It is my hope that as you read this, you read it slowly and with an understanding that i know many of you already have.
Last night was as close and as heartbreaking as the succeeding weekends are gonna be on X Factor.
The finals which started out with 12 contestants has now been brought down to 10, with exceptional artists not going through…namely the first weekend’s Jerriane and last night’s Mark Mabasa.
I humbly ask for some of your time to read what’s in my heart now.
Mark has gathered a number of fans since he has joined.
I told him, while were seated backstage after almost everyone had left the venue, that it was his picture i looked for when we were asked to choose the top 5 of the above-25-contestants, that would make it to the judge’s homes.
Please let me give you my personal account as to what MAY have happened to Mark, AND the reasons why I gave such positive comments on Saturday night for the performers.
During Friday’s rehearsals the judges were given a chance to watch the practice of every artist. This meant we could now watch the artists of other categories, which would allow us to get a picture of just how well each one prepared. AND THEY ALL DID PREPARE!!
I suddenly felt the competition move up to a level I hadn’t yet felt. I was confident of my groups but I knew they would meet stiff competition. AND THEY DID!!!
They were all extremely well prepared and well-mentored to do their best and get the votes they needed to move on.
But as the performances started on Saturday night, I noticed how many of the singers did less than what i expected of them.
As a performer of 29 years i felt something wasn’t right. It was my gut feel that perhaps something MAY have happened to the sound they got used to hearing the night before.
This is the reason I gave my positive comments, because frankly speaking, to pull off a good performance when you can’t seem to hear your voice or the instruments, is truly commendable. I knew what many of them were going thru even before i spoke to them after Saturday night’s performances.
The feedback i got from artists, including those NOT from my category, was a confirmation that something had happened to the sound.
Folks, these things do happen even during major concerts. But a concert is not a competition and i felt, as a judge, that no contestant is supposed to suffer based on a situation that they had no control over. What we heard live on the set, may not have been as magnified as what you may have heard as you watched from your TV sets.
It may have been something as simple as a technical glitch that hit minutes before the show began and stayed on thru the duration of it.
It would’ve been unfair for me, or anyone, to fix the sound after a few artists performed because it would mean that the remaining artists would have had better sound than the ones that came before.
I have read how many have accused us juges of being too nice to these artists. I was forgiving. I would like to believe though that i was consistent to what i was feeling deep deep within me. And i will stand by those comments because i knew things that they were going through; things that would make even the most professional artists, shudder with “inis” because it’s a situation that fails to bring out the best in any artist.
The night where the qualifiers move on to the next week.
The names of the qualifiers were mentioned in no particular order and two were found to be at the bottom end of the votes.
My very own TakeOff and Ms. Pilita’s, above-25’s, Mark Mabasa.
During the commercial break, i spoke to Takeoff on stage and told them “This is it.” I told them that even when X Factor is done, I will not be done with them.
Friends, I am an X Factor judge BUT I also am an artist’s mentor and for me both carry a lot of weight and responsiblity.
When Mark performed, I looked at him as though trying to send him a message through my eyes, that he was simply outstanding. It was a performance that can challenge whoever gets to win the top prize. He was “all emotion” as he knew, just like Takeoff did, that this would be their last chance. Both contestants gave their all.
It was like a basketball coach watching his team going against a team that had the “MVP”. Like me coaching the Chicago Bulls but seeing Michael Jordan playing for another team. As a coach I stood by my team and will do so til the end unless some obvious mistake drags them down and out. But i admired the game of the MVP even if he was playing for another team.
The decision now found itself in the hands of the judges/mentors.
I gave mine.
Takeoff needed one more vote and they would’ve been “sent home” instantly.
It boiled down to one more vote.
Charice has gotten a lot flack for whatever reasons people choose to find, but it was obvious that she was torn. Many say “kung hirap kang mag judge eh dapat di na lang naging judge” That’s the nature of X Factor. It’s intense and it really moves the judge/mentor to his/her limit. Charice really struggled because like me, she was moved by both Mark and Takeoff.
Charice could’ve made “ganti’ because I was the one who voted her contestant, Jerriane, out the week before. BUT she did none of that, and like Martin, she went with her gut feel and chose Mark to exit.
At this point….it was now all up to the people who sent in their votes.
This is where it gets interestingly odd for me as a judge.
Let me just share this with you.
Mark 3.72% - Takeoff 3.90%
Do you understand how confusing it is for us to read this AND how difficult it really is to be an X Factor judge?
Was it the song he sang on Saturday night? Was he totally comfortable with that song? Was he confident that he could do this song and earn enough votes? Or did people simply realize too late that Mark was and is a “heavy weight” of a talent and was in danger of being sent home.
So many are angry over the decision of the judges that were based on the Sunday night performance. BUT the Saturday night performance gave all Filipnos the chance to send in their votes…and this was their vote.
The judge’s split decision, which may happen again, only revealed who the voters decided upon.
The mentoring at that point was already done. The comments of the judges had already been given. The time to vote had come to a close. The decision had been made.
Notice how slim the difference of the votes were? It’s probably going to be like this for the weeks to come. Brace yourselves.
Friends, as difficult and painful as it has been to read many of the twitter messages (tweets)…It is a responsibility I’m going to have to face, as it also has served as an encouraging factor to know that people are truly serious about the talent we Pinoys have in our own backyard.
That’s why i have always thanked you all for all your comments. I will not be fazed by the negative ones BUT i will use them to further improve my ability and craft as an artist, a judge, and possibly more importantly….a mentor…of X Factor Philippines.
If you have followed X Factor, you are no longer a mere spectator but a part of it now; the 5th judge. We welcome you and your suggestions and comments.
IF you believe in the artist you hear, see, and feel, DO JUST ONE THING….VOTE…and then vote again. You are given enough time to do all this. Do not confidently rely on the votes of others for the artist you believe in because in the end, yours may be what counts the most.
Thank you for your time, patience, and hopefully your understanding as well. God bless.
I love you all.