Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Focus on the Philippines: Angelica Hale brings America’s Got Talent judge to tears

Plus: James Reid takes on iconic film role; Morisette Amon to represent Philippines in Asia Song Festival; and Filipino singers selected for Michael Bolton’s talent show.

Angelica Hale performs Clarity on America's Got Talent.
Angelica Hale performs Clarity on America's Got Talent.

Angelica Hale brings America’s Got Talent judge to tears

Nine-year-old Angelica Hale reduced former Spice Girls singer Mel B to tears on Monday’s episode of America’s Got Talent. During the show’s quarterfinal round, the young Filipino-American contestant performed a moving cover of Clarity, the hit track by Russian-German electronic dance music producer Zedd and British singer Foxes.

“This song is so dear to my heart and you’ve literally did everything to it. You did it so much justice,” said Mel B as she bashfully wiped away her tears. “I’m not going to cry.”

Hale’s performance was received by a standing ovation by the show’s entire judging panel, which also features Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Simon Cowell, who called Hale a “very, very special girl”.

After the show’s broadcast, Zedd shared on social media a video of Hale’s performance, writing: “This girl is crazy talented! 9 years old!”

Hale automatically advanced to the quarterfinal after being awarded a Golden Buzzer during the show’s early rounds. Her audition for the show, featuring a cover of Andra Day’s Rise, has garnered close to 8 million views on YouTube.

America’s Got Talent, presented by Tyra Banks, is now on its 12th season. In the coming weeks, the quarterfinal round’s 36 acts will be whittled down to the top 22, who will compete in the show’s semifinal on September 5 and 6.

James Reid takes on iconic film role

Filipino actor James Reid has been cast to star in one of the most iconic roles in Philippine cinema: Pedro Penduko, a folk hero based on a 1940s comic book series created by Francisco Conching. In the series, Penduko battles evil forces while aided by a magical amulet.

The character has been previously portrayed on the big screen by three actors: Efren Reyes Sr in 1954, Ramon Zamora in 1973 and Janno Gibbs in 1994 and 2000. A television series based on Penduko’s adventures, also aired on the ABS-CBN network back in 2006, featuring actor Matt Evans in the lead role.

The new film, to be directed by Dan Villegas, was announced during the first day of History Con 2017, an international entertainment convention held in Manila this week.

According to Reid, filming for the movie has already begun and will continue until early 2018.

“It’s very flattering, it’s really cool. I hope I can give it justice,” he said.

Reid, 24, is one of the country’s most popular celebrities today. He has appeared in multiple films and television programmes, as well as recorded three chart-topping albums — including his most recent one, Palm Dreams, which was released last month. Reid joined showbiz after winning a teenage edition of the reality show Pinoy Big Brother back in 2010.


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Morisette Amon to represent Philippines in Asia Song Festival

Pop singer Morisette Amon has been chosen to represent the Philippines at the forthcoming Asia Song Festival, to be held in Busan, South Korea from September 22 to 24.

The festival’s programme features a mix of the biggest and most promising music talents from around the region.

“Thrilled to share with all of you that I will be representing the Philippines for #AsiaSongFestival2017 next month in Korea! Thank you Lord! Let’s do this!” Amon posted on Twitter.

Amon, 21, rose to fame after appearing on the first season of The Voice of the Philippines in 2013, reaching the show’s semifinal round.

The Asia Song Festival will also feature performances by K-Pop stars Dynamic Duo, Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation, and The EastLight, as well as international acts including Zara Larsson (Sweden), Shae (Indonesia), Nakashima Mika (Japan), and MICapella (Singapore).

The festival has also organised a gathering of music industry officials from 10 Asian countries to discuss issues related to intellectual property.

Filipino singers selected for Michael Bolton’s talent show

Two Filipino singers have been selected as contestants in Bolt of Talent, a new reality television talent programme featuring American musician Michael Bolton.

On the show, eight aspiring artists from all over Asia will compete for seven weeks in various challenges. They will be mentored and judged by Bolton himself. The winning singer will receive a record deal and an opportunity to perform with Bolton in his forthcoming world concert tour.

Representing the Philippines are Lance Busa, a singer who performs in bars around Manila, and Hans Dimayuga, who appeared on the first season of The Voice of the Philippines.

“The show has brought me back to Asia, where I have performed and toured for over 25 years,” Bolton said. “Now, I find myself deeply moved and inspired as I discover young singers with different cultural backgrounds and upbringing, but with one thing in common — pure love of singing.”

Bolton has sold over 75 million records throughout a career that started in the 1970s. His 23rd album, Songs of Cinema, was released in February.

Produced by Fox Networks Group, Bolt of Talent begins airing this week all over Asia on Star World. The show will feature different guest mentors from around the region, including Filipino singer Morisette Amon.

Updated: August 17, 2017 11:59 AM