facing away from the stage during the Blind Auditions, so that they can judge the contestants solely through their vocal prowess. Since its debut on Philippine TV last 2014, The Voice Kids has already produced world-class singers and helped catapult their musical careers.

And as the 3rd season opens this May 28, let’s take a look back at the Top 4 finalists of the past two seasons and check up on how they have been since their life-changing stint on The Voice Kids.

The Voice Kids Season 1

  • Lyca Gairanod, Grand Champion
Hearing Lyca sing just 1 line from the Aegis hit “Halik” was enough to wow the then coach Sarah Geronimo, prompting her to turn her chair for this little girl with a powerful voice during the Blind Auditions for the first season of The Voice Kids Philippines. Lyca, who used to collect used bottles and newspapers with her mother in Tanza, Cavite, continued to amaze the coaches with her rendition of “Pangarap na Bituin” during the show’s semi-finals. The small-but-terrible girl eventually won as the Grand Champion after her stunning finale performance of the power ballads “Narito Ako” and “Basang-basa sa Ulan.”

From her humble beginnings, Lyca admits that life is now so much better after winning The Voice Kids. She has already launched her solo album “Puede Nang Mangarap,” joined Lani Misalucha in concert, appeared in Maalaala Mo Kaya and the teleserye Hawak Kamay with Piolo Pascual and Iza Calzado, and received several awards including Best Performance by a Child in the 28th Awit Awards 2015 for her rendition of “Narito Ako.” Lyca has also been recognized recently as one of the Eton International School Achievers.
  • Darren Espanto, Runner-up
Darren flew from his hometown in Calgary, Canada to join the Blind Auditions for the first season of The Voice Kids. The 13-year old boy sang Jessie J’s “Domino” that turned him into an overnight internet sensation and had both coach Sarah Geronimo and coach Bamboo Mañalac fighting for him. Darren also dazzled in the semi-finals with his rendition of the Whitney Houston hit “One Moment in Time.But his best performance yet came when he sang Basil Valdez’s power ballad “Ngayon” that prompted coach Lea Salonga to issue a warning to Darren’s idols, saying that someday he will outshine them all.

Darren did not let winning as First Runner-up on The Voice Kids hold him back. He has since topped the Philippine charts of Apple’s iTunes Store; released two solo albums, one of which has already reached Platinum status; made his Carnegie Hall debut at 13; and had the honor to perform for Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines and for the Philippine President during a state dinner for the visiting Mexican President Enrique Nieto. Darren, at 14, is also the youngest artist to ever stage a solo concert in MOA Arena. Before even turning 15, Darren has already collected over 30 awards. He has also made his presence known in the world music scene, getting noticed and praised by international artists such as Nikki Minaj, Jessie J, Ashton Kutcher, and Fantasia Barrino for his powerful vocal range. Recently, Darren has joined his previous coach from The Voice Kids, Sarah Geronimo, as endorsers for a giant fast food chain. He is set to hold another major concert this June entitled “D Total Experience.”


A photo posted by Darren Espanto (@darrenespanto1) on

  • Juan Karlos Labajo, 3rd Place
The then 13-year-old Juan Karlos went to the Blind Auditions for The Voice Kids Season 1 oozing with charisma. His charming rendition of Adam Sandler’s “Grow Old with You made coaches Sarah Geronimo and Bamboo Mañalac turn their chairs and, to win him over, both offered him a spot on their gigs. JK continued to charm during the semi-finals with his performance of Michael Bublè’s “Sway.” At the end of the competition, he got to sing “Eto Na Naman” with Gary Valenciano where he eventually won 3rd Place.

After his journey on The Voice Kids Philippines, JK moved on to become an actor. He has appeared in Maalaala Mo Kaya and Ipaglaban Mo, and also became a part of the teleseryes “Hawak Kamay” and Pangako Sa ‘Yo. He has also launched his solo album “JK” and has even staged a sold out birthday concert in Greenhills last February 2015. His Single “Di Ka Man Lang Nagpaalam” recently ruled the MYX Daily Top Ten. JK is currently busy touring for his solo album.

This is probably the best part of every show...

A video posted by Juan Karlos Labajo (JK) (@karloslabajo) on

  • Darlene Vibares, 4th Place
Darlene started out on The Voice Kids pretty strong. Her fearless rendition of the Alicia Keys smash hit “Girl on Fire got all three coaches to turn around for her during the Blind Auditions, causing Darlene to literally jump for joy. Though she ended up on 4th Place, Darlene made an impression on everyone for giving everything she has when she performs, a fact that became even more evident when she sang Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas” and when she did a duet of “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” with Lani Misalucha.

Though she did not win Grand Champion on The Voice Kids, Darlene is still very blessed. She was enrolled by coach Lea Salonga at the OB Montessori where she has a chance to improve on so many levels until she’s ready to try her luck at theater acting. Darlene has also been busy with TV guestings and with her radio tour for her self-titled album “Darlene Vibares” which was launched last April.

ATM MOR 101.9 😃😉

A photo posted by Darlene Vibares (@darlenevibaresra) on

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