Tag Archives: Filipino Talent

Charice Brings Down the House on Oprah

by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – She may have sang Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing, but Filipino singing sensation Charice Pempengco seems to have everything going her way.

Charice brought down the house as she performed on the Oprah Winfrey Show last Monday. The episode featured the world’s smartest and most gifted kids with Charice joining nine other wunderkinds on the stage.

Once Charice came up to perform, her rendition of I Have Nothing made the audience rise from their seats giving her a standing ovation mid-way through the performance. The crowd also gave her another standing O after the performance

As Charice hit the song’s crescendo, the camera panned to Oprah, who stood mouthing, “wow, wow, wow” to a stagehand and shook her head in disbelief at the power of Pempengco’s voice.

“What a blow-away moment!” said Oprah after the performance.

Oprah said she first heard about Charice from producer/songwriter David Foster, who is famous for working with singers like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Barbara Streisand.

“He says you’re a force to be reckoned with,” said Oprah to Charice. “Your voice is something deeper in itself.”

With tears in her eyes, Charice said appearing on Oprah is a dream come true.

“I can’t believe I’m here standing with you,” said Charice. “I can’t believe I’m hugging you!”

Backstage on Oprah

This year has been a whirlwind ride around the world for the Filipino diva. Since her Youtube appearance last year generated millions of hits, slowly but surely the world has taken notice.

So far, she has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in December. She went to Korea to perform on Star King then came back home for more performances in the Philippines to spend Christmas and New Year. Charice also appeared in one of London’s most popular show Paul O’Grady before gracing the Oprah Winfrey Show.

It was her first trip to the windy city, and Charice made the most of it when she appeared on Oprah.

Charice said she did not meet Oprah prior to her performance but wanted to impress the famous daytime host.

Again just like on Ellen, she felt overwhelmed by the reaction from the crowd after her performance.

“First of all I’m shocked,” said Charice in a phone call to the Asian Journal after she saw the show for the first time. She did the taping more than a month ago but had to keep mum about it until it aired nationally. “I saw some people cry [during the performance].”

She spoke briefly to Oprah backstage.

“She’s very pretty and kind,” said Charice. “She’s a true person like Ellen. I love them both.”

Charice said she enjoyed meeting some of the other kids backstage especially 8-year-old Quincy Eaton, the dancing actor in one of McDonald’s most popular commercials.

“We were dancing together after the show but it was edited out,” said Charice.

What’s next.

So far, more shows are already in Charice’s schedule. At the moment, she’s just grateful of the support from everyone.

“I don’t know what’s next,” she added. “I want to be surprised.”

Charice also mentioned that her album is available on the iTunes store.

(www.asianjournal.com)

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Britain’s Got Filipino Talents: Filipino hopefuls in UK talent show become YouTube celebs.

By Sunantha Mendoza-Quibilan/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – Filipino musical talent has once again wowed Western audiences and continues to capture the attention of online audiences on YouTube. Madonna Decena, a 32-year-old UK-based club singer, and Charlie Green, a 10-year old schoolboy of Filipino and British descent, who both received standing ovations during their live auditions on Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) a popular television talent search in the UK, are the newest YouTube Filipino singing sensations.

Currently one of the favorites in the show’s second season, Madonna Decena moved both audience and panel of judges (composed of American Idol’s Simon Cowell, actress Amanda Holdren and journalist Piers Morgan) with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You.

It was a tear-jerking performance by Decena, a single parent who had to leave her two young daughters in the care of their grandparents when she left the Philippines 18 months ago to find work in the UK. She said she joined the contest for her girls, that it was “a chance for me to get more work, more opportunity for me to sing, for my kids.”

Decena said, “If I do well in this competition it would be life-changing not only for me but for my kids. It’s a chance for us to be together.”

Her performance received the approval of all three judges, including that of Cowell’s, who is known for his brutal frankness. He said he at first “didn’t expect anything like that” from the Filipina but that “if you’ve got talent, you’ve got talent [and] I absolutely loved it.”

Charlie Green, another front-runner in BGT, who is half-Filipino, was enthusiastically cheered by the audience and praised by the judges for his version of Frank Sinatra’s Summer Wind. Morgan called the boy’s singing “brilliant,” Holdren predicted that he would win the competition, and even Cowell was impressed, saying, “Charlie, you are fantastic…. I think you are a little star.”

The boy is from Droitwich, Worcestershire, his father, Roger, is British and his mother, Cecilia Surmargo, is a Filipina who hails from Cebu. Green said he has been honing his talent since he was three years old and that he joined the competition in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a great singer.

“I always dream of singing in front of big audiences and massive band behind me…this means the world to me if I could get on, touch the stage I would love it.” Green said before his live performance.

The videos of Decena’s and Green’s performances on YouTube have each registered more than 300,000 views. The hundreds of visitor comments on their pages, most of which are from fellow Filipinos, include compliments and messages of encouragement, as well as a few disparaging remarks, to which admirers have responded with words of indignation.

The newfound fame of BGThopefuls Madonna Decena and Charlie Green is testament to the huge popularity of the video-sharing site and its celebrity-making power. Only recently, it has placed in the international limelight Filipino singing sensation Charice Pempengco.

(www.asianjournal.com)

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