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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Focus on the Philippines: Nadine Lustre and James Reid wrap shoot in London

Plus: Teen stars nominated for Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards; Filipino vocalist places fourth in Eurovision Romania; KZ Tandingan survives another round on Singer 2018.

James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Courtesy ABS-CBN
James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Courtesy ABS-CBN

Filipino actors Nadine Lustre and James Reid have finished filming for their next movie, a romantic drama titled Never Not Love You.

Producer Dan Villegas revealed to ABS-CBN News that the stars and crew secretly flew to London, England last week to shoot several scenes featuring the two leads. The film is scheduled for release in late March or early April.

“We’re so happy the film is finished,” Villegas said.

Reports emerged last month that delays had beset the production after multiple no-shows and cancellations from both Lustre and Reid. These postponements apparently frustrated the film’s director Antoinette Jadaone. At one point, Jadaone expressed her frustration on social media, calling the project “#foolishmovie”.

Fans of Lustre and Reid have been eagerly awaiting the new film. The two actors, a couple in real life, last appeared on the big screen in 2016’s blockbuster romantic drama This Time.

Jadaone directed Lustre and Reid in their hit television series Till I Met You in 2016 and On the Wings of Love in 2015.

Teen stars nominated for Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards

This year’s edition of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards will feature a new award called Favourite Pinoy Newbie to recognise up-and-coming young celebrities in the Philippines.

The nominees, which were announced on Monday, are Loisa Andalio, Gabbi Garcia, Joshua Garcia and Inigo Pascual. All four actors have been featured in popular Filipino television series and blockbuster films during the previous year.

Andalio and Joshua Garcia started their showbiz careers after appearing on a recent season of the reality programme Pinoy Big Brother.

Fans can cast their votes on www.kca2018.tv. The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards will be held in Hollywood on March 25, with John Cena returning as main presenter.

The KCA also features two categories specific to the Middle East. Nominated for Favourite Internet Star are Noha Nabil, Saudi Reporters, Sherif Fayed, Taim Al Falasi and The Real Fouz. The nominees for the Favourite Music Artist award are Abd El Fattah Grini, Douzi, Maritta Hallani and Saad Ramadan.

Filipino vocalist places fourth in Eurovision Romania

Filipino singer Bella Santiago and the Romanian band Jukebox finished in fourth place at the Eurovision Romania 2018 competition, held in Bucharest on Sunday. Santiago and the band performed their collaboration, an original Romanian song titled Auzi Cum Bate (Hear How It Beats).

The group The Humans won the competition, besting 14 other entries. They will head to the semifinal of this year’s Eurovision, scheduled to be held in Lisbon, Portugal on May 10.

Santiago posted on social media: “I hope this is not the last time that you will support me. The finals was really great and I’m happy that we did good with our job. I still hope we will still see each other this year, maybe still in Eurovision or in another contest.”

Santiago, 28, was born and raised in Cavite, Philippines. She started joining singing competitions at age 15 and appeared on the singing show Pinoy Pop Superstar.

Prior to moving to Romania, Santiago worked for several years as a singer in restaurants in Malaysia. During a two-week holiday in Bucharest in the summer of 2016, Santiago spontaneously walked in to open auditions for Romania’s Got Talent, a franchise of the Got Talent singing programme. Santiago went on to reach the show’s final, finishing in second place.

After appearing on Romania’s Got Talent, she signed with Cat Music (an affiliate of Sony Music), one of the biggest recording companies in the country.

Santiago and Jukebox have also released a Filipino-language recording of Auzi Cum Bate.

KZ Tandingan survives another round on Singer 2018

Filipino singer KZ Tandingan continues to impress on the Chinese reality singing competition Singer 2018, which features famous musicians from around the world — including British pop star Jessie J.

On this week’s episode, Tandingan performed a cover of A Great Big World’s hit track Say Something, earning a fourth-place ranking on the live audience’s vote.

A Great Big World’s Ian Axel and Chad King posted on social media a video recording of the performance and commented: “Wow. @KZofficial. Wow.”

Tandigan replied on Twitter: “Whoah. Thank you so much for appreciating.”

Tandigan, 25, rose to fame after winning the first edition of The X Factor Philippines back in 2012.

Aside from Tandigan and Jessie J, five other contenders remain in the competition: Taiwanese vocalist Angela Chang and Chinese singers Wang Feng, James Li, Hua Chenyu and Tengger.

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Read more:

Focus on the Philippines: Meghan Markle surprises Filipino fans with Tagalog

Focus on the Philippines: Stars set for Valentine’s concert in Dubai

Focus on the Philippines: Gerald Santos shoots music video in UAE

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