Broadway Diva Lea Salonga has mentored two Grand Winners--namely Mitoy Yonting of The Voice of the Philippines (Season One, 2013) and Joshua Oliveros of The Voice Kids (Season Three, 2016).
Will Team FamiLea produce its first The Voice Teens Grand Winner this season? Will it be one of Coach Lea’s Top 3--Alexia Tag-at, Cydel Gabutero, and Kristian Rajagopal—who will bring home the title?
Lea knows her responsibility so well as a coach as she shares to this writer, “Being in a position of influence for young artists, I have to be mindful of the kind of artist they want to be, but also show them what else they can try or be able to do. I’d like to think that today’s teenagers are far smarter and more savvy than we were, and they have a good idea of who they are and the kind of artist they want to already be. All I can do is follow their lead. I let them show me the way.”
“It’s incredibly important for a singing artist to know how to tell a good story and be highly skilled at this. Every song (even rap songs) have a story to tell, and it is a skill to be able to center oneself and focus on what that story is. Every adlib, run and lick need to support the story, including tone, volume, phrasing. There is a lot more to singing than many folks realize, but the singer’s job is to make it all feel seamless and easy.”
Alexia Tag-at of Cebu City
The Cebuana Rocker Chic from Cebu City is Lea’s first choice to be part of her Top 3 Artists.
During her Blind Audition, Tag-at sang “Nosi Balasi.”
Turning for Alexia were both Lea and Coach apl.de.ap. However, the former blocked the latter. She eventually went to FamiLea's fold.
In the Battle round, along with Alliah Maratas of Bacolod, they had a duet of the song “So What?” During that encounter, Alexia really stood out and wore the attitude of a young female rock star.
While at the Knockouts, Alexia managed to sing with much power and verve via the song, “Huwag na Huwang Mong Sasabihin.” She won over Aaron Regala and Andre Eusebio to get Coach Lea’s nod as part of her Top 3.
Cydel Gabutero of Negros Occidental
For her Blind Audition, Cydel crooned the song “Angel.” Lea won over Sarah in convincing the Teatro Kontesera of Negros Occidental to pick her team.
During the Battles, together with Alexis Mingming of Bacolod, they sang “What About Love.” When it was time for her to sing, Cydel owned the stage right away. Her being cool and collected in the competition, Coach Lea picked her to advance to the next round.
It was tough for Coach Lea, but Cydel convinced her to choose her over two other co-FamiLea artists--Josh Labing-isa and JP Romero to enter the Top 3.
Her soulful, polished, and precise rendition of the song, “Kahit Ayaw Mo Na” got her the stamp of approval from Coach Lea. Cydel's versatility and her readiness made her move to the Finals, according to her coach.
Kristian Rajagopal of Surigao City
The four-chair-turner Shy Son of Surigao City sang “Kailangan Kita.” Bamboo Mañalac turned first, then Lea, apl.de.ap, and lastly Sarah Geronimo, but was blocked by the Broadway Diva.
His joining the contest was his way for his dad to see him sing, who is in Indiana, USA, working as a pulmonologist.
He beat the talented Bibo Teen ng QC Lukas Magallano in the Battles, as they both sang “Beggin'.”
In the Knockouts, Kristian sang “What Kind of Fool Am I,” and he beat both Tina Umali and Airene Bautista. Both Coaches Bamboo and Apl chose him as the one who stood out in the said round. Bamboo described him as a different gem.
Coach Lea has this to say to aspiring singing artists, “Never ever stop learning. Always be open to trying new things and taking risks as that risk could have a high payoff. Listen to all kinds of music, because that helps you grow as an artist. Read. Read. Read. And always be true to who you are.”
Will a member of Team FamiLea emerge victorious in The Voice Teens Season 2 finals? Let’s all find out this Saturday, August 15, after Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan and Sunday, August 16, after Iba ‘Yan on the Kapamilya Channel.